“Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?” Zechariah 7:3b
For years the Israelites had observed fasts for special days in their history that God had not commanded them to observe. Though commendable, they were to be willing to adjust their disciplines to make sure they were doing what God had commanded with the right heart attitude.
Sometimes our spiritual disciplines can become habits without heart. In light of the new year, we need to ask ourselves: Is my walk with the Lord in need of some fine tuning and freshness? Am I in a rut spiritually? Am I just going through the motions? Am I settling for a form of godliness? In strengthening the fundamentals of my Christian life, do I need to adjust certain particulars?
Below are some questions that may help you identify areas you need to adjust in your life:
My Bible Reading
- Should I read the Bible all the way through in one year’s time by reading three chapters per day?
- Should I read a chapter in Proverbs per day?
- What about a Proverb, five Psalms and a chapter in Acts each day for a month?
- What about two Old Testament chapters and one New Testament chapter per day?
- What about mastering one book of the Bible by reading it through each day for one month? Then, a new book the next month throughout the year.
- What about reading the New Testament through—one, two, or three chapters per day?
- What about one chapter per day in a book with close to thirty chapters?
My Prayer Life
- Should I spend more time giving thanks?
- Do I need to update my prayer list?
- Do I have a definite time planned for prayer?
- Do I need to get involved in a prayer meeting?
- Have I taken the time to write down some past known answers to my prayers?
- What about studying the subject of prayer? Listening to some sermons on prayer? Asking others about how God has answered their prayers?
- What about attending a prayer retreat? Or taking a day or two to get alone with God to pray and think through some things?
- What about a prayer and fasting time when I skip a meal(s) to pray?
- What about seeking out a prayer partner to pray with and to help hold me accountable?
- Should I write some people and let them know that I am praying for them by name?
- Am I willing to memorize some verses on prayer?
- What can I do to start or strengthen my family altar? New time? Involvement of other family members? Read the great stories of the Bible? Change the tone or spirit?
My Church Attendance
- Do I see the wisdom of faithful church attendance for myself and my family? Am I obeying God in this matter?
- Do I put forth my best effort to attend as much as I possibly can? Do I let unimportant things stand in my way or make excuses?
- Should I attend more services? Attend more regularly the ones I presently attend?
- Are my children developing the rewarding lifelong habit of faithful church attendance? What am I giving them to take from my home to give to their children? Should I attend special meetings in my church more often?
- Should I change my attitude toward church and do a better job of planning ahead to attend?
- Do I need a notebook to write sermon notes in? What about my children? Are they paying attention? Are they needlessly going in and out of the services? Do I need to rearrange our seating order?
- Should I participate more in the services? Singing from my heart? Giving out of my heart? Listening with my heart?
- Should I invite others to attend more often?
- Is there someone at church I need to reconcile with? A past grievance I need to give to God and move on with? Someone I need to forgive and trust to the Lord?
- How long has it been since I told someone how he or she can know the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Saviour?
- Could I be more soul-conscious? Carry gospel tracts with me? Participate in church visitation efforts? Keep a prayer list of unsaved people I am working with?
- Should I start a Bible Study at work? In my neighborhood?
- What about writing a gospel tract?
- Should I start putting tracts in my correspondence and on tables with my tips? What other venue comes to mind?
- Am I willing to talk to a visitor about the Lord? Work the altar during invitation time? Take a class on soulwinning?
- Should I seek a renewed burden from the Lord for my unsaved loved ones?
- Do I know that my immediate family members have professed faith in the Lord? Followed Him in baptism?
- Should I keep a better record of my family’s spiritual life? (dates of professions of faith, baptisms, church membership, baby dedications, surrender of life, etc.)
- Do I understand that all things come from and belong to God in my life?
- Should I become a tither by conviction?
- Should I give regular offerings above God’s tithe?
- Should I give to Faith Promise Missions?
- Should I put forth more direct effort to teach my children Biblical stewardship principles?
- Is God in His kindness to me forcing my hand to deal with a financial situation that must be addressed with faith and boldness?
- Should I take a class on money management? Am I living on a budget? Do I need to talk to a counselor?
- Should I offer to teach others how to honor the Lord and have victory in this area?
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what areas you need to fine tune and then purpose to do so.