By Karen Jurgens
A New Year. A fresh start. A clean slate. A blank page.
This sweet opportunity arrives only once a year. Now, more than ever, I realize how important it is to take advantage of setting the course of my life for the next twelve months.
How about you?
What goals are best for all of us to consider? Since we are beings composed of body, soul, and spirit, let’s target these three areas for maximum benefits as we enter a New Year.
Most likely, our physical bodies top the list in January. After holiday feasting, aren’t we anxious to take off those slices of pecan pie and other rich foods that have attached to our hips? I am a huge advocate of doing a cleanse now because not only does it reset our body chemistry, but we also reap tremendous spiritual benefits.
Want to reduce significantly your risk of cancer, stroke, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s? Fasting or calorie restriction can delay the onset of age-associate disease while increasing health span. (Unlike life span, your health span consists of healthy years before the beginnings of age-related disease.)
Many types of fasts are available to follow for lengths of time ranging from one to forty days, and from partial to complete. One of the most popular regimes is the Daniel Fast. Based on Daniel’s appeal to God when he was taken captive and led away to Babylon, this lasts 21 days and limits food choices to vegetables, fruits, and water. All meat, sweets, and other items are restricted, allowing the body to detox and reset.
Paired with prayer, an amazing benefit of fasting is the automatic blessing it pours into our spirits and souls. After all, don’t we need a time of recommitment and prayer to reset our spirits? When we fast partial or complete meals and replace them with prayer (the real soul food), the results are fantastic. Just as our physical bodies enjoy cleansing from sickness, chemicals, and disease, our spirit man does likewise from sin, iniquities, and bondage that only fasting can break.
What a power-packed combination!
Repentance, communion with God through prayer, and abiding in Jesus Christ, the living vine, through the power of the Holy Spirit will produce a fresh crop of new fruit in our lives.
In need physical healing? Taking communion on a daily basis releases God’s healing anointing and builds up your faith. As we partake of the body and blood of Christ, we affirm God’s blood covenants with mankind, especially for our salvation at the Cross. This practice is a powerful source of physical and spiritual healing that can radically change our lives.
Can it get much better?
You bet it can. Our brains drive us constantly, and we must demand an adjustment to what we allow to enter through our eye and ear gates. Wisely choose music, movies, the internet, and TV. Stay immersed in the Word and memorize scripture verses as much as possible. Our minds will find renewal in the Word’s pure water that washes us clean from the world’s stain. Following this recipe, our lives will reap peace by thinking and speaking wholesome thoughts and words.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if worthy of praise, dwell on these things (Philippians 4:8).
How about a list of some power-packed ideas, along with some helpful resources?
- Consider presenting a sacrifice of praise— a first fruits offering at the beginning of each day—with reading the Word (or a devotional) and prayer. One favorite is Lysa TerKeurst’s What Happens When Women Say Yes to God Devotional.
- Consider a 21-day Daniel Fast to cleanse the body. Find out more with The Daniel Detox by Dr. Don Colbert.
- Are you fighting a severe battle against the enemy? Learn spiritual warfare to break every yoke of Satan with Fasting for Breakthrough: Pray, Believe, Receive by John Eckhardt.
- The power of communion is amazing. Taken daily, it breaks sickness and bondage and draws you closer to the Lord through the Holy Spirit. A good resource is The Meal That Heals: Enjoying Intimate, Daily Communion with God by Perry Stone.
Writing Prompt: Write about the picture below. Where will you go this year?