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Way to go… 2022

Do all the 2’s in 2022 also catch your eye? Since earliest times the symbolism of numbers has fascinated people all around the world. There are many interpretations of the possible meanings related to the number 2, but there is one interpretation that stands out and which may serve as a compass in directing our personal lives before the Lord in 2022.

The past year was filled with controversies about choices and how people make those choices. As to our life in Christ, 2022 will most certainly also put choices before us – some up front and right in our faces, but others hidden, subtly wanting to lure us into worldliness.

Mankind has two inward natures always competing to dominate. Somehow they mirror the two trees in the Garden, the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We can in one sense liken these to the Christ-nature and the sin-nature.

The following thoughts may help you properly discern your circumstances and help you make wise choices to benefit your growth in 2022.

 

1. Refresh your memory. The world defines concepts like kindness, love and morality through its own lens. A quick read through the last few small books of the Bible (Galatians-Philemon, as well as 1-2 Peter-Jude), will serve as a clear plumbline to sharpen our discernment between these two natures. It will not take you long to read through them – do not skip this first step!

 

2. Godly principles. Make a list of principles you’ve gleaned and want to remember from the books of Galatians-Philemon, as well as 1-2 Peter-Jude. The most important or well-known of these are listed in Galatians 5:22-26. Write them down. Pray for each one of them to abound in your life, in the life of your family, church and our nation. Pray with all your heart, slowly and focused. Keep the list handy so you can pray through these principles on a regular basis.

 

3. Spiritual disciplines. We can only be successful in our studies when we study diligently. We can only be successful in completing the Comrades marathon if we exercise and train well before the time. Likewise, we have to train ourselves spiritually by keeping basic spiritual disciplines in order to stay spiritually fit, so that we do not fall away from trusting God or from our intimate walk with Him. These disciplines include regular times of reading the Word, prayer, fasting and waiting on God.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you plan your days and weeks to include these activities on a regular basis in the new year.

 

4. Reaching out to others. Sometimes we may feel that our daily activities add no or little value to further God’s kingdom. The opposite is true! Just read this promise from the Lord Jesus Himself in Matthew 10:42 – And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward. Daily ask the Holy Spirit to show you ways in which you can extend kindness to others, whether a family member, friend or stranger. Be open to serve and to help, even if you will never be acknowledged or rewarded for doing so. Seek out opportunities to serve the Lord because you love Him so much.

 

5. Sharing your faith. To share a personal testimony of something God has done in your life, even with a stranger, is more valuable than you will ever know. Even if they reject you in that moment, that story has reached their mind, and can be used by the Holy Spirit to speak to their conscience days or even weeks later! Always ask the Holy Spirit to show you who to talk to. It may simply be giving thanks in the name of Jesus for being healthy, or recovering from a serious illness, or escaping an accident. It can be as informal as that. Then, should the Lord permit you more time, you can share deeper revelations about the love of Jesus with a person. See our article on how to share your faith.

 

6. Get physical exercise. None of us wants to hear this, but in order for us to complete our call and purpose to the glory of the Lord, we need a healthy body alive on the earth! Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and it belongs to the Lord. 1 Corinthians 6:19. Ask the Holy Spirit how you can add more physical activity to your weekly schedule in a safe and meaningful way. Ever wanted to pray for a whole hour? You may be very surprised to find that engaging in light exercise like walking, can become your best prayer time ever!

 

7. Do old things in a new way. Perhaps you feel Bible reading has become mundane and prayer a drag. Why do you not do some research on how to apply spiritual disciplines in a new way? Perhaps start reading a new copy of the Bible or writing out your prayers. The same is true for other things in your life – ask the Lord to show you how to make changes in your life that will help you experience Him in a fresh way. Change the route you drive to work, or the grocery store where you shop. You will meet new people and have new opportunities to make a difference in someone’s life.

 

A last thought…

Remember, everyone has a continuous inward wrestle between these two natures – to live a life acceptable before the Lord when you walk in the Spirit, or to give in to thoughts, words and actions that flow from our human nature. Every time we choose Christ, we have victory. It is the small steps of daily obedience that mark our lives as a ‘life of victory’ over the span of a decade. Choose therefore to live differently from now on – one day at a time. May 2022 be a ‘Tree of life’ year for you.

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