Changing the Pattern of
Our New Year’s Resolutions
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Ahhh….New Years. The time of year when we reflect on the year past. We look back with sentimental eyes as we remember the good days. We might imagine what the new year will bring. This is the time of year when we decide how we are going to change…how we will be better.
The truth is, none of us can know with certainty what this year will bring. I can guarantee you that there will be surprises and there will be heartbreak. There will be things you never expect. 2015 brought so much change to our family. Some anticipated change and much more which stayed invisible until it was upon us. It delivered for us a new beloved baby, many happy days, new friends, a new church family, a sudden lay-off & job loss, anxiety over the future, much prayer, selling our home to prepare to move, learning to live without our wonderful ABA therapy and lastly a greater understanding of the weight of medical issues which affect our oldest son. There was no way to prepare for this year. There really wasn’t. Especially when you are like me and are a perpetual planner. I love to know what is coming every step of the way. The truth is we can’t know…and that in itself is hard.
This morning as January 1st begins, our rollercoaster continues as we wait to see where we will live. It continues as we wait for more medical tests to come back. It continues as we scramble to figure out how to homeschool our oldest without outside help. But you know what? For those of us who are followers of Christ we shouldn’t just accept that this is inevitable and we shouldn’t just expect it. We shouldn’t play the victim. We should instead choose to live everyday in anticipation of how we can best serve Him. So that when these bad things come our way, we know that they aren’t just part of the plan but that God is doing a new thing. He is making us a new creation. He is preparing us and delivering us through this not inspite of it.
Today as we make our New Year’s Resolutions we just might need to question what our hearts desire. We might need to question what we think we need. We might need to question the level of control we think is necessary. We might need to question what the next best step is. We might just need to question our New Years Resolutions. Sometimes the things we think are making us better people are pulling us further from Him.
Are we focusing on how to make ourselves better apart from the only one who can transform us? What are our motives for any decision we are making right now? If we are looking to our hearts desire, one thing is for certain – our expectations will fail us. Every single time. Our hearts are failable – they seek only for themselves. We are to intentionally submit our lives to Christ. “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Luke 16:13
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1
I pray that as this New Year unfolds, that we seek God. If we seek His will not only in our decisions but in our thinking – in our mind – in our everyday, this year will be a success. “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. “Ephesians 4:22-24