I shared with you in November that fall is always a time of reflecting and anticipating what’s ahead for me. I take stock of the past year and prepare for the next by asking God to confirm what He wants my spiritual focus to be for the coming year.
2012 was rich. I loved the study He took me through on “Knowing God.” The verse He used to confirm that as my topic of study for the year was Hosea 6:3:
“Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”
Studying to know God more intimately involves: digging into His Word, studying His character, thinking about the ways He’s revealed Himself to us, recognizing the ways He’s worked in the past and is now working.
My study of knowing God has led me to a study of the Trinity.
I am currently enjoying working my way through Delighting in the Trinity, by Michael Reeves (Tim Challies has a helpful review here).
I’m slowly reading and thinking about each Scripture Reeves reference and jotting down my thoughts in my journal. This study will serve as my bridge from 2012 to 2013’s new spiritual focus.
This year I’ll be studying the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
I’ve never done a year-long study on the Holy Spirit and am excited to find out what God wants to teach me. He’s used several Scriptures to confirm this as my focus for study this year, but these in particular keep coming to mind:
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:26)
I want Him to teach me what He knows I need to learn. I desire to gain a greater knowledge of this often misunderstood member of the Trinity, not for the sake of cerebral accumulation . . . No!
I want to know Him more, so that I can love God more, walk in His ways, and be transformed into His likeness.
And that’s what the next Scripture states:
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
The Spirit is the One who brings the necessary transformation that I so desperately need.
I want Him to do that work. I desire to recognize and yield to the Spirit’s leading. I want to be conformed to His image and I want to learn to walk in the Spirit rather than following my natural tendencies or emotions:
“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)
I’ve gathered a few books that I plan to work through in conjunction with this year’s study:
God the Holy Spirit by Dr. Martyn Loyd Jones
Keep in Step with the Spirit by J. I. Packer
Communion with the Triune God by John Owen
Each has some fairly heavy content, and I hope to make it through all of them, but most of all, I hope to glean this year what God knows I need. He knows what He has in store for me, and I’m thankful that He’ll use what He’s leading me to study as a foundation for what He’ll bring into my life this year.
I’ve learned that in order to grow, I have to be seriously intentional in pursuing what God wants me to learn.
If I have good intentions, but take a laid-back approach, I can procrastinate and end up moving steadily backward—missing out on some good stuff God has for me. I want to “redeem” the short allotment of time I have here (Ephesians 5).
How about you?
Do you have a spiritual discipline you’re focusing on this year, or an aspect of God, a fruit of the Spirit, or a book of the Bible?
I’d love to hear from you and know what you’re studying and what God is teaching you.
I’d also love for you to send any book recommendations you have. Let’s dive into 2013 with a heart to learn what God knows we need!