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(13) When you search for me, yes, search for me with all your heart, you will find me.

Jeremiah 29:13

Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Time for another #shorts post.

Today’s post is inspired by a message I heard at church the other day. It wasn’t my usual church but one I was visiting only for that week. Of the various things I heard that day, one thing was that it’s time to “double your efforts” in 2022. That’s the message coming from the Holy Spirit lately, this church says.

And so this church is having a “double your efforts” campaign in 2022. That’s the goal for the year. The reason for the campaign is first off because of what the Holy Spirit is saying to this church. I was trying to think of other reasons for doing this in 2022, such as if you take out the zero, there are only ‘2s’ in 2022. But at the end of the day, only the Spiritual reasons matter. If the Holy Spirit is saying to double our efforts then it is what it is.

To double our efforts sounds good, right?? It would be great if we could all kick it into overdrive this year, and really make big strides toward our goals. But is it our goals that are really the most important?? Actually the goals we should work toward the hardest in 2022 are God’s goals.

See, there are many areas where we could double our efforts. Personal health goals, learning goals, financial goals … we could double efforts in all parts of life in 2022. But the most important area of all is our Spiritual growth goals, and having a deeper relationship with Jesus. So how can we do that?? That’s what the topic is for today’s short post.

Let’s Get Practical

Let’s start with the premise for any Spiritual work we do. If we seek God, He will turn to us too. If we try to get closer to Him He will get closer to us in turn.

(13) When you search for me, yes, search for me with all your heart, you will find me.

Jeremiah 29:13

That means any attempt to get closer to God or interact with Him in new ways is a good thing that God Blesses. It’s these repeated attempts that will get us closest to God.

Alright, so, how do we seek God?? In one sense we all have to listen to God ourselves and figure that out on an individual level. But here are a few proven, tested, and Biblical ways we all know of. And I will give an example practical, achievable goal for each area.

Prayer

Yes God knows our inner heart and mind. But if we want Him to be present in our lives, we have to talk to Him. Prayer is arguably the most important way we interact with God. Christians at all levels of Spiritual maturity who want to get closer to God are always on the right track with more prayer. As for the meaning and significance of prayer, that’s a huge topic of its own, so I’ll leave it alone for today.

Practical, achievable goal for 2022: An extra prayer session per day than normal

Fasting

Fasting is an excellent Spiritual activity, because we stimulate our Spiritual nature by abstaining from certain things of the world, which stimulate our flesh nature. Food and drinks are the most common things to fast from, but we can also fast from everything really. We can abstain from entertainment like video games and TV, sex, social media … all kinds of things. If we make a deliberate choice to abstain from certain things of the world for a time, and explore our Spiritual nature during that time through prayer and so on, we can make great progress in Spiritual growth during that time.

Practical, achievable goal for 2022: One fast of at least 14 days per season of the year (4 fasts total)

God’s Word

The Bible is perhaps the easiest way to hear from God. Many people say they never hear anything from God, but if you question them on that and it turns out they don’t read the Bible … well, there’s the problem!!** If you want to hear from God but don’t read the Bible, open the Book up today, because that’s a main way God speaks.

**I know there are also people who do read the Bible, yet don’t hear from God. So it’s not at all my intent to call people who don’t hear God’s voice “lazy” or anything like that. No, I would never say that.

Practical, achievable goal for 2022: Use the Bible app (etc.) to start a long-term daily Bible reading plan, and stick to it. If you already do that, use the app (etc.) to start shorter plans on top of your main plan, and keep doing that for the year.

Fellowship

We become like the people we hang out with. We imitate those we spend time with. If we want to get better at smoking pot and playing video games, if that’s where we want to grow, we must hang out with people who do that. In the same way, if we want to grow in Christianity, we need to spend time with other Christians who read the Bible and go to church.

When it comes to Christian Spiritual growth, there’s a lot we can do on our own. A whole lot. And sometimes it’s best for us to have alone time, to have “wilderness time” like Jesus did. Sometimes God is actually the one who isolates us. But that isolation doesn’t last forever. Christianity is a social Spiritual path and we’re called to bring the message to others and be good to everyone. We are also called to fellowship with other Christians; it’s a big part of practicing our Faith. In 2022, Christians without a church should find one. Christians who already have one should get more involved in it.

Practical, achievable goal for 2022: Get more involved at a church (join a church group, Bible study, etc.)

Who’s on Board??

The list is short and maybe too simplistic. But the thing is at the end of the day, we all have to feel out what’s best on our own journey with God toward a deeper relationship.

As for non-Spiritual goals, it’s good and even Righteous to have goals for other areas of life like health goals or financial goals. But the most important goals to work on are our Spiritual goals. And this is where we must double our efforts in 2022.

If we have a healthy Spiritual life, everything else will fall into place. Remember Matthew 6:33—desire first the Kingdom of God (a Spiritual goal), and all else will be added to us as needed.

(33) Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:33 (CEB)

So, will you also join in this challenge to double your (Spiritual) efforts in 2022?? Ask yourself this one question: How will you double your efforts in 2022??

Think on it, pray on it, make some goals … and let’s all get to work together!!

That’s it for #shorts Part 48.

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Until next time, be strong and do good!!

Your new best friend in Christ,

99:9

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