// Lynette Hagin
EVERY YEAR many people set aside a special time, usually around the first of the year, to take inventory of their personal lives. First, they carefully examine all the projects from last year's to-do list that they didn't finish. Then they formulate their New Year's resolutions for the coming year. They're saying, in essence, "It's a new day and a new year. I'm going to do some new things!"
Taking inventory is a powerful way to help us get a fresh, new start in life. But in my own experience, there have been other times besides the beginning of the year when I've asked the Lord to help me take inventory. For example, I've taken inventory of my life when my prayers don't seem to be answered or when things are just not working right for me.
I say, "God, this is Your promise, and I know Your Word is true. But I haven't received what You promised me. I know the problem is not with You. So what am I doing wrong?"
You see, the promises of God are a partnership. God says, "If you'll hearken to My voice and do what I have commanded you to do, then you will enjoy My blessings" (see Deut. 28:1–2). The Lord has set down guidelines in His Word. As long as we obey His guidelines, He is obligated to do what He said He would do. But when we're not doing what God has commanded us to do, He doesn't have to hold up His end of the bargain either. That's why it's so important for us to take inventory!
If we want to experience the powerful, victorious Christian life God created us to have, we must allow the Lord to help us take inventory. And when we take our personal inventory, we must make certain that we're living a holy, consecrated life—a life that's set apart, dedicated, and fully devoted to the Lord. Here are four areas we should check.
Am I Putting God First?
One of the first questions you should ask yourself when you take inventory of your life is, "Am I putting God first?" One of the first scriptures my parents taught me as a child was Matthew 6:33: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things [that you need] shall be added unto you."
If you're not experiencing the victory you desire, I encourage you to check up on what you're seeking. Are you seeking the things of this world? Or are you seeking God first? As you seek first the Kingdom of God and put Him first in your life, everything else will fall into place.
Am I Renewing My Mind?
When we ask the Lord to help us take inventory of our lives, one of the most important areas we need to check is that of renewing our minds to the Word of God. In Romans 12:2 the Apostle Paul gives us these powerful instructions: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (NKJV).
We renew our minds by continually feeding our spirits on God's Word. For example, if we're dealing with a certain area of weakness, we can find scriptures to meditate on that will strengthen us in that area. When temptation comes, we can focus our faith on what God's Word says about the problem instead of focusing on the problem itself.
Am I Surrounded With the Word?
Proverbs 4:22 says that God's Word is life and health to all our flesh. And Ephesians 5:25–26 tells us that the Lord sanctifies and cleanses us "with the washing of water by the word." If we want to enjoy the abundant life God has planned for us, we must keep ourselves surrounded with His Word!
Am I Resisting the Devil?
Another important area we need to check when we take inventory of our lives is that of resisting the devil. James 4:7 tells us, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." And Hebrews 12:1 says, "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (NIV). In other words, we must refuse to give in to the temptations that come our way. We have to make a conscious effort to resist them.
Signs and Wonders
When we renew our minds to the Word of God and allow the Holy Spirit to help us resist the devil and control our flesh, then wonderful, miraculous things can happen. In other words, when we consecrate ourselves to the Lord, He can perform His signs and wonders for us.
God wants to do some wondrous things in our lives today. To see those signs, wonders, and miracles, we must be more consecrated and more committed than we've ever been. We must allow God to sanctify us—to purify us. And we must stir ourselves up so we will have a deeper hunger for the things of the Lord than we've ever experienced.
Taking inventory of our lives can enable us to enjoy a powerful Christian life. When we choose to put God first, renew our minds with His Word, keep ourselves surrounded by that Word, and resist the devil, we will experience the miraculous! As we do our part, God is sure to perform His.
FAITH IN ACTION
A Prayer of Consecration
If we want to see God's plan unfold in this hour, we must be a willing vessel, wholly committed to the Lord. I challenge you to pray this prayer of consecration from your heart each day:
You have made me and I am Yours. I consecrate myself to You. I dedicate my life—my whole mind, soul, spirit, and body—to serving You.
I will keep my body under control. I choose to resist the devil, and he will flee from me. I will be sensitive to Your things and keen to hear Your voice. I will renew my mind to Your Word, and I make up my mind this day that I am going to draw closer to You.
I will walk in faith. I will walk in peace. I will walk with You, O Lord, all the days and nights of my life! My heart and soul cry out for you—my Strength, my Help, and my Redeemer.