Written on the Heart
I used to be a crazy type A, set a goal for every part of my life, perfectionist around New Year's. But ever since I gave my heart over to Christ, I have taken a new approach. I empty myself and I wait and listen to see what God wants me to do or become in the coming year.
In the week between Christmas and New Year's I take time to fast and pray and reflect to prepare for the new year. The type of fasting I do is usually a combination of fasting from worldly music, movies, books, media, technology use and other entertainment plus some form of physical fasting. One year I did three 24hr fasts in a row with one small meal in between the 24hr fasting periods. Another year I ate only very plain food. Some years I have done a juice fast. These physical and media fasts are my way of prioritizing the spiritual world instead of the physical and material world. While I fast I pray to know what God would have me do or become in the next year. I pray to know how I can better serve him in all I do.
I also meditate while I fast and pray on all the wonderful things the Lord has done in my life. I give thanks to him for his boundless mercies. Much like Mary after giving birth to Jesus, who pondered the things that had passed in her heart. I too ponder the mercy and grace of the Lord.
Lastly, during this week while I prepare for the New Year, I pray that my heart will be cleansed to become a worthy vessel for the Lord's Spirit. I pray for my heart to be changed by the pure love of God. I consecrate my heart and life to God's service. I read Jeremiah 31:33 where is says, "this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people."
I want to have God's laws written in my heart. That is why Jesus came, to establish the higher law and provide a way to be born again.
I read Ezekiel 36:26 where it says, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh."
I pray for the stony heart within me to be removed and to be replaced with a heart of flesh.
In this week, I try to be attentive to the still small voice of the Spirit, to the gentle stirrings within to heart. I try to perceive what changes God is making in my heart and what new actions I am being led to take.
What stirrings are awakening in your heart? What can you do to yield your heart to God this year?