Out With the Old
The new year is upon us and many of us have made resolutions that, unfortunately, we will break by the third week in January. It’s like we just get sidetracked and the lure of the familiar overrides the thing we know is good for us.
Weight loss? Ever since bestie’s birthday brunch, it’s been downhill.
Get out of debt? President’s Day Sale lurking.
New boo? Canceled by answering old boo’s Happy New Year text.
You see how the devil is busy?
But I can tell you that there is a cure, one commitment that you can make that will help you get your entire life [in order]. Even if you’re just realizing that you didn’t put it on your list, here it is:
Put God first.
Let the renewal of your relationship with Jesus be the one you continuously water and tend to. Seek Jesus first (Matthew 6:33) and I promise all the other things will fall into place.
Don’t know where to start?
Begin with this prayer…
The Christian Slacker’s Prayer
Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.
I’ve turned my back on You more times than I can count; choosing the plans I had for myself over the plans You’ve had for me. I’ve chosen my will over Yours and my own foolish pride over Your glory.
I’ve made excuses for my sins and rationalized my behavior by using the world as a marker, rather than living by and trusting in Your Word.
I’ve been lukewarm and lazy in my approach to You; doing just enough to feel like I had a relationship with You. But I want the real thing.
So, today I choose excellence. I choose to put You first in my life and to pursue this relationship with You with all my heart. I thank You in advance for Your forgiveness and the new mercies that You allow each and every single day.
I love you. And I thank You for taking me back.
In Jesus’ Name,
Excerpt from the book: Confessions of a Faithful Slacker: 7 Steps to Renewing Your Relationship with Christ
A Word from a Former Slacker-in-Chief
At one point in my life, my relationship with God was on the back burner. And the stove wasn’t even on.
I was lukewarm because I acknowledged that God was my Lord and Savior with my lips, but my heart was elsewhere – dodging His calls and sending Him to voicemail – “Leave a message, God. I’ll get back to you at my earliest convenience.” The nerve.
I was lazy because, in hindsight, I realize I took His grace and mercy for granted. Also, I knew that once God got a hold of me, He was going to change me; make me do things His way. I was leery of that. I liked control. I thought I knew better. I didn’t want to be a “Holy Roller” or a “Jesus Freak” or “Church Lady” – one of the “saved” who gave God a bad name. So I was a part-timer. I took shorter hours, and my benefits package, though it contained grace and mercy, did not include peace.
But, God wanted a full-time employee.
Now my life has not been the same since I accepted the position. Thank God. The first assignment? Writing “Confessions of a Faithful Slacker”, a book He gave me in prayer.
I had no idea what to do with any of what He told me. He gave me the title and the chapter names. Then it took five years for me to live through and develop it. He took me through the five-year process so it wouldn’t take you as long.
The girl who prayed that prayer is not the woman who is writing this article. That girl is a remnant of me, the one who I look back at and chuckle or shake my head. I was a hokey pokey type of Christian. I put my left leg in, took my left leg out depending on what was more attractive to these lying eyes; what sin I was going to joyfully partake in. Yes, joyfully.
My former Pastor used to say, “If you didn’t enjoy yourself when you were sinning, you weren’t doing it right.” I did it right. Was proficient at sin, y’all. I enjoyed myself. Immensely. Why do you think we need the Holy Spirit to get our lives right?! Whew!
So, as the year comes to a close, let us be as faithful in our hearts to Him as we were to our sins. Let us be as loyal in our relationship with Jesus as we’ve been to people who’ve broken our hearts. Let us seek Him like we seek to shrink our waistlines. Trust me, it takes less effort – and it doesn’t give you gas!
These days, nothing is more attractive to this woman of God than sitting in His presence and being in His will.
In the words of Forever Jones, He wants it ALL: your heart, your soul, your body, your mind, your finances, your life. Of everyone you’ve ever met, He’s the only one who won’t abuse it.
So, What’s the Play Call?
Slack on God no longer. His full-time benefits package is amazing. He loves you. And, He wants you back.
As that prayer changed my life, I pray it does the same for you.
Happy New Year, Team Jesus!