What were you doing a year ago today? How about three years ago today? That’d be December 2007. More importantly, what did you anticipate the coming year looking like?

Chances are, it was nothing like what you thought it’d be.

From a move, to job change, to an unexpected loss, to an unexpected gain, it’s safe to say nothing about your life is static. Or predictable.

That’s why New Year’s resolutions are futile to me.

Think about it. “I’m going to make a concrete decision for my life based upon my complete lack of knowledge for what lies ahead.” No wonder so many people don’t last more than a few days with their New Year’s intentions.

As Christians, however, we have something the rest of the world doesn’t. A glimpse into the future. Or better put, a relationship with the One who knows the future.

So rather than guess, rather than come up with yet another well intended idea that ultimately has very little sticking power, I’m planning on spending the first 1/10th of my year seeking the Lord. As has been my custom for the last few years, I’m altering my lifestyle, starving certain appetites in order to cultivate my appetite for God. Scripture calls this fasting. I call this needed for sanity.

Here are a few of my steps toward sanity:

Food – Changing my diet. Not only am I cutting out needless foods that are ultimately harmful to my body (let’s be honest here), but forcefully saying no to my cravings in order to reaffirm my spirit’s hunger of God.

Sleep – Saying no to the pillow. Sleep is good. Important. And needed. And I’m an American who gets too much. So I’m setting a new wake-up time during the week in order to seek the Lord more intentionally, and to be more productive with the morning hours as a good steward before God.

Media – I’m a product of what rules me. Putting my iPhone downstairs instead of beside me is a good place to start. Technology is wonderful. And addicting. But if it’s not serving my walk with Jesus right now, it goes. Because if I’m listening to all those other voices, I’m probably not listening to His voice.

Along with making myself accountable with the specifics to a few close friends, I’m joining my church for our annual “40 Days of Breakthru” in simply seeking the Lord for more of Him. It’s good to do things individually, but it’s exciting to do things corporately. Knowing that my willful cultivation to seek the Lord for the next 40 days is happening in conjunction with hundreds of other believers in my community is awesome. And encouraging.

The goal is not to eliminate or change behavior for change’s sake, but to do so with the mind of bending our naturally occurring and inescapable tendencies toward the divine. ch:

If you feel bold enough to comment, what is one specific thing you know is standing between you and hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit more clearly this year? And what are you doing proactively to address it?


Rachel · 31 Dec ’10 at 1:29 pm

I feel like God is calling me to enter into a period of fasting…
Since I have never done one before, it should be interesting. I am positive that food blocks me from hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, for the first 40 days of 2011, I have decided to fast from any processed product that doesn’t come directly from the land.
Praying for God’s guidance as I enter into this time and that He would reveal himself to me in a new and fresh way… 😀

God’s blessings to you and yours in 2011!!!

    Christopher Hopper · 31 Dec ’10 at 2:02 pm

    You’re spot on; it most certainly does for me anyways. A return to naturally occurring foods is a tremendous thing. I know He’ll become more alive to you in the weeks ahead.

Costa · 31 Dec ’10 at 7:33 pm

December 2007 I was in Li Jiang, Yunnan, China! And planning on being there for 10 more YEARS! Wow…Wonderfully written!

    Christopher Hopper · 31 Dec ’10 at 7:41 pm

    Wow, that IS amazing! Incredible how 3 years can change something. Looking forward to what this year has for you bro!

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