I have done far too much revolutionizing in my life, particularly at the beginning of the new year. There will be a NEW Mary, transformed, less slothful, more active, less angry, more cheerful, less frenetic, more purposeful.
The problem with these resolutions is they last just a few weeks, which is about as long as my own gritty wherewithal endures. And then I beat myself up for not doing enough, for failing to be ALL THAT in my goals. Ever feel this way?
I think that’s the point, actually. We fail in our own strength, ultimately, because we forgot to ask Jesus to help us in the first place. At least that’s my issue.
If you truly want to have a brand new life in 2014, you’ll have to ask Jesus for help. He told His disciples this peculiar news when He was about to be crucified.
Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.”
Our genuine power comes as a gift from Jesus through the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will live IN US and will be with us forever.
The counterintuitive aspect of that beautiful gift is this: We have to need it. It’s when we’re strengthless that we recognize our need for His strength. (See 2 Corinthians 12:9-10). But when we live a life of utter control, when we stiff-arm His help, we don’t experience His splendid power within us.
In short, our independence severs our dependence on the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives (click to tweet).
Here’s the truth: anything significant that happens in the kingdom of God happens because of HIS work, not our stressful control over our circumstances (click to tweet). Remember what God said to Zerubbabel, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6 NASB
If you want a brand new life, you need to tap into the source of life: the Holy Spirit. Consider these truths and the verses supporting each:
Truth One: Living by the Spirit encompasses EVERYTHING.
“Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” Galatians 5:25 NLT
Truth Two: Because we are children of God, we live in glorious FREEDOM as we pursue our brand new life!
“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 NLT
Truth Three: We don’t have to be enslaved to resolutions any more.
“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” Galatians 5:1 NLT
Truth Four: We only live fruitful, joyful, abundant lives when we’re connected to Jesus.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NLT
If you want a brand new life this year, the secret is simply surrendering your strength, giving up the worry and scheming, and letting Jesus shoulder every burden, enabling the Holy Spirit to supercharge you.
Mind if I Pray for You?
Jesus, forgive me for try-try-trying so dang hard this year already. I want a brand new life, but I’m very, very tired of making it work on my own strength. Would You help me see my weakness as a dance floor for Your power? Instead of despising my incapability, would You enable me to see it as an asset, as an avenue to experience more of Your strength in my life? Give me power to walk joyfully today, to let go of bitterness, to forgive those who have hurt me, to eat food that makes me healthy, to do the tasks You’ve set before me. It’s not by my might. It’s by YOUR power. Amen.