“Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.”
What are your New Year’s resolutions?
The end of the year is a time when most of us reflect on what has transpired throughout the last 12 months, and we look ahead to the new year-with resolutions, goals, and hopes for better things to come. Where we failed, how we can do better, and how to make the most of this new year that we have been given.
Year after year, people pledge to lose weight, be better spouses, take more time with their children, get out of debt, etc.
Oftentimes, these resolutions fizzle out within weeks or even days of making them. Sometimes people really do follow through and institute these changes, but they are the exceptions. None of these are bad goals; but there’s got to be more than setting personal health, family and relational goals afresh each year.
The most important thing is to inspect ourselves spiritually. The Bible tells us to examine ourselves, to search our hearts, to see if we are really following God. We all need to improve, none of us who are reading this have arrived yet.
How can we love better?
How can we be more like Christ in our homes and in the world around us?
Just like so many of us who set off on January 1 with big goals that dissolve just as quickly as they come, we don’t have the strength within ourselves to be more loving, to live in total victory over sin, to be more like Jesus, but God does. We don’t want to set spiritual goals that are from a well-meaning heart but just fall by the wayside.
I want to see lasting fruit in my life, lasting change and impact on this world that needs to see that Jesus is real. Don’t you?
Here’s the encouragement of our souls:
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”
You are a new person in Christ. He has given you a new heart. He desires to do new things in you and through you this coming year.
Things don’t have to be the same.
You have the power of Heaven working in you as a follower of Jesus. You are clean. You have a soft heart and the Spirit of the Living God. No more victims of genetics, circumstances, or societies. You don’t have to be full of anger, resentment, fear, disappointment, or hopelessness.
Let us walk in the newness of life, because He has given us everything we need to accomplish every work He sets before us (even the work of loving our spouses and children, loving the annoying neighbors, not reacting to the slow poke on the road, forgiving the ones who have hurt us deeply).
This can be the year of victory and total freedom.
All that we need to do is commit ourselves to the Lord afresh. Allow Him to search us, to cleanse us, and fill us with His Spirit to live the life we were made to live.
Happy New Year! Here’s to new beginnings and resolutions that we can accomplish through His strength.