God loves new beginnings and fresh starts! The beginning of a new year is a great time for us to reevaluate our lives and set goals to improve in areas we want to grow in. I hope your number one goal for 2019, like me, is to get closer to God than you’ve ever been before.
The way to develop a more intimate, mature relationship with God is through prayer and studying His Word. I know it works because for more than 40 years now, I have been studying the Bible and spending time with God in prayer on a daily basis. It’s been the key to radical transformation in my perspectives and attitudes, and God has healed and restored my spirit, soul and body through the power in His Word.
Even now, I’m continually amazed by all of the benefits we can have through a personal relationship with Jesus and the truth we discover in Scripture.
It’s an Amazing, Life-Changing Journey!
Before I began this journey with God, my life was a mess. I grew up in an abusive home and became an angry, miserable, insecure, emotionally unstable adult who didn’t know how to have peace, joy or healthy relationships.
I can honestly say that the person I am today is drastically different than who I was then. And I know there are many people who, like me, need to experience the life-changing transformation God offers.
It’s not hard to find believers in Christ who aren’t satisfied with life. They struggle to have peace consistently and dread many things they need to do on a daily basis. They feel inadequate and wonder if God has a good plan for them or if they can do anything that really matters.
Discouragement, hopelessness, fear, insecurity, and any other negative, defeating attitude you can think of holds many believers in Christ back from the amazing life He has for them.
But there is hope for anyone who will trust God and follow His lead. He gives us everything we need through a personal relationship with Jesus and His Word.
When you give your heart to Christ, the Holy Spirit—God’s Spirit—comes to live in your spirit (see John 14:16-17). John 16:7 (AMP) says He is our… Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby). And John 16:13 says, When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth…
These verses show us that we can have a close relationship with the Holy Spirit, and He will communicate with us. He wants to show us God’s plan for our lives and guide us in the truth of His Word.
So if you feel intimidated by the word study and think you just can’t understand the Bible, I want you to know you can! The Holy Spirit will help you if you will ask Him to do so.
Follow God’s Road Map
The Bible—God’s Word—is our instruction manual, or our road map, for life. It contains wisdom, encouragement, comfort, and life-changing power. And if there isn’t a specific answer to a particular situation or problem, you’ll find life principles that lead you to it.
- Romans 12:2 says, ...Be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Meditating (rolling it over and over in your mind continually) on Scripture renews your mind to know God’s ways and prove what is good and acceptable in His sight.
- 2 Corinthians 1:3 reveals that God is… the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. When you’re grieving or hurting, God promises to be with you and comfort you.
- Philippians 4:6-7 encourages us, saying, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. We don’t have to be weighed down by anxiety, worry or fearful thoughts.
- When you don’t know what decision to make, Proverbs 3:5-6 says to Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be assured God will give you direction in every area of your life.
Bible study is so valuable! And there are many more benefits we can experience than the ones listed here. We just have to take the time to learn them and apply them to our lives.
Being consistent with Bible study and prayer is critical for making progress in your relationship with God. If you struggle with motivation or discipline in this area (as many people do), I want to encourage you to look into the study plans we have, like the 3030 Challenge, that can help you make this a daily habit.
God loves you so much And He has great things in store for you. Make a determined decision to draw closer to Him every day this year and enjoy the journey!