As a new year debuts, many are launching into self-inspired resolutions to unite dreams of clean slates to personal aspirations. Unfortunately, in our westernized cul-de-sac, settings goals for the sake of egoistic modulation has crystallized into one of the most cliché, and often futile, traditions. As time bids its annual farewell, revelatory ambitions are shared to conjure up higher expectations into future days; however, lost within this desire of narcissistic edification is a true understanding of change. In today's world, the prospect of transformation has diminished to shots of self-seeking satisfaction, evinced by people taking insane action to overcome the insanity in their lives. Little do they know that resolutions, without supremely integrated motivation and anchored hope, will never last through the doldrums of winter.
To embrace true change in a way that amplifies character and faith, the first step is to acknowledge our own insufficiencies. For without divine presence, resolutions will always lack lasting power, since fallen implies temporary. As humans with a definitive sinful nature, to independently operate without referencing God epitomizes the highest form of spiritual insensibility. And if we exclusively craft contrivances on a platform fit for a King, then we risk neglecting a God patiently waiting in the wings for an invitation to a party He has already planned. To adequately and desperately pursue exceeding increase minus the fallout, it’s essential to trust in the providence and faithfulness of a God who pines for not only our attention, but our ascension to a higher life with Him.
The second step is to prepare for complete engagement. As distractions in a people-pleasing world threaten our devotion, seizing the call to surrender can seem impossible. Yet, even in the bleakest circumstances, when change is a mere glow at the end of a dusky road, hope thrives. Because if real, radical change is a special on the menu of perpetual betterment, then abiding and confiding in the perfect love and sanctity of God will not only preserve endurance but illuminate a purer expectancy. For if God is not entirely accessed, we cannot experience His excess; if God is not wholesomely pursued, we cannot be unconditionally wooed; and if God is not absolutely adored, we cannot be fully restored. Bear in mind, I’m not suggesting God can be confined; however, if our abandon for Christ is partial, so will our ability to discern and receive God’s love and all the truths attached. If we’re not living to grow, then we’re not living to sow, which only comes when we, through prayer and submission, place our desire for change in holy hands.
Finally, remember the recipe for a revolutionary walk with Christ is unfathomably fathomable. Although deceptions and misconceptions strive to keep faith at bay, when we seek sacred sustenance with an open heart and no reservations, we inevitably encounter perfect help embodied in perfect love, which in turns, cultivates dependence on the Holy Spirit and subsequently, livens a transcendent excitement. Therefore, change can be perceived not only as a strategy, but also an attitude rooted in the sovereignty and grace of God. And while many degrade resolutions by focusing more on outcomes than processes, this doesn’t change the fact God makes change for us all the time, sealed by the charge to spread it to others. Why wouldn’t we want to bank with the Creator of the universe, when we have complete freedom to deposit our deepest, most intimate fears and passions into His heart? Why would we take a leap in vain, when the greatest exchange is within reach 24/7/365? For when nothing changes, nothing happens. And when nothing happens, nothing will change.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NLT)
17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
2 Corinthians 7:8-10 (NLT)
8 I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while. 9 Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. 10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.
Romans 2:29b (NLT)
29…a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.
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