Friday, January 8, 2016

What does God think about New Year's Resolutions?

I have a love-hate relationship with New Year’s. I absolutely love the feeling of a fresh start, renewed resolutions, and the idea that ‘this year will be different.’ However, I also have a sense of dread that comes with New Year because I know that I will fail. And since I am going to fail…AGAIN, then why even try, right? Has there ever been a year that I was able to keep any of my resolutions anyways? Well…does anyone, really? I mean… let’s just be real.  I am sure if you’re reading this, you’re not one of those people that have super powers and can somehow magically accomplish everything on your resolution list. All I have to say to those people is…YOU ARE NOT HUMAN! You are probably from Krypton and should say ‘hi’ to Clark for me!

In writing what I am about to say, know that I am NOT saying I have all the answers. I’m just sharing a bit of my heart and experience with you. And if it encourages you like it did me, then writing this was worth it!
There’s so much I have been thinking about change, failing, and God. I really don’t know where to start to express it all. Maybe, if you’re like me, you’re disgusted with yourself with the habits you have allowed in your life, the lack of discipline, and how “unspiritual” you are. I mean… come on people, there’s only so many times I should have to go around this mountain, right? Are you picking up what I’m settin’ down? Can you relate?  If so, keep reading. First of all, let me start off by saying I am one who has an issue with failure. I totally fear failure to the point that if I think I may fail for the 100th time, I won’t even try because I don’t want the disappointment of that failure again. Let me also say, that is PRIDE. Here we go…let’s start swinging. Thinking that I can live an error-free life is symptomatic of an unhealthy pride. *gulp* Instead of dwelling in the past, I am called to release my mistakes to God and move forward. Longing to undo past regrets is a waste of time and energy, leading only to frustration. (Can I get an AMEN?) Within the last year I have come to experience God’s grace like never before. The sweet things He has spoken to my heart have propelled and motivated me to keep going and not give up in the areas that are too hard for me.

One thing we first have to determine when it comes to change is, why do you want to change anyways? Is it to feel victorious? Is it because we feel like God will love us more and be more pleased with us? Is it because we want to please others? What is the motive of your change? If our motive for personal change is anything other than wanting to be closer to Jesus, then we have missed it. The purpose of any change should always be to draw near to Him. God’s love for us will never change regardless of whatever great things you are doing for Him, or the lack thereof. Whether you are the super human who keeps every resolution, or whether you are like me, flubbering in your failures, God’s love for us is the same. However, the choices we make can enhance, or hinder, our enjoyment of our relationship with Him.
I have learned one of the greatest keys to keep going in the midst of failure, is to let the Lord in your mess. One of the sweetest things the Lord spoke to me concerning this was, Failing WITH me is better than any victory WITHOUT me. We were never called to live this life in our own strength and in our own power. God wants to be a part of our every moment of every day. We are called to abide in Him. Any time we just say, “The heck with it” (so to speak) and just give up, we essentially are shutting the door to the Lord. We forfeit His grace, mercy, and help. But if we allow God in our mess, in our failures, and in the times we fall, that is more important to Him, than having any success we have without Him. God never called us to perfection so quit trying to be perfect! He is the only one who is perfect so LET HIM be perfect for you. Whether you have victory or failure- never shut Him out! Quit trying to walk on your own. Quit trying to be a Christian without Christ!

 The Lord also went on and said, “Because you know failing ‘in me’ is not possible.”  Psalm 37:23-24 in the amplified version says, “The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step.] Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him.”  Another version says “though he stumble, he will not fall.” We may stumble in this life, but when we have the Lord in our midst we get back up and keep going. He is upholding us. I picture holding the hand of my toddler as I go through a parking lot. Suddenly, they trip, but they do not get that skinned knee because I was holding their hand. I never let go. Had they NOT been holding my hand they would have gotten that skinned knee. Hunny let me tell you, that’s what this verse is like! There’s no skinned knees when you have the hand of the Father in your hand. He will hold your hand until your feet get planted on the ground again, and ya just keep walking. Disaster will always be averted when you are abiding in Him. In your weakness HE is STRONG!

 It is also important to remember that God is the one who working in us and He promises to complete the work in us. Philippians 2:13 says, “[Not in your own strength] for it is God who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire] both to will and work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.” Did you read that? Maybe you better read that again…He creates the POWER and DESIRE!! How cool is that?!? You WILL fail in this life, but it’s what you do with those failures that count. Do you let them drive you closer to Him as you recognize your dependence on Him? Or do you let the enemy use them to discourage you, keep you from Him, and stop you in your race of life?

So if you are one who is disappointed in yourself, I encourage you to get back up. Quit trying to do it in your own strength. Even though you have circled that mountain 100 times, go around again the 101st time. Get your eyes off of you and your imperfections, and put them on the Author and perfector of your faith. God never meant for us to dwell on our struggles. He meant for us to dwell on Him and enjoy Him. God is not displeased with you. His face is always smiling on you…even when you blow it. Close your eyes right now and picture Him smiling at you. Nothing you can do will make Him love you more, and nothing you can do will make Him love you less.  In the midst of your yuck- He delights in you.  You may be in a pit you cannot get out of. LET HIM LOVE YOU OUT OF YOUR PIT! His love is the wind that propels you to fly.
Now let’s get up and run our race and show those super human’s what it’s all about!
P.S. If you related to any of this, I’d like to hear what part impacted you! J And if there’s any way I can help you run your race better, please message me!




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