“‘Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.’” — John 15:4 (NKJV)
Winter is a time when we make plans for the rest of the year. Our slate seems as clean as freshly fallen snow. The crisp, cool air is refreshing and makes us feel that we can do things right this year.
Of course, by the time we hit March, all bets are off. We may have decided our goals are unreachable, no fun, or just plain wrong. “Maybe next year,” we tell ourselves. “This year is just a warmup.” Or maybe by springtime we’re so busy we can’t even remember our goals for the year.
So this year, I want to keep it simple. My goal, my hope, my desire is simply to focus on God, to be aware of His presence every day.
If this brings to mind visions of just sitting and staring, well, there might be moments like that, and that’s okay. God uses that quiet time to work in us and to grow us in our relationship with Him.
But I’ve also seen that when we focus on God, He can then turn our gaze toward someone He wants us to help, or a way for us to grow, or something He knows we would enjoy doing — all of this led by His Spirit, not by our flesh.
Making it my goal to be aware of God every day may sound simple. But it’s powerful too. Imagine how amazing each day would be, with such an awareness that God is there. We “know” He is there. But how often do we get distracted and forget, or don’t think about His presence with us? How often do we believe the lies of the enemy and our own mind that He has neglected us?
Looking forward to the days ahead in this year, I can’t think of a better way to end each day than with the overflowing awareness that God is here. It makes me feel better right now, just thinking about it.
Sure, there are things I’d love to do this year, adventures I want to explore, and so much more. But if I end the year having done none or little of that, yet having spent each day aware that the King of kings is with me, it will have been a year filled with life beyond measure. With that simple goal in my heart, this is a year I want to enjoy experiencing.
God, I want to be aware of Your presence every day this year. Help me stay focused on You, always. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Thought for the Day
What is your one simple yet life-giving goal in your relationship with God this year?
Copyright © 2020 by Janet Eriksson
Janet Eriksson is an intercessor, writer, and teacher in Dahlonega, Georgia. She loves conversation with friends, front porch swings, sweet tea, and spending time on lakes and rivers. The author of nine books and editor of many more, Janet blogs and teaches at Adventures with God. She enjoys volunteering with Transformations. Janet received her M. Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary.