Here we are again; another new year is upon us. This is a time where many people make resolutions. They want to be a better person or a new person. Around this time many people proclaim how they are going to drop a habit, pick a new hobby, get in shape, etc. Many Christians even claim how they are going to be more dedicated in things like church attendance, church involvement, and their Christian life in general. In either case, usually by March or so whatever amazing ideas someone had have faded out and have been given up on. In situations like these there are a few facts we must realize.
The first is simply that no person has any real power by themselves. So often around this time we hear, “I’m going to quit…” or “I’m going to start…” I’m, I’m, I’m…leads to failure! People are putting power in themselves and not leaning on the power of the Holy Spirit for change. Let’s look again at Galatians 6:16-26 (KJV):
16This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the
17For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit
against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye
cannot do the things that ye would.
18But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye
are not under the law.
19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which
are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife,
21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and
such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past,
that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith,
23Meekness, temperance: against such there
is no law.
24And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with
the affections and lusts.
25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk
in the Spirit.
26Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one
another, envying one another.
By our own power we are destined to fall into our same habits and mess because that’s what the flesh leads to. Man, relying on his own sinful nature can only cause him more anger, jealousy, pain, hate, sin, and so forth. There is a difference, however, when we stop trying to better ourselves by ourselves (which is impossible) and let God take control of us through the work of the Holy Spirit. This is the only way we can become better; through letting God work in us and lead us. To do this properly we must know what it is that God wants us to focus on in our lives; after all we owe our lives to Him.
My second point- you must have the right agenda. When you claim you are trying to do better and so forth whose purposes are you trying to fulfill; yours or God’s? So often we make plans and resolutions for our lives and we are chasing the wrong things and desires. There may even be times where an item on your list may seem good, but the intent is actually evil. For example you may want to go back to school and/or get a better job, which is fine, but not if it's just because you love money and want more. Or many people want to get in shape or improve their physical appearance. This is also fine if the intent is to be healthier person, but not if you just want to be a player. Romans 12:1-2 (KJV) tells us:
1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable
2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by
the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable,
and perfect, will of God.
OUR LIVES BELONG TO GOD! WE ARE HIS! When you make plans for your future, whatever they may be, ask yourself this about each one: Will this please God? Was this inspired by Jesus? How will God get the glory from this? Remember if we put God first He will take care of the rest (see Matthew 6:33).
Third point- there is no power in January 1st! It is just another day. So often people wallow and wade in their filthy sins waiting for the new year to come around and make resolutions like there is something so special about that time of year. Don’t make new year’s resolutions! This almost contagious attitude of renewal, betterment, and growth that so many get around the new year should be had ALL YEAR ROUND by Christians in regard to their relationship with Christ. We should feel like the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:13-14 (KJV):
13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do,
forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things
which are before,
14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high
calling of God in Christ Jesus.
This is why I say a new year, NO YOU! Don’t worry yourself about the matters of life. Don’t worry about anything at all. Just focus on God and what He wants you to do, and He will take care of the rest. Forget about your own plans, seek what God has for you. Why try on your own when you have The One on your side who can speak life into existence, part the Red Sea, rise from the dead, know the ending before beginning, and that list goes ON AND ON.
Remember that God loves you just the way you are. Thrive after pleasing God and the fruit of the Spirit. Keep this attitude from the new year and keep it up forever!