Here, on the eve of a brand new year, many of us are thinking about change. What we want to change about our habits, our circumstances, or ourselves.
According to one set of statistics, about 40-45% of American adults make New Year’s resolutions. Most common are; lose weight, eliminate debt or save money, quit smoking, exercise more, take vacations, learn a new skill – and, for many Christians, study the Bible more often.
Change is part of life. It is how we grow and improve. It’s how we move forward.
But, what if it’s holding you back?
Writers know all about change. We labor over a work-in-progress for hours, months, or years. Then, when we are happy with its ending, we edit. And edit. And then edit some more. After all, revision makes a good idea great. It makes an okay novel a bestseller.
But, at some point we have to say, “The work is finished. It’s time to get it into the hands of someone who can enable it to fulfill its purpose.”
Our lives are no different.
How often do people think, “Oh sure, I believe all that stuff about Jesus. But, He wouldn’t want me the way I am. I want to accept what He offers, but I need to change a few things first.”
Or, maybe we are Christians, but have accumulated some soot along the way. “I know I should start attending church again. But, I’ve done some things I’m not proud of. Once I change that, I’ll be able to get close to God again.” Maybe we’ve just gotten out of the habit of praying or reading Scripture consistently.
Here’s the thing… If I try to clean a sooty lantern in the dark, all I do is smear the dirt. I end up making an even bigger mess.
We need to open up that lantern and light it. Only by the light can we see clearly. The light makes the cleaning possible.
“The Lord says, ‘Forget what happened before,
and do not think about the past.
Look at the new thing I am going to do.
It is already happening. Don’t you see it?’…” Isaiah 43:18-19 (NCV)
We are God’s work-in-progress.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
When Jesus gave His life for us, His last words were, “It is finished” (John 19:30).
This year, before we make a decision about revision, let us resolve to remember: The work is finished. It’s time to get ourselves into the hands of the One who can enable us to fulfill our purpose.