03 January 2019

A New Thing

Like so many other people I have tried to change. I am a messy person, yet when things are cluttered I cannot focus or relax. I desire to maintain something resembling health/wellness, but I'm quick to grab sugar when I'm in the emotional dumps. In addition to those minor flaws; I have a horrible temper, I tend toward selfishness, and I have made more than one wrong choice in my life. When facing a new year I try to focus on my flaws and how I can change them. I recently discovered that I cannot change ANYTHING...

I am approaching this year from a different posture. Instead of my feet planted, fists balled, and head high to fight against myself. I am on my knees, hands open, head bowed surrendering myself to God. I've tried and failed for nearly 40 years - it is time to face the music and let go. After studying, praying, and asking God to HELP ME... not asking... begging... begging God to "help" me (still thinking I can do it and he's the cheerleader)... I gave up and changed my prayers to "Father, Change Me." Before you click "next" and move to read something else. Give me just a few minutes of your time.

So far so good - our Father provides encouragement and direction in the Word. All we have to do is submit and follow the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

So, how do I know if I am "in" Christ? I know HE is in ME, but have I given over to His leadership or is He still in the backseat of the car waiting for me to shut off the GPS and ask Him for directions? How do I know if I am living IN Christ, and allowing the Holy Spirit to have control? Am I a NEW creation, or am I still living the "do you" lifestyle and missing out on His plan for me?

Well, here's some food for thought..

Galatians 5:13
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh.  

Indulge the flesh? Ok what exactly does that mean? Well, Galatians 5:19-21 defines it pretty clearly:
  • sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery (excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures.)
  • idolatry and witchcraft
  • hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy
  • drunkenness
  • orgies
I don't know about you, but jealousy? fits of rage (losing my temper), envy.... drunkenness? Guilty. Oh and idolatry? When we hear "idol" most people think of a singing show OR some random statue that people pray to. Well, an idol isn't just entertainment or a physical thing... and idol can be anything that you give your joy to, your money to... your thoughts and time to - keeping that praise and attention from God. 

Now let's take a look at what it means to live IN Christ - walking IN the Holy Spirit:
  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • forbearance (patient self-control; restraint and tolerance.)
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • faithfulness
  • gentleness
  • self-control
So, how do we surrender? How do we give over to the spirit. Let's take another look at Galatians 5:13 we are called to be FREE. We have the FREEDOM to choose our way or His way. As I approach the new year I will do so with intention. I'm not going to resolve to get fit, get rich, or get even - no... I resolve to GIVE UP EVERYTHING to God. 

Feeling angry or frustrated? I will know I am in the flesh and giving myself control. I will pray, I will read, I will fast - until my heart is turned back to the Holy Spirit. 

Feeling sad or lonely - envious? Back to the Word. 

When I KNOW there are are tasks I need to accomplish? When I know I am UNFOCUSED or DISTRACTED? I will ask the Holy Spirit to give me Self-Control. 

Need some encouragement? Reassurance that God has it covered:

1 Corinthians 2:9

What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human has conceived - are the things God has prepared for those who love Him. 

I've tried it on my own. I've failed.Time and again... I am looking forward to the year GOD has planned for me, and TRUSTING that HE can make all things new. 

It's a new year and I'm giving up. 

Xo Xo & Stuff,