It’s a new year filled with new opportunities, new plans, and new promises. Maybe you’re going into this year excited. Maybe 2018 was great, and you’re looking forward to what God has in store for the new year. Maybe it was hard, and you just don’t know if you can muster up any hope that things will get better in 2019. Wherever you are, the start of a new year is an invitation to experience refreshing. It is an opportune time to allow God to purify your heart by exchanging what is old for new.
“Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” Matthew 9:17 ESV.
Seasons of pruning are not always the easiest seasons to be in. They require you to allow God to trim away things that are dead so that you might bear more fruit in a future season. If you find yourself in a time of pruning today, be encouraged. God is preparing your life to be the vessel of the new wine He desires to bring out of you. He is making you new.
There are many areas where pruning might be necessary in your life. I encourage you to set aside time to evaluate these areas of your life. Invite God into the process, asking the Holy Spirit for wisdom on what His way is for you right now.
The start of a new year is a great time to sit down and look at all the things on your plate, all of the ways you are expended in different directions. Are you invested in the right places, or are there some things it might be time to let go of? Is there anything you need to lay down to better care for yourself and the people around you? Is there anything God is nudging you towards that you should grab hold of?
Our investment in others is a huge way that God uses us but also fuels us. Are your relationships life giving? Are there any relationships you need to reevaluate or redefine? Are you nurturing your significant relationships and giving attention to the ones that have been uniquely placed in your life?
3. Goals and Dreams
As you grow and learn and listen to God, sometimes your goals and dreams may shift slightly or pivot in different directions. Is there any goal you have for yourself that you might need to revisit? Have you given space to allowing God to create and shape dreams within you? How do the dreams you have for your life fit with where you are right now?
There are plenty of other things God could be wanting to do a work of pruning in order to do a new thing: finances, hobbies, health, etc. I encourage you to allow His love to continually make you new this year. He takes us into greater degrees of glory, giving us fresh outpourings of His spirit, renewed intimacy with Him, depths of joy, and the reaping of a harvest. Let this new year be a year of saying yes to being made new.
God, I lay all my life before you, and I say come and have Your way in everything You want to. Show me what You have for me, what I need to change, and what Your best is for me. Teach me to let You have all control, and take my life and make it Your own. I trust You. Amen.
Author | Kalli Drake