“But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.” [James 5:12]

So, I know that this is part of the Christmas Break blog series, but I need you to rewind with me a little bit to Thanksgiving Break. Over Thanksgiving Break this past semester, the Lord convicted me of some things in my life. I know that the word conviction can seem a little scary, but I actually think that conviction is one of the best things that the Lord does for us.

When God convicts us of something, it is drenched in His powerful, gentle love. It means that He sees us. He sees that we are not living in His fullness, His complete goodness. And because He loves us so much, He is willing to correct us. He loves us enough to show us what He has for us and to point us into the direction of His love and more of His glory. Conviction always, always, always means that He has something better, something more for us. So even though conviction can sometimes be hard, there is a part of me that yearns for the Lord’s correction because it means that there is even more of Him in store for me.

So, what did the Lord convict in my heart over Thanksgiving Break? God, in such a sweet and gentle way, reminded me that the good things that He has for me won’t happen on accident. See, there are a lot of good things that I am convinced that God has for me in this life. Things, situations, outcomes that are promised.

But here’s the thing. I can’t only sit and wait for these things to happen. I have to partner with God in what He has in store for me. Now, I’m not saying that I force these things to happen outside of God. What I am saying is that I create space in my life for these things to happen. Now, what does that look like practically?

First, I absolutely believe it begins with prayer. Simply asking God for what you hope for. Asking for His vision, His heart behind it. Asking for Him to create ways for you to partner with Him. Asking for motivation to do these things. Pray pray pray!!!

But then I think it looks like creating space. Let’s say that you’ve really been hoping and praying for community. Invite someone to go get dinner. See someone in Bolton who you’ve thought you could be good friends with? Go ask to sit with them. I know it may be hard. You may be scared of rejection. You may think everyone has all their friends. But ya know what? Do it anyway. Look past the face of fear and into the eyes of God, and in the reflection of His eyes you will see His love for you, every reason in the world why you should put yourself out there. Because you’re worth the risk.

And this is just one example partnering with God. Do you want better health? Go to the gym even if you’re not quite sure how to figure out the equipment. Want to be better about spending time with the Lord each day? Read your Bible even if it’s been months. God isn’t mad at you; rather, He’ll be thrilled to spend that time with you and will meet you there.

Living intentionally is so much better than hoping to stumble into the good things that God has for you. It can be hard. It can be risky. It requires energy. But here God will meet you. He will surprise you with things better than you have ever hoped or dreamed for.

In the spirit of the New Year, over the next few days, the Freshley staff will be writing about how to live intentionally in different areas of your life. How to give purpose to the big and small parts of your life. And how to do this in a way that is practical to you.

So, going into this new year, this new semester, is there a part of your heart or your life that God is convicting you of? Ask Him how you can partner with what He has for you in those areas of your life. Is there something that you’ve been hoping and praying for? What steps can you take to allow God to move in that area of your life?

-Hannah

Pray

God, I thank You that You convict me. I thank You that You care about me enough to ask me to partner with You in things that might be hard. Lord, show me where You want to move in my life. I ask that You’ll show me how I can partner with You in these things. Give me a spirit of self control and perseverance. I love You!! Amen.