"I am more loving, peaceful, joyful, patient, kind and gentle than I was last year" (Anderson, 2013).
Today, as we prepare for the new year, are you able to reflect on the words above with a smile on your face, knowing them to be true? Most of us can honestly say we are more "loving, peaceful, joyful, patient, kind and gentle" than we were a year ago. Is it enough? What if we can say it, but know it could be more, or better? How about just simply wanting to make sure we can say it again next year?
Growth is defined as the process of increasing in value or importance; the process of developing or maturing; something that is growing or has grown. Growth is an action that is constant, ever happening. We are to grow up in all things, into Christ (Ephesians 4:15), and keep growing. No where does scripture tell us we will be done growing; it is to be ongoing, continual.
If we are not growing we are stagnant; having no current or flow, resulting in an unpleasant smell. To be stagnant is to be lukewarm; neither hot or cold, unenthusiastic. God is crystal clear how he feels about being stagnant, or lukewarm (Zephaniah 1:12, Revelation 3:16).
Are you prepared for growth in the upcoming year? Evaluate this past year, what has worked for you, and what has not; evaluating your armor (Ephesians 6:13-18). Keep the things that worked, supported growth and the fruits of the spirit, throw away the rest. Set yourself up for success in the upcoming year. Once you have discovered your armor, evaluate it every morning. Look at the previous day, keep what worked, and throw away what didn't; growth, constant & every happening.
I start my day with God's Word and prayer. Below is my prayer for the new year, my prayer for growth, followed by my personal scripture armor. This is ever changing, growing, set to increase my relationship with God, to increase my value in Christ, and improve my fragrance.
May each of you have a New Year full of growth!
~Prayer for Growth~
Thank You for the changes in my life. Thank You for my family, my complete circle of a family. Thank You for the multiple healings of the flesh. Now I ask for an emotional and spiritual healing Father. I need Your help. Help me to unbelieve all I have been taught which does not align with Your word. Keep Your words ever present in my mind, so I may present my body, myself as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to You (Romans 12:1). I pray Father You would keep my eyes ever towards You and I boldly ask you to pluck my feet out of the snare (Proverbs 25:15). I ask You to break my old patterns, and habits and create new, healthy, habits which are pleasing to You. Remind me in my weakness (addiction) I am made strong in You (2 Cor 12:10). I ask Lord for You to break all bonds of addiction, and that I would not substitute anything in its place. I ask Father to walk in the spirt, so I will not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Gal 5:16).
Protect my mind and thoughts from the evil one, and always keep it present in my mind to take every thought captive to the obedience of You (2 Cor 10:5), to not compromise, but to focus on the bigger plan; to color inside the lines of victory. Draw my mind to whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of that which is of virtue and praiseworthy; that I would think on these things (Philippians 4:8). I am not my own; I am Yours! My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, which resides in me, a gift from God (1 Cor 6:19), help me to show my body the respect it deserves as the temple of the Holy Spirit, and treat it as such. As I desire the things I should not do, remind me that even though I can do anything, not all things are beneficial, or constructive (1Cor 10:23, 6:12a), for I will not be mastered by anything of this world (1 Cor 6:12b).
Finally, Father, I ask that you show me my armor daily (Eph. 6:13-18). Show me what I need to implement into my armor to be successful, and what needs to be removed. Show me how to stand strong in You; to not be knocked down. Remind me, I am dead to sin and alive to You through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:11), and my heart’s desire is to be the fragrance of Christ, pleasing to You (2 Cor 2:15).
I am so grateful Lord for all that you have done in me. I am so humbled by the growth You show me, and the way You use me. Thank You Father! Thank You for all that You have done, are doing, and about to do!
I love You!
In Jesus’ Name,
16I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. 23Against such there is no law.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
2 Corinthians 10:5
…bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
1 Corinthians 6:19
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?