As we begin a new year, many of us will set new resolutions or new goals. This is a great opportunity to make needed changes in our lives and it is a very important step in our personal growth as it helps us to re-focus on what is really important.
I found it interesting that the next passage of Scriptures that we were set to review in our study in Ephesians tells us that our success is at least a three step plan.
But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
- Put off the bad (the old man) – Write down how you are going to do this
- Change your heart and mind – Write down how you are going to do this
- Put on the good (new man) – Write down how you are going to do this
A. You have to get rid of something. I can’t say that I will now do that which is righteous and holy and yet continue to do that which is sinful. If I want to read my Bible more, lose weight or spend more time doing __(whatever)__, I must consciously give up something.
B. You have to change the way you think. So not only is there a Stop and Start process, but there is an internal action required. To do steps one and or three without step two (a heart/mind change) will only bring a temporary or ineffective outward change. (Please note, only in the power of Christ can the heart and mind truly be changed. This would make for a great personal in-depth study).
C. You have to replace the old with the new. We must fill the void with something profitable, if we don’t, it will be easy to slide back into the same old rut of doing what we have always done before.
Romans 12:1-2 says all this in a slightly different way:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
So when you write down your 2014 goals or resolutions, remember to also consider what you will be stopping, make it clear. Also think through how you will be seeking the Lord’s direction and looking for his continual reminders and encouragements along the way to change your mind and heart. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: – Proverbs 27:7a
Don’t forget to share your goals and action plan with an accountability partner to help keep you accountable throughout the year.
I can do all things through CHRIST, which strengtheneth me. – Philippians 4:13