My New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Eve is traditionally a time to compare the past with what we want for our future. We reflect on the changes we prefer or need to make. Then we resolve to rid our self of our bad habits and to replace them with good habits, which will help us to reach our desired success in life. How often, though, do we stick to our resolutions?

I find greater success by following God’s formula for change all through the year. We are like a creeping caterpillar, spiritually dead. If we continue to walk in the ungodly deeds of the flesh, we do not belong to God or have His Spirit in us (Romans 8:9). We are not able to compare with the majestic butterfly flitting on glorious wings, dancing upon the sunbeams, dining on nectar, playful and full of life.

As we surrender to God, we wrap in the chrysalis of His new birth. Through the process of sanctification, we emerge resplendent in Christ’s divine nature and character, which He forms in us over a lifetime in His presence (2 Peter 1:4). God’s Spirit enables us to refrain from conforming to the world, and to conform to Christ instead (Romans 12:2).

The blood of Christ draws us near to God, and His Spirit renovates our soul (Ephesians 2:13). Our inner transformation influences our outward response to the world and to God’s will for our life. We bear fruit in all that we do, as we grow in our understanding of God and His ways (Colossians 1:10). We continually reflect more of the glory of God through our thoughts, words and actions (2 Corinthians 3:18).

The message of the Gospel of Christ gives us the power of God, which transforms us from the inside out (1 Corinthians 1:18). God’s Spirit renews our mind and creates in us the desire for holiness in the image of God (Ephesians 4:22-24). His divine power gives us everything we need to live godly lives and to follow the leading of His Spirit (2 Peter 1:3-11).

Prayer:
Lord, help us to resolve to follow Your will for our life, giving You prominence in our thoughts and obeying You in all we say and do by the power of Your Holy Spirit (Romans 8:13-14). Help us to shed the trappings of the old man and to soar in the freedom of Your Spirit (Ephesians 4:22-24). Remind us to live by faith in Your faithfulness and to walk in Your righteousness (Romans 1:16-17).

Thought for the Day:
When Christ appears, we shall be completely like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. – 1 John 3:2-3

Complete Dependence on God

Even in the midst of the most chaotic of circumstances, Jesus is still as present with us as if we were sitting alone by an ocean or a wooded stream. He makes His presence real to us if we take time to seek Him. He helps us to walk in the supernatural realm rather than in human wisdom and strength. We will not fail, because His Spirit enables us to live in the will of God each moment of the day.

 

Union with Christ requires dependence. If we have an ounce of independence left in our nature, we will struggle. However, there is no need for self-incrimination and condemnation. With each struggle, we learn valuable lessons, which we avoid the next time we are in similar circumstances. We can call on God in our trouble and He will answer us and show us great and mighty things (Jeremiah 33:3).

 

Eventually, the power of Christ in us will overcome the issues in our flesh with which we struggle. We walk in victory over that pesky sin that defeated us for so long. Not because of power in our own strength to overcome it, but because of our complete dependence on Christ in us. Our faith cannot save us; only complete trust in our Father can save us.

 

In us, in our flesh, nothing good dwells (Romans 7:18). Apart from Christ, we can only fail. Facing our failings chases us into the waiting arms of our Father God. By faith in God’s faithfulness, we walk in His Spirit each moment of our day. Our union with Christ empowers us to live in harmony with Biblical standards. We abide in continual fellowship with the Trinity and the power of God.

 

Prayer:

Father God, humility comes once we recognize our helpless state without You. Help us to avoid wandering in the wilderness of sin and deprivation by immediately revealing our lost state to us. Help us to obey when Your Spirit tells us to cross over Jordan (Joshua 3:1-4:24). Remind us that without You living in us, we can do nothing (John 15:5); but because you abide in us, we can do anything You call us to do (Philippians 4:13).

 

Thought for the Day:

Don’t spend a moment of your life wandering in the wilderness of sin. Live, move and have your being in God’s Spirit and walk in the victory of Canaan’s rest and abundance.

– Acts 17:28; Hebrews 4:1-13

Fathomless Tranquility

The life of the authentic Christian is one of complete dependence on God. This dependence develops a deep restfulness that permeates every area of our life. There is no reason to struggle and strive in life. When stress tries to overwhelm us, we can go to our solid Rock who is higher, stronger and more stable than we are and find rest for our soul (Psalm 61:2).

God gives us a firm footing on which to walk in this unstable world in which we live (Psalm 37:23; 40:2). He makes our path level so we do not stumble or fall (Isaiah 26:7). He guards our feet. It is not by strength that we prevail, but by the power of God in our life (1 Samuel 2:9). When we hide God’s Word in our heart, our feet do not slip as we work to increase the Kingdom of God by His Spirit’s direction (Psalm 37:31; 66:9).

We do not use obnoxious gimmicks in ministry, but we simply present the gospel in a kind manner to whomever will give us their time to listen. It is not our responsibility to make anyone believe. They come only as the Holy Spirit draws them (John 6:44). However, it is our responsibility to go into the entire world and to make disciples for Christ of anyone who wants the blessings and relationship we have with Him.

The Vine and branch is such a special, reciprical relationship mutually benefitting one another; and we rest in our union with the Vine. He is also the Potter, we are the clay; and we rest in His hands as He molds us into a vessel of His choosing. Another analogy is that He is the Head and we are His Body. Our body never moves unless our mind tells us to do so. This is the same as with our relationship with God.

We depend on God entirely for our every need. The deeper our union, the more we listen to His Spirit. We never move unless He directs. Our love for Him and our passion for winning the lost and growing His Body increases with each passing day. The days get sweeter and even in negative circumstances, we maintain the positive attitude, which faith provides.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, we sit at Your feet and learn from you, just as Mary did when she chose the wiser part in your visit to Your friends’ home (Luke 10:39). We bask in the peace and rest, which increases in us as our knowledge of You and relationship with You increases. We give you all of our anxieties, because You care for us (1 Peter 5:7). Give us Your divine promises, love and abilities in order to affect a change in our world.

Thought for the Day:
We rest in our relationship with God in fathomless tranquility.