What is it about a New Year that makes us want to make some necessary changes in our lives? And what is it about our human nature that makes the chances of those changes lasting slim to none? You know what I'm talking about. We think of everything from losing weight to kicking bad habits. We might even try to pick up a few good habits. Resolutions are on our minds. Christmas has passed, but we're still busy making lists.
On January 1st, we come out of the gate like Kentucky thoroughbreds, ready to run the good race and complete our goal. Somewhere around the track, though, we tend to lose some speed. Some of us even fall out of the race completely. Why do you think we do this year after year? I think maybe it's because we try to do things in our own power, thus the failure to follow through and succeed in our desires to change. It's the embodiment of Romans 7:15, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." That chapter goes on to say, "For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing." It seems that this is a cycle that mankind has wrested with long before we started our obsession and battle with New Year's resolutions. Our sin controls us and we try to control it and the battle rages on. We want to do the right thing, but we simply cannot do it in our own power.
So why do I bring this up, if there is no way we can make the changes we want to make in our lives? I bring it up, because there is still hope. Fortunately, Romans did not end with chapter 7! Romans continued into Chapter 8 saying, "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." So what, if we can't do it on our own...we have the power of Christ on our side to help us. It is only when we ask Him to help us make the changes we need, or want, to make that we can even begin to make any progress. The One who overcame death is perfectly able to help us overcome what we perceive as failures in our own lives. He's able to help us make the changes we need to make to succeed.
So what changes do you want to make in the upcoming New Year? Are you willing to give your list to God and ask Him to navigate the journey? Are you willing to give up your own will and submit to His? Are you ready for a real change? I know I am and I know He is my only Hope.
Here is my list of things I want God to help me with in my own life:
- Increased focus and daily time in the Word and in prayer
- Ministry growth and outreach
- Healthy eating
- Weight maintenance
- Regular Exercise
- More organization in all aspects of my life
So tomorrow is the start of 2012. With God on my side, and with His help, I'm ready to make some changes. With Him, I can run the race and make it to the finish line. Without Him, I know I don't even have a chance of getting out of the gate. Thanks for another year Lord! My resolution is simple. All my desires to change can be wrapped up into one...Please help me to yield to You and Your will in 2012.