Let Your New Year’s Resolution Be The Change Within
“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.”
Every New Year, we start out by saying “My New Year’s resolution is…” and start listing the changes we want to make. For some it’s to get more organized so they go out and buy totes, calendar organizers, and everything they can find to help make themselves organized. For others it’s a change in their appearance so they run out to get exercise equipment, healthy food to stock their refrigerator, and even a gym membership. Others make a resolution to get a better job, make more money, save more money, buy a new house or a new car. There are so many things we want to change but sometimes we forget to make the most important change of all…a change of heart. When we are hurting, we tend to reach for things that will soothe our hurts quickly. However, Jesus tells us to seek something else in Matthew 6:33:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
By seeking the kingdom of God, we are seeking that which is of God and what He wants. According to God, the most important change we can make is the change that comes from within. God is more concerned with our hearts than anything else. He looks further to eternity than at things that are temporary. In 1 Samuel 16:7 it states:
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Jesus also said in Matthew 23:25-26:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.”
Sometimes we try to change the outside of ourselves or the things around us because we think it will make us feel better or it’s the way to “start over”. But eventually, after all of the external changes, if our heart is not healed then the wounds in our heart will start to come forth. Soon all of the external changes won’t continue to soothe what is hurting deep within and we’ll find ourselves feeling the way we did before we made our changes…sad, angry and full of hurt. With an unchanged heart, we will always continue to see people, relationships and circumstances through hurt, pain, anger, jealousy, fear, unforgiveness, etc. Though we think we may have changed because of all the external changes we’ve made, our words and actions will prove the opposite.
In order for people, relationships and circumstances to change around us, we must renew our minds:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
By renewing our minds and asking Jesus to change us, when He is done, we will see people, relationships and circumstances much more differently. Where we once had anger towards someone, we will now have compassion and forgiveness. Where we once felt hurt by someone, we will now have love and peace. Where we once felt fear and anxiety, we will now have courage and strength. When our minds are renewed, we can now see situations more clearly and not through angry, bitter, hurt filled eyes, but through the eyes of Christ. When our minds are renewed, we now have the mind of Jesus Christ:
For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
Let Christ help you make the most important change of your life…the change in your heart. By allowing Christ to change your heart, you are allowing Him to prepare you to live in eternity with Him. You are also allowing Him to heal you and restore you so you can help others and lead them to the same wonderful healing you have received.
This New Year’s, take some time to seek God and ask Him to change and purify your heart. Then do your part by following what the Word of God tells you to do in every situation. It’ll be different than what the world tells you to do, but it will be a more permanent healing.
Now is the time to leave the old behind and allow God to do a new thing in you!
“Lord, help me to renew my mind and make the changes I need to make within me. I know I can’t make these changes without You and I need Your help. Purify my heart, Lord, and make me clean within. Help me to follow Your Word daily so I can see through clear eyes and love unconditionally. Thank you Lord for loving Me. Keep me close to You all the days of my life…In Jesus name…Amen”.