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..
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
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:
- forbearance (patient self-control; restraint and tolerance.)
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,