The start of a new year is often when we decide to "start over". Unfortunately, after a couple of days our resolutions die and we are left struggling with last year's battle. Although we attempt to move forward at the start of a new week, month or year, we have left an old shell of ourselves more defeated.
Why is it so difficult to keep a resolution?
Quite simply, we can NOT fix "it" on our own.
We may get close and may even fake it for a while, but without God's help, it will fade. You will find yourself overeating AGAIN, forsaking the gym AGAIN, cursing like a sailor AGAIN. The reality is that kicking that bad habit is not easy for you. If it was, you would have done it ALREADY!
But there is hope!
Philippians 4:13 says "I can do all things THROUGH Christ which gives me strength."
This is not a matter of IF you can do IT but HOW you can do it. You can have victory in those areas of struggle BUT the strategy will make or break your success.
Meet the Expert
If you remember the show "The Biggest Loser" contestants worked alongside a fitness expert to lose weight. Having that person work with them was the key for them. We see this in many shows. The Voice, So You Think You Can Dance, and many other competition-based shows recognize the need for an expert! The great news is YOU have a PERSONAL expert on you.
Luke 12:7 says "But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered."
In other words, God knows every detail about you down to how many hairs on your head. Take a moment and take THAT in!
So if God is an expert on you, wouldn't He be THE best coach to get you through your struggle? Wouldn't He have the strategy for you to fight your battle with addiction or your desire to be a better person?
Pray for the Plan
The reality is that we ALL want to be better. Most of us want to be more fit, not have an addiction, be kinder, and be more organized. BUT what is God needing for YOU to focus on this next year.
Proverbs 16:3 says "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans."
If you pray, the Lord will tell you EXACTLY what to focus on. Perhaps through a dream, a burning desire, or a gentle small voice, He will make it clear. A general rule of thumb is that you will feel a sense of peace when you are doing something in line with the Lord's will for you.
Perhaps for the first six months, the Lord needs you to focus on organization. Although your plan is to loose weight, write a book, and meet people; He knows this will not be successful without you being more organized. Be open to what He speaks to you. His plans are ALWAYS for your good (Jeremiah 29:11).
Pray for the Lord to show you HIS plans versus YOUR resolutions! His plans will always be better than your best ideas!
Proverbs 15:22 says "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed."
Accountability will be a vital part of your success. There is nothing more powerful than a friend or mentor who can encourage you to be your best. Your accountability may be a gym partner, a small group leader, or maybe a counselor. However, the key is that you trust your partner to challenge you in the difficult times. This will take thick skin but choose those who you know are for YOU! When you know your friend is for you, you will be able to handle when they say..."Why haven't you been at the gym lately?" You won't unfriend them when they say, "I thought you were going to calm down on your temper."
Remember your "Yes" friend will never be your BEST friend. A true friendship can withstand a challenge when done in love!
Becoming a better version of YOU will require some effort and change. Change is not easy but it IS necessary. One can not expect to overcome depression but refuse to leave the bed. One can not expect to make more friends but continue to avoid people. The growing pains will help you appreciate your end result all the more. Perhaps your routine, lifestyle, or your friends have to change for you to go to the next level of where God is calling you to be.
To make a change, start with a change!
This requires you taking a step and deciding that YOU matter more than the thing you are holding onto. This year can be your best year if you are willing to let the Lord take the lead!
Say "NO" to the same mundane ritual promises you have made in the past.Instead, say "YES" to God's plans for you!
Pray for wisdom on who can be a source of accountability for you and embrace a little change! You can do it! May you walk in victory in every area of your life.
To learn more about choosing friends of accountability, click here
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