As I thought recently about what I desired in this new year, the word that came to mind was “renewal.”
I like the Merriam-Webster dictionary’s definition of renewal: to make (something) new, fresh, or strong again; to make (a promise, vow, etc) again; to begin (something) again especially with more force or enthusiasm.
Those words can certainly be applied to my spiritual life. In this past year I’ve often felt weary, worn, and weak. Some days I felt I didn’t have the strength to go on.
But the good news is I have a God who can renew and refresh my spiritual life.
Here are verses that came to mind as I thought about that truth:
He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters. He refreshes and restores my life (my self)…(Psalm 23:2-3 AMP).
Renewal is not automatic. It’s necessary for me to get into a position to receive it from the Lord. And when I do, it’s wonderful.
If I want renewal, I need to cooperate as the Lord makes me lie down in green pastures. It’s vital to follow Him and spend time beside the still and restful waters. Those still and restful waters are connected to spending time with Him in prayer, praise, and meditating on His Word.
Too often I get busy, and I fail to take time for rest before Him. So instead of being renewed, I feel defeated, deflated, and for moments at a time despondent.
One goal I have for the new year is to seek times of renewal on a regular basis. Jesus did it, and so must I.
What often wears me out is when I start thinking like the world and like worldly Christians. But God gives me the cure for that.
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you] (Romans 12:2 AMP).
It’s amazing how quickly I can go downhill in my thinking, especially after someone is mean to me or a new trial presents itself.
Yet as I cry out to God for His truth amidst the lies my mind tries to tell me, I find refreshment, restoration, renewal.
I feel a closeness to God that cannot match any other pleasure.
How about you? Are you feeling worn, weary, and weak? Are you ready to receive renewal from the Lord? Cry out to Him for this wonderful gift that He is always eager to give.
The following song came from a friend in the midst of my crying out to the Lord to renew my soul. God is so good.
“Atmosphere of Heaven” by Grace Williams