Resolutions or Renewal?

New Year's Resolutions pic


As a new year starts, I’ve been bombarded with suggestions for what and how to change my life for the better in 2019. You probably have, too.

But, I realized, there are two paths that both promise me hope for 2019 and beyond: resolutions (aka relying on my own initiative and self-discipline to make my life better) or revival (aka a fresh experience of God that leads me to enjoy and obey Him more). What would it look like to pursue the second path this year?

That second path of renewal is exactly what our church is learning about and praying for right now.

As I approached writing this month, I sensed that this post shouldn’t be a practical one merely adding to the cacophony of voices telling us how to run our lives. If you need practical guidance about teaching your kiddos or implementing daily Bible reading in the morning, there is plenty of information out there. (And if you can’t find it, please reach out!)

What I did feel impressed to share was that we don’t need more to-do’s: we need God. We need Him not just for the power He supplies to live rightly, but as the only one who can satisfy our souls with the delight that comes through personally experiencing Him.

If you’ve been around church long, you’re probably aware that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Matthew 22:37). But it’s pretty hard to love someone we don’t know or, dare I say it, don’t honestly really even like.

Which brings me back to revival. What we need most - an experience of the living God - we can’t manufacture ourselves.

But there is One who knows God the Father perfectly. That One, Jesus, came to earth both to show us God and bring us to God. Through his death for our sins on the cross and resurrection to eternal, undying life, Jesus, the Son of God, empowers us to love and enjoy God forever.

As we continue to step into this New Year we may sense areas of our life that need to change in order for us to follow Christ. Go ahead and seek to change them, if that is what He is calling you to do.

But don’t miss the big picture, because a new habit won’t change your life or finally bring you peace. This year, let’s not choose lesser pleasures but forget the greatest one. Let’s ask Jesus for a fresh work of His spirit so we might enjoy and love Him more.

For that, as we already know, really is the greatest thing we can wish for in this new year.

- Courtney