New Year, New Beginning

Transformation.  I am praying that 2010 brings true metamorphosis to God’s people.  I know that Scripture says that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12: 2) and I need that to happen to me.  I need a NEW year.  I’m ready.  I want a year that reflects what it means to truly abide in Christ.  I want to BE different one year from today.  My circumstances may be better, they may be worse.  My hopes and dreams may be realized or they may be dashed and shattered.  2010 could bring the best or it could bring the worst.  Whatever it brings, I want to abide.

Abide means to remain.  I want to stay with Christ, in Christ, and live my life for Christ.  I want this to be the year that my false self truly loses control and the truest part of me, the deep part where Jesus has made His home, wins.  I want to face the things that have scared me in the past.  I want to stop protecting myself and be able to freely love others well.  And I want to be healed, even more, in the deepest places of my heart.

Jacob always walked with a limp after his encounter with God.  I want those kind of scars.  I am ready.  Are you?

I think, until the last several years, I saw the Christian life through the wrong lens.  Even though I was a Christian (baptized and all) I still thought of my faith in the context of my efforts.  I would not admit that, of course, since it contradicts the Bible.  But practically speaking, I was a theist.  I thought my Christian faith was solely about obedience and pleasing God and I needed to behave like a “good” Christian.  My New Year’s goals reflected such thinking.  I would set out to read my Bible everyday and pray for at least a few minutes every morning.  Then I would always fail.

This year, I want to do three things:  I want to connect to my Creator in relationship, letting my guard down with Him and learning to trust Him more and more.  I want to own what is mine, with God and with others, and not blame others for what is happening in my heart.  And I want to surrender what I own to God so that HE can make me new.  I can’t transform myself.  And I think my struggle is remembering that.  I must constantly renew my mind: I cannot fix what is broken in me.  All I can do is own it and offer it within the context of my relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

In 2010, I don’t want to grow in my behavioral “goodness” with God.  I want whatever goodness that comes to flow from His abiding presence with me.  He produces the fruit.  I simply abide.  Do you want to join me?  It’s hard.  Seriously.  It’s really hard.  Everything in our culture and fallen nature will scream for us to strive and accomplish.  I am praying we can abide and allow God to cleanse us, heal us, and produce His Fruit within us.  It’s a new year.  We get new mercies for a new beginning!