Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
With the fresh start of a New Year, it’s a great feeling to visualize the year ahead as a “clean slate” ~ a brand new period of time in which we can aspire to achieve certain goals, a renewed time of enthusiasm and expectations. We look forward to the coming months with eager anticipation about what the next 365 days will bring.
The beginning of a New Year is also a good time to ask God to “clean house” in our hearts. As we seek God’s desire in our lives for the coming year, we should also ask Him to clean our hearts and renew our spirits. Perhaps there’s a build-up of sin in our lives that could hinder our efforts for Him. There could be bitterness lodged in the cracks and crevices. A thick coating of an unforgiving nature might be smothering our spirit. There might be harmful habits or relationships that should be purged. Or perhaps we are constantly replaying negative thoughts or lies in our minds that need to be erased. Regardless of what type of cleansing is necessary, God is well-equipped to handle it.
The same God who created the heavens and earth can create a clean heart in you. No matter how deep the “dirt” and “grime” might be in your life, your heavenly Father is capable of wiping it clean. So call on God for some “housekeeping services” as we begin the new year. Ask Him to create a clean heart in you. After the thorough heart cleansing, your spirit will be renewed, refreshed, revived and ready for action in the year ahead.
“In Pursuit of True Prosperity”
As we welcome 2010 today, many of us are facing a new year with hopeful anticipation that this new beginning will bring renewed prosperity. The past year continued with an unprecedented economic downturn, but we now see glimpses of recovery. Most all of us have been negatively affected in some way by the global recession, and we all hope for better times in the year to come. As I think about what prosperity means to me, I am reminded about a scripture passage I read recently which brought the term into a spiritual focus for me. “True Prosperity” can be summed up as simply the blessings of God upon my life. He knows every intimate detail about me and knows exactly what I need for a life of heaven-sent prosperity. God’s definition of prosperity is not the same as our human definition, however. His blessings upon us include peace, joy, faith, hope and love. They can also include favor, gifts and talents. No matter how he chooses to prosper us, His blessings are always superior to what we would glean from the world.
His word is very clear about His promise to prosper the lives of His children if we carefully follow all of His commands. It is also very clear about the consequences of our disobedience. Deuteronomy 30:2-3,9 NIV tells me, “..when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey Him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you…Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands…Then the LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous..” He even tells us how we can know what He commands of us: “what I am commanding is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach…No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.” Deuteronomy 30: 11,14
God has created each one of us with a unique purpose in mind. He will equip each of us to fulfill that purpose and to live a life of true prosperity, but we have to choose to obey Him in every area of our lives. After reading the above passage, I am prompted to examine my heart and soul and determine if I am fully committed to obedience to the LORD. As the New Year begins, I can’t think of a better time to perform some “house cleaning” and self-examination. I pray that I will start the year with a committed heart and soul, purged of worldly worries and encumbrances which crowd out space for God to fill me with the blessing of His glorious presence in my life. I pray that He will use me in mighty ways in 2010 for the glory of His kingdom. In doing so, I will know “true prosperity!”