As we start a new year many of us can look back to 2014 and reflect on the highs and the lows. We might do this casually or we might have set some deliberate time aside to look back at our successes and our failures, what we learned and, many of us have perhaps considered what we would like to see happen in our lives this year.
Some of us might want to lose weight, get better at spending regular time with God and in His word, some of us might have decided that we want to be there more for our friends and maybe even make more friends.
I think these desires start with a wish or with hope, so we say or think things like:
“I hope that by the end of 2015 I’ve got to grips with my devotional life/weight/habits etc.”
Or “I wish that I had more friends/ I hope that I can have the will power to change things.”
It’s true to say that hoping or wishing isn’t quite enough to get the job done although it is a sign to us that we want things to change.
So, what comes next?
I think it’s natural that some sort of quality decision comes next…
“I am not going to eat between meals!”
“I would really like to get to know that person, I’m going to ask them to come for a coffee.”
Now, it’s obvious to us all that follow through on our decisions is really important. Remember the goal, write it down and remind yourself of it when things are difficult. Share your decision with a friend and ask them to help you. Remember your responsibility in it all, it is not the friends responsibility to ‘fix’ you! Ultimately God, as your Father is on your side so talk to Him about your goals and ask Him to get right in the middle of it all and help you.
Remember – Change is not inevitable – it requires investment.
This month, as you settle into this year and the things you want to achieve please remember that first of all that the devil wants to ‘steal, kill and destroy’ (John 10:10), this includes your relationships, finances, health—basically anything he can get his grubby hands on. But, he is a defeated foe, PRAISE GOD! In the book of James we are reminded to ‘Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.’ We also need to remember that we can all disqualify ourselves from moving forward by remembering things we should forget. Is it time that you cut off any friends in your life that you know are trying to pull you away from your path? Is there any old thinking that you need to try and replace with what God says?
Consider the goodness and faithfulness of God. He is for you, not against you. Some of us really need to take that on board. He is not a bearded man on a white cloud with a stick. We forget that He is the One that wrote the verses on Love in Corinthians 13—do you think He would write it and actually not believe it or have the capacity to do it?
God is for you. He has a plan for your life that is likely to take you to the brink of yourself and out of your comfort zone; He will ask you to revisit issues until they are fully surrendered to Him so that you can face things you never thought you could face. He will help you to achieve things (if you let Him) that will amaze you and bring the glory to Him. He will also open your eyes to the needs of people (if you allow Him to) so that you can be the hands and feet of Jesus in a world that thinks that God has no interest in them anymore.
You were born to change—even your body is on a cycle of change. You grow and learn new things and have new experiences. New people come into your life (for good and bad) and new thoughts and insights come to you all the time. Largely because you are alive!
Change is not inevitable – it requires investment but God is fully invested in you.
Think about these verses for a moment…
2 Chronicles 16:9 says this – ‘For the eyes of the Lord range through-out the whole earth to strengthen those who are truly committed to Him.’
Isaiah 64:4: ‘Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.’
God is fully invested in helping us deal with the past, he is totally committed to helping us in the now moment and He holds our futures in His powerful yet gentle hands. We don’t have to be afraid if we hold onto Him.
So, as you enter this year please…
- Dream and wish and hope.
- Make some decisions that you’ll commit to writing down.
- Ask God to come and be a part of it all.
- Recognise and remember that change is not inevitable, we have to invest ourselves in it but our God is totally in love with us and committed to helping us finish the race.