Well its getting close to the end of the year and more importantly, the beginning of a new year. It’s often a time where people resolve to do things differently or to stop doing those bad habits that plague us all. Change can often be a good thing, but it is also very difficult to accomplish, especially on our own. I find the wording in Nehemiah interesting in chapter 10 after they enter into a covenant with God. They are pledging;
“to do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord, and His ordinances and His statutes:” Nehemiah 10:29b NKJV
Then they go on to list all of the things the “we” were going to do and not do. Rule after rule after rule which eventually puts their focus on the wrong thing and leads to failure. The Israelites would repeat this failure through the centuries of seeing that they needed to change and then working hard to do it. They would see success for a generation or two, but then find themselves right back where they started, a captive or slave not only to some nation, but to their sins.
That sounds a lot like many New Year’s resolutions. What they were missing, and what most people who make New Year’s resolutions are missing is victory. Maybe call it a picture of success and believing that it’s already done. I think that is how so many Christians have been changed, really changed from the inside out. We believe in Christ and His victory, not our strength. The ending has already been written and we are free from sin. It is God’s power and strength, not ours that lead to the changes. In the end it’s not about doing, but about believing. Sure there are things we do and don’t do, but the focus isn’t on the rules, but the Ruler.
“Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God!” Rev. 19:1b NKJV
Father, help us to keep our eyes focused on You and Your glory while we live for You and Your glory. May the coming year be filled with Your victory as you work through us to shine Your light to the nations and to our neighbors. Amen.