by Andrew Cromwell
The new year is the time to make resolutions, set goals and revisit life plans. It's the time to shed those extra pounds, get your finances back in shape and generally get your house in order. But in the midst of the normal fitness, financial and family goals we all set as the calendar flips to 2017, let me suggest a spiritual goal that has the potential to kick your new year up to a whole new level.
This year, purpose to listen and respond to the still small Voice of Father God. It is amazing how often God speaks to us and we don't recognize it. God wants to take your life and elevate it to a whole new level filled with joy and divine purpose. The key is listening and obeying.
We have all had the experience of someone who we normally don't see everyday coming to our mind out of the blue and then within a matter of days we run into them or hear news about them. Often we chalk this up to a coincidence, but more often than not, God was speaking to us. Most often, He wants to use us to communicate His love and care to the person, other times He wants us to pray or even share a message from heaven with them.
These "impressions" generally come to us when we are thinking about something else entirely. One of the clues that God might be talking to us is that our mind is actually going in another direction and His Voice communicates something that is not in line with those thoughts. When we pause and say to ourselves, "that's weird", we should then ask the question, "Am I inspired to do something loving, caring or considerate?" If the answer is "yes", then you should very quickly pick up the phone, write a card, get on your knees in prayer or jump in the car to go visit.
The great thing about this is that you can't go wrong. You see, loving on people is always a "God-thing". Even if you make a mistake and that particular impression was not actually God's Voice, but the bad pizza from the night before, what's the worst that can happen? You have simply fulfilled God's commandment to love your neighbor. Not too bad.
And when you get it right, when it actually is a "God-thing," then look out! You will be amazed at the impact that a simple word of love and kindness can have when it is delivered on God's timing. Never underestimate how powerful of a tool you can be for heaven if you will only be willing to follow God's Spirit.
So this year, purpose to listen and obey. It will change everything.
Now, if you're not sure God speaks to you, my advice is this. First, make sure you have invited Him to! Tell God you want to follow Him and you want to hear Him speak to you. Ask Him to fill you with His Spirit so that His still small Voice can interrupt your agenda whenever He wants. Second, trust that He will speak! God promises you and I that when we are His children we will hear His voice (John 10:4). Finally, have fun seeing what God will do through you!