"Set your mind on things above, not on the things that are on earth...put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him," (Colossians 3:2,10 NASB).With a new year comes pressure to make resolutions--firm determinations to change. But we need to keep perspective when doing so, or we will soon fail and give up--as I'm sure many of you, like me, have experienced before.
In the verse above, the word that is translated "renewed" literally means "renovated." Now, if you've been through a home renovation, you may be groaning at the thought of that meaning. But, it's exciting to me.
When our previous home's bathroom was being redone, it took a long time. We started the work ourselves and ended up overwhelmed, so we called a contractor to finish it. It wasn't fun during the process--it was painful, at times (especially when the oil-based paint forced a pregnant me into a hotel because of fumes)--but the end result was wonderful. I would go into the room and just sigh, loving the whole look and feel of it.
The temptation to reform ourselves with resolutions usually doesn't work because it takes work to stick to them, and often it takes more work than we are prepared to face. But, when we ask God to do the work--to renew, to renovate--our lives, He gives us the strength, and He goes at a pace we can handle without being overwhelmed. Isn't that exciting?
The pastor who spoke at our church this morning talked about Haggai chapter 1, where God informed the people that He was basically frustrating their plans because they were not doing what He wanted them to do. I took that as confirmation of what God has been telling me for a while now--I have to put Him first, to seek Him first, if I want to succeed at anything. And furthermore, if I do manage to succeed in accomplishing something, nothing really matters for eternity, if my goals don't align with His plans.