Have you set your New Year’s Resolutions? Whether you are trying to stop drinking, stop overeating, stop spending, stop mindlessly scrolling through social media, or binge-watching shows… whatever you’re “resolving” to do more of or less of this year, what if one thing alone could help you with all these other things? Wendy Speake shares about that one thing in the post below.
On a recent episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective podcast, I chatted with Wendy about how to LOVE God’s word. If you’re a Bible-believer, but not really a Bible-reader, you’ll want to listen to this podcast as Wendy shares how to feast on the word of God.
Wendy will lead her annual 40 Day Sugar Fast beginning TODAY! Read more about that below.
Be sure to read to the end for a special 2 book giveaway!
(If there are affiliate links in this post, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you)).
Limit Your New Year’s Resolutions to “One Thing Alone”
By Wendy Speake
Sitting down to talk with Dr. Michelle Bengtson is always a joy, whether we are face-to-face as friends or recording a podcast over the phone. In the last months of 2022 I had the pleasure of getting to do both! And so, it is especially sweet to be a guest on her blog as we head into 2023.
However, this isn’t my first time sharing a hope-filled perspective at the start of a brand-new year. In January 2021, I told you all that I didn’t need another resolution, but a revolution. Here’s what I wrote: A New Year’s Revolution: The 40 Day Sugar Fast
“Resolution is too small a word for all that’s on my heart at the start of another year. It lacks power, because resolutions are rooted in my resolve to do better. And I often fail at better. No matter how hard I try to read the Bible more consistently and drink more water and say no to sweets and limit the amount of time I spend on Facebook and increase the amount of time I spend on the treadmill… I rarely make it past January 10th transformed. Though I am desperate to be transformed.
I don’t need another resolution… and I don’t need more resolve. What I need is more of Jesus. Not a resolution that I make, but a revolution that He makes… in me. Christ in me, revolting against me in this world. His power revolutionizing my weakness. His transforming purpose prevailing over all my plans in the new year. What I need this next year is a total Jesus-revolution, way down deep in my fibers. Down in my habits too; my eating and my drinking and my shopping and the time I spend on social media. I need Jesus’ strength revolting against all of the areas of my life where I’ve been too weak for far too long!
My weakness stops me from turning resolutions into a reformed life. But the revolution power of Christ reforms and transforms me day-by-day-by-day, for 365 days as I learn to seek Him first.”
That One Thing Alone
Two years later… and I keep coming back to the same revolutionary idea of Christ in me having the power to change me more than my resolve ever will. Not another diet, and certainly not my commitment to do better or be better, but Christ at the forefront of my days, reshaping me day-by-day, as I spend time with Him in His transforming Word.
John 17:17 promises that when we spend time with God in His Word… He does a supernatural, sanctifying work in our lives. To sanctify means that He sets us apart as Holy, and wholly different than we once were! Isn’t that why we set resolutions in the first place? To transform and become better? Perhaps even more Christlike?
Unfortunately, most of us don’t spend that sanctifying, transformative time with God in our Bibles. We’re Bible believers, but not Bible readers — at least not consistently. And so, we look for short-cuts to get us all fixed up. We diet and exercise, we limit what’s bad and up our intake of what’s good. Limiting sugar and increasing our veggies, when what we really need is ingesting more of Jesus.
Whether you are trying to stop drinking, stop overeating, stop spending, stop mindlessly scrolling through social media, or binge-watching shows… whatever you’re “resolving” to do more of or less of this year, one thing alone will help you with all these other things.
More time with God in His transforming Word.
When you increase your intake of God’s sanctifying Word, eating up His refining instructions and savoring His loving nearness, then put your Bible reading into practice with the help of His Holy Spirit, you will have a JESUS REVOLUTION occur in your life. Jesus revolting against what’s not Holy in you.
No self-willed resolution can accomplish that!
I’m reminded of the story of Mary and her resolved sister Martha.
Martha was distracted with all of her goals. Purposing to do her best and serve her Lord, Martha was well-intentioned but so stressed out that she ended up with a grumbling heart. In the end, Martha didn’t need her sister’s help as much as she needed her Savior’s help. And we do too. Jesus told Martha what He’s telling us today —we must keep our time with Him at the forefront of our days, for the next 365 days and well beyond.
Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried / anxious / concerned / distracted with many things. But only one thing alone is necessary, and Mary has chosen it” (Luke 10:41-42, paraphrase).
What had Mary chosen? Mary chose to sit at Jesus’ feet and ingest His Words. Instead of working to get things done, she was resting in God’s presence. And in the process… He was getting things done in her. Instead of making food, she was eating up every word that Jesus spoke. That doesn’t mean that there wasn’t work to do — it simply means that Mary started with the most important work, which wasn’t work at all.
In Matthew 6:33 we are exhorted to, “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be given to you as well.”
My dear friends, at the start of this new year, let me encourage you to prioritize time with God in His Word over all of your resolutions and before any other work. It’s very likely that you have many important things to do this year but be sure to keep your eyes on finding Jesus in His Word. Seek first that “one thing alone,” and all those other things will likely fall into their rightful place as well.
The importance of fasting (and the Annual 40 Day Sugar Fast)
If you are simply too busy to be consistent in your Bible reading, consider starting the year with some simple fast. Set down something temporary and ordinary in order to feast on God’s eternal and extraordinary Word. Whether you shut down your social media apps in an effort to get social with the Lord or fast from sugar in order to get hungry for God’s sweet Word, fasting helps to enliven our Spiritual taste buds!
As a matter of fact, I will be leading my annual 40 Day Sugar Fast beginning January 9th. Find out more and sign up today at 40daysugarfast.com
When those fasting days come to an end, we will be rolling into The 40 Day Feast, another daily devotional that will help us to get hungry and stay hungry for God’s Word above all else! Join us at wendyspeake.com.
About Wendy Speake
Wendy Speake is author and host of The 40-Day Sugar Fast, The 40-Day Social Media Fast, along with the companion resource, The 40-Day Fast Journal: A Journey to Spiritual Transformation. Her newest book,The 40-Day Feast: Taste and See the Goodness of God’s Word, invites readers to get hungry for God’s Word then equips them to taste and see how good it is. Wendy is also co-author of the popular parenting books, Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New.
In conjunction with this post and the podcast interview How To Love God’s Word – Episode 195, Wendy Speake is giving away a free copy of two of her books, The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation and The 40-Day Feast: Taste and See the Goodness of God’s Word.
Leave a comment below sharing how feasting on God’s Word might actually help you with every other resolution on your list and you will be entered into the contest for your chance to win a copy of her book.
You could also share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing.
The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, January 16, 2023, here on this post. Continental United States only.