The Privileged Life: Back to the Basics with Jesus

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And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

Out with the new, in with the old!

Um, wait…we’re in a new year. We’re supposed to take on new challenges to achieve new growth, new productivity, new health, and a new “you” in the bargain. The old ways are supposed to be left in the rearview mirror. 

But three weeks from now, how “new” and “improved” will you feel? Most people give up on these pinky-promises to themselves pretty quickly.

I had some grand plans for 2022. But distractions and interruptions—good and bad—competed for my time and attention. My wish list flattened under the steamroller of real life. Did you have the same experience?

What I’d really like is a do-over of last year, without the problems. And I’m just too tired to make any new resolutions. Instead, I hope to take this post-holiday, wintry-weather time to rest, recharge, and reboot…to get back to the basics of my relationship with Jesus. It will mean digging deeper into who Christ is and how I’m to follow Him. 

Want to join me in returning to the foundations of our faith?

  • First, let’s explore Christ’s story in the Bible, starting with the book of John. I recommend journaling prayers to Him, using the powerful words of Scripture. (See books by authors Jodie Berndt and Stormie O’Martian for great examples on how to pray through the Scriptures.) 
  • Next, let’s pray for His Holy Spirit to speak to us as we study. With the Spirit’s illumination and inspiration, God’s word becomes sharper than a two-edged sword, penetrating to the depths of our soul. Let’s ask Him to sharpen us in the process, calling us to repentance and renewal.
  • Last, we’ll start a list of possible goals for a healthier spiritual life—and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in whittling these down to just one or two objectives for the year. These will be the resolutions that really count.

After some in-depth reflection on Christ, I hope to come away with a better understanding of Jesus, His deity, and why/how my life should be devoted to worshipping Him. Maybe you will, too.

Here’s the very first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism: “What is the chief end of man? To glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” We all need to know how best to glorify and enjoy God forever, but especially in 2023. I have a hunch it will mean getting back on track with God’s truth. 

The prophet Jeremiah gave us a great promise when he recorded these words from the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls….” (Jeremiah 6:16)

So, Happy New Year! May you find rest for your soul as you begin 2023, following the old pathways—the ones that lead you straight to the heart of Christ. I’ll be on the road with you.

Jesus, Son of God…lead us where we need to go this year. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit, and breathe new life into our souls as we seek the ancient truth about You that will set us free. Show us how to glorify You and enjoy You forever. Give us new hearts, full of faith and trust. In Your name we pray, Amen.

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© Copyright 2023 Nancy C. Williams, Lightbourne Creative (text and photography)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

*To learn more about the grace of Jesus Christ, go to this page on my website:

Appalachian Trail near Iron Mountain Gap, Unicoi County, Tennessee

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