Isaiah 43:18-19 reminds us that God is a God who does new things. He brings rivers out of deserts and beauty from ashes. He speaks light into darkness and He makes all things new.
At the start of this new year, here are some things I’ve been thinking about and challenging myself to do in order to make sure that I make the right start and make the most of this new beginning…
S – Stop making excuses
“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” – Proverbs 28: 13
Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. Often, we know exactly what’s preventing us from living the abundant life God intended for us or what is hindering our growth or our relationship with Him, but we’ve become so masterful at justifying our sin that we don’t ever stop making excuses long enough to just get real with ourselves. So this year, let’s commit to just stop… to stop making excuses and to do what we need to do to become the people God wants us to be. Let’s surround ourselves with people who are honest with us and can tell us the truth about ourselves.
Let’s also stop making excuses as to why God can’t use us. We need to remember that we are the messengers, not the message, and that no matter what may have happened to us or what we are facing, God can and wants to use us.
T – Take Inventory
Spend some time taking stock of your life, and particularly, your spiritual journey.
What aspects of your life and heart need spiritual renewal? What did you learn last year and how can you ensure that your experiences and those lessons are not wasted? What did you learn about God, and about yourself?
A – Act in faith
Once we’ve stopped making excuses and taken inventory to figure out where we are, the next step is to move forward in faith and to ensure that our actions line up with our faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. With faith, anything is possible.
R – Refocus your mind
There are so many things that vie for our attention and so often, our minds and thoughts are consumed by the messages the world throws at us, so let’s commit to ensuring that we are focusing our minds on the right things. Romans 12:1-2 reminds us not to conform to the world’s pattern, but rather to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Commit to doing things that set your mind and heart on God this year. Make time for Him, read, grow, learn, discover and eliminate things from your life that distract you and focus your minds on things other than God.
T- Trust God
Finally, when all else is said and done, trust God. Pray bold prayers that will mean that you don’t just coast safely through 2017, but that will mean you will step out boldly in faith. For what are you believing God this year? Trust Him and leave your worries, burdens and cares in His capable hands. Trust Him to do something amazing in your life and to use you in a way you never imagined.
May you START this year right, run the race with endurance and finish strong.