This morning as I was laying Lily down for her nap I blew her a kiss and said, “I love you.” She smiled up at me and put her hand on her mouth. It was the first time she’d blown (tried to) a kiss to me, and it floored me. That little one year old girl is so small, but she moves my heart with a force that surprises me.
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
– Zephaniah 3:17
Aside from jokes and one failed attempt, I’ve never really done the New Year’s Resolution thing. Maybe it’s a commitment problem. After all, I’ve often said, “I’m afraid of spelling ‘commitment’.” Maybe it’s a dumb game humans play to make life harder. :o) I’m sure you could find a blog out there somewhere that would agree with your opinion. Whatever the case is I avoid them, but yesterday I was talking to Beth. Beth is the smartest person I know. She suggested a theme and set off my thinking train. Let’s make this year a call to real Christianity. I like that.
I’m going to make this official. My resolution is to live out real Christianity. I want to impress God. I want to move His heart like little Lily move’s mine.
So what does that look like? What impresses God?
I think the answer just like Christianity itself is very simple. Humans make it confusing at times, but it isn’t. I’ll tell you what impresses God–how you can move Him. You can live out relational obedience. Obey Him because you know Him and love Him not because you have to do it.
What does God expect and want? 1. Obedience more than sacrifice and 2. relationship more than a bunch of effort. It all comes down to heart motive. Real Christianity is not a list of things to do nor a call to constant misery, but it is also not a fluffy waste of time. Our God is real. He is in fact the one true God, and He has real interactions with us. He speaks to us! He loves us with a real tangible love. Along with this, He has a right on our lives. When He speaks He deserves absolute obedience from the heart–the way Bekah says, “Ok, Daddy!” She obeys because she loves me not because she’s afraid.
So that’s it. I’m making it my goal to obey God even if it hurts because He deserves it, but at the same time to have the right perspective of just being His friend rather than seeing how much I can do do do.
Simple. Let’s do it!
Happy New Year 2013 from your missionaries, the Sewells! We love you all.
By the way —
My favorite New Year’s joke: “My New Year’s Resolution this year is 1600 by 900 which is way better than my old resolution of 1024 by 768.”
My only attempt at a New Year’s Resolution: In 2002 my brother, Nathan, and I vowed to not drink soda for a year. I made it to the following day’s lunch.