“If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”
Jeremiah 29:13 NLT
In my family, whenever we gather for a celebration, there’s always cake involved. And as an unofficial family tradition, I receive one of the four corner pieces of said cake (corner pieces have the most icing!). By the time I get to the dessert table, I know there’s a single corner piece off to the side, just for me. And just as I look forward to receiving what I consider to be the best part of a cake, God also desires our best.
“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.”
Proverbs 3:9 (NLT)
Although the holiday break was much needed, transitioning back to work after having two weeks off has been a struggle. After snoozing my alarms multiple times, I somehow still managed to make it to work each day with a few minutes to spare. However, my morning quiet time with God felt rushed. And one morning after only a few minutes in prayer, I remembered the saying, “You’re as close to God as you want to be.”
I believe God is concerned with our hearts and the quality of time we spend with Him. But I never want my time with God to be treated as an afterthought. He promises that when we seek Him, we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). If we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). I knew I needed to be more intentional in my time with God, no matter how amazing my bed felt at 6am.
Every January, I set the tone by giving God the first of my year. I do this by participating in praying and fasting. By giving God our firsts, we are showing Him that we honor Him and are committed to Him. I’m so excited to join my church and others in giving God my “corner piece of cake” and being more intentional in my relationship with Him. Here are 3 ways to do so:
- Make God a priority everyday. Before checking your phone, take time to thank God. There is no perfect way to spend time with God. But I find it most beneficial to spend time with Him before leaving home. It truly sets the tone for my day and gives me the peace I need to move forward. During my quiet time, God gives me perspective for the day ahead.
- Value your time with God. Although He desires our presence, we need God more than He needs us. Without our life source, we will become spiritually dehydrated. The jewels that come from connection with God are invaluable. Discernment, joy, peace and direction are powerful and necessary tools found in the presence of God.
- Make it a habit. As I mentioned, I like to devote the beginning of my year to fasting and praying. I believe it truly sets the tone for the new season and the months to follow. God loves being a priority; giving Him the first part of your year is so meaningful in His eyes. As you continue to spend time with God regularly, it will naturally become a part of your lifestyle.
Although fasting and praying can be done alone, I’m thankful for a godly community to share this experience with! If you desire to seek God intentionally and set the tone for 2019, here are a few resources I am participating in. All of them are available online.
- 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting with Church of the Highlands
- Daniel Fast with Mrs. B
- 2019 Journal Challenge with Heather Lindsey
As always, I am here to answer any questions you may have and to stand with you in prayer regarding anything you may be facing. If you would like a more detailed post about fasting, let me know in the comments below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!