Have you made those New Year’s resolutions yet? Like many of you, I’ve decided to exercise and eat healthier, but I’ve also decided to make a few other changes as well. Along with my new “weight loss” plan that will help me shed some unwanted pounds, I’ll be exercising a plan that will help me shed some unwanted thought patterns and negative attitudes. Let me explain …
In the past, I’ve struggled with some particular “sin-patterns” we’ll call them that I just can’t seem to break. We all have them — you can probably readily identify yours and they may even sound similar to mine – impatience, quick temper, overly emotional. Perhaps yours is a tendency to gossip or always look at the negative. Here are two doozies — yelling at the people you love the most and wanting things your own way!
Just as I tend to allow myself to be a glutton with food sometimes and a slacker at exercise most of the time, I often allow myself to feast on my own “fleshly” desires and indulge in a time of “me-ism” so as to avoid the righteous and disciplined life that my Master Trainer desires. You know what I mean — I often order up the all-you-can-eat “flesh woman” buffet. That’s the one that serves snappiness, unkind words, discontentment and the like on a silver platter!
Praise God, though, there is hope!! Revelation 21:5 says, And He who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ (ESV) You know what, sisters? Tomorrow is a new day, and 2015 is a new year! I don’t have to continue with my old patterns and ways of thinking. I can give up those undesirable things, get a brand new perspective and take on a new attitude!
What makes this “new resolution” so possible and hopeful, you might ask? Two things: First, Revelation 21:5 tells us that Lord Jesus Christ is “on the throne.” He is reigning on Heaven’s throne at the right hand of God the Father. He is in the ultimate place of authority. Jesus has already conquered death. And as believers, we may be in combat right now with the enemy, but we are victorious because Jesus has already won the battle!
Second, because He is making (present tense) “all things new.” Right here, right now, all things are being made new. This isn’t a future promise; it is a present and continuous promise! Jesus is and will continue making all things new. Daily He is making us more and more like Him. And in case you haven’t figured it out by now, the process is often a difficult one! Just like dieting and exercise, we must be disciplined and diligent!
So let’s see how this idea plays out in our daily lives. Like I said, it won’t be easy! Just as choosing salads and veggies instead of fries and sweet tea will require discipline and self-restraint, so will holding my tongue, choosing to keep my emotions intact and using a kind voice instead of an ugly one. I must exercise self-control repeatedly. I must take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:5) I must go to my “trainer” every morning and receive my pep talk to get me through the day. I certainly can’t do it on my own. Just like an Olympian needs a coach and a game plan, so I will need the Lord, His Word and prayer. And I can’t go even a day without it! Just as atrophy sets in to my muscles if I don’t exercise daily, so will it set into my heart and mind if I don’t spend adequate time with my “Master Trainer,” Jesus.
What will this change take — daily training in God’s Word? Self-control? Discipline? Yes! Ultimately though, it will take me giving myself fully to the Lord and allowing Him to fill me up with good things. He must become greater. I must become less. (John 3:30) Each day I must discipline myself to offer my body as a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God as my spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1) As I do this, my trainer will “make all things new.” Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17) That’s more than a New Year’s resolution – that’s a revolution!
The 3-Step Game Plan: Give, Fill, Live!
- Give it up – offer yourself to the Lord daily
- Fill it up – spend time with the Lord daily in His Word and in prayer
- Live it up – discipline your mind and body to live a life of self-control instead of self-indulgence
Verses to live by:
Happy New Year!!