Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Shepastor: "What's Your New Life Resolution in 2017?"
As we approach 2017, I thought the question was still worth asking…
Shepastor: “What’s Your New Life Resolution in 2017?”
Text: Philippians 3: 12-14 (KJV)
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Every year between December 31st and January 1st, people make all kind of promises to themselves and to others. We call these promises – “resolutions.” The idea is that the old year for better or for worse is gone and is not coming back – so in the new year, we hope to do somethings better, or at least differently.
You’ve heard them, “I’m going to lose weight…, I’m going to stop cursing…, I’m going to stop smoking…, I’m going to save more money…, I’m going to stop using credit cards…” The list goes on and on.
But today, I’d like to challenge us not to think about making meaningless promises that most times we fail to keep. I’d like to challenge you to prayerfully consider making a “New Life Resolution.”
There is a difference between changing a habit and changing your life. Even dieticians and physicians have come to the conclusion that if you really want to loose weight, you can’t just create a list of things you determine that you will give up. Human nature dictates that after a while, the feeling of self -deprivation will take over and you will return to old habits of eating things you shouldn’t. Therefore, they say, a life change – in other words, a change of thought, a change of heart, a change of resolve has to take place in order for real results to happen and be long term.
So it is with our spiritual walk with Christ. Being a Christian is more than giving up the seven deadly sins…Lust, envy, gluttony, sloth, greed, anger and pride. Some stricter traditions have added a few more…drinking, smoking, playing cards, dancing, poppin fingers, wearing makeup and going out to parties!
The problem with both lists is that those efforts may control some external behaviors, but the human will can never change the human heart. In order to truly change, a spiritual transformation has to take place. This is not some mystical, secretive process whereby a person has to say chants or drink a potion or have a witch doctor shake some special formula with smoke over your head. No no!
What is required is Holy Ghost transformation – the kind of transformation that changes your life when you have an encounter with God.
Yes, even those who minister and preach the Gospel need to have transforming experiences – fresh encounters with God.
In 2017, the Lord is saying to somebody, “I’ve got some blessings for you, but in order for you to receive those blessings, you’ve got to let some things go. That fear that has been controlling you – let it go. That anger that has been consuming you – let it go. That resentment that has been eating your insides apart – let it go. That worry that has been keeping you up at night – let it go.
The Lord is saying, “I’ve got some blessings for you... I’ve got peace for you, I’ve got deliverance for you, I’ve got overcoming power for you, but you’ve got to let some things go!
Don’t let the demons of fear, of worry, of self-doubt, of low self-esteem, of old belittling voices in your head, of resentment, anger, hostility and yes even hatred – don’t let those demons keep you shackled. As you enter 2017 let it go. Don’t be like the children of Israel who wandered in the wilderness for forty years because they kept looking back and couldn’t believe God for what they could not see. Step out on faith –ask the Lord to reveal his will and purpose for you life and then pursue it.
Pastor and author Bill Hybel says,
“You will never take big hills without making bold moves”
Letting go of what has held you back, held you down, kept you imprisoned is not always easy – it takes the bold move of faith to let it go, trust God, resolve to live for Him in every way. It’s a new path, a fresh encounter, a prayerful journey, a new way of living.
Be bold and walk with your head held high, press towards the mark that God has ordained for your life.
To all Shepastor readers – may you walk into this New Year resolving to allow the Lord to order your steps, free you from whatever chains may bind you and bless you beyond what is readily recognizable in your eyes.
Post a comment or send me an email at Shepastor1@hotmail.com
Until Next Wednesday
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,