He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
What a GREAT feeling to wake yesterday (January 1st) with the energy to JUMP out of bed and greet the New Year with enthusiasm. Filled with a sense of a clean slate, new promise, renewed hope, motivated with goals and action steps defined.
It didn’t hurt that New Years fell on a Sunday so the occasional feeling of “ugh, not this morning, I’ll just listen to the sermon online tomorrow” was nowhere to be seen. I was excited to go greet all my friends, true friends. The brothers and sisters that know my story and struggles from years of serving along side them and knowing many of them intimately from the various seasons of Life Groups, men’s conferences and other events we share together.
And I was my best self, encouraging, filled with the Spirit and engaged in listening to where others were that morning. I took notes at the service, cried as the Holy Spirit used the sermon to touch a deep place of hurt and shame over my shortcomings as a dad and felt the grace that reminded me that God is the one who will restore what the locust have taken and that I need to let go of the many “yesterdays” and PRESS ON into the now-ness and new-ness of TODAY.
On New Years Eve I shot my sponsor what I felt was a good New Years resolution list. In response he reminded me to KISS (keep it simple stupid)
And it hit me – we are to do this daily, not just once and consider it done.
We don’t just say the Sinners Prayer and then get back to living life the way we decide. We are called to FOLLOW HIM.
“If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways
“I myself said, “‘How gladly would I treat you like my children and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.’ I thought you would call me ‘Father’ and not turn away from following me.
Matthew 4:19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
And this is not an exhaustive list!
I’ve heard many so-called experts in psychology say we shouldn’t set unrealistic New Years resolutions because it only sets us up for failure and further self-condemnation when we inevitably fail again. And there was a time when I stopped setting resolutions because I agreed with that but I woke this morning with a question.
What – we should drop our God-sized desires for losing 100lbs, or stopping a bad habit, releasing a stronghold or overcoming an addictions, we should stop striving for that promotion or new job, saving for the down payment on the new house, stop praying to beat cancer or get married or restore broken family relationships and crush generational curses?
I suggest we should hang on to those God-sized dreams and…
WAKE EVERY DAY LIKE IT IS NEW YEARS DAY
Every morning re-affirm the healthy God-honoring desires of our hearts and PRESS ON!
We need to double down each morning and even morose when the apathetic and lazy voice of the Liar starts whispering “it’s too hard” rebuke that with God’s word which says
HE MAKES ALL THINGS NEW
The world tells us we need to cater to our feelings, find our self-worth through power, wealth, fame and materialistic gains. But God can see the best version of ourselves and it is that which He desires for His glory and our growth.
2 Corinthians 3:18
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
What if Nehemiah gave up on rebuilding the wall
What if Moses gave up on leading his people to the promised land
What if David changed his mind on Goliath
What if Ruth chickened out in confronting the king
What if Jesus felt the cross was too big of a burden
If you have a God-sized desire in your heart then PRESS ON EVERY MORNING with the same zeal, focus, enthusiasm and commitment that you did on January 1st.
Prayer For Today
Father God, You are the center of it all. Help us to remain inspired and filled with hope, determination and committed to the causes with the knowledge that if the deepest desires of our heart honor You then You will bring that dream to reality. We are more than conquerors when we first seek Your will for our lives and then pursue each step through Your power. I know that You desire us to be healthy physically, desire for us to be connected deeply to others, empower us to break generational curses and relinquish strongholds, that You can inspire one person to lead a movement that will redeem a broken social condition, that You can feed the hungry, clothe and shelter the cold, heal the sick. You will do those things through us Father God by your grace Lord may our deepest desires revolve around glorifying You. May this be our prayer and vision every day and may we not grow weary in pursuit of the works You created us for. In Jesus precious name we pray…