New Year’s Resolutions

I didn’t expect to write another post this year, but I am compelled to sit here and write. I simply can’t get this sentence out of my mind. “Christ came into the world for you — and you came into the world for Him.” Voskamp

Most of us make New Year’s resolutions every year. We contemplate what we would like to do differently in the new year. But this year, I would like to challenge myself and you to bring God into what we decide our resolutions need to be. Maybe we should ask ourselves a few questions before we write down our resolutions. 

“Lord, we came into this world for you. What would You like for us to change in our lives? What lessons do we need to learn? What things do we need to do differently? What do you want us to do with our days? How can we bring glory to You?”  

It is pretty simple when it comes right down to it. Why am I here? Why are you here? Our purpose in life is to display Christ. Our purpose is to glorify Him in what we say and what we do. He wants us to love others and live our days walking with Him. 

How often do we include God in the process of writing down our resolutions? He wants us to include Him in the process. He came down. He came down to this earth for us. He came to give us life. He came to be our Savior. I think we forget the simplicity of it all. 

“This night a battle has been waged and won for you. Love had to come back for you. Love had to get to you. The Love that has been coming for you since the beginning—He slays dragons for you. This is the truest love story of history, and it’s His-Story, and it’s for you. All the other fairy-tale love stories only echo your yearning for this truest, realest one—this one that has its beginning before the beginning of time. This night, you on this visited planet, your rescue is here. You can breathe. Your God extends now on straw. He lays Himself down in your mire. He unfolds Himself in the stench you want to hide, in that mess that is your impossible, in the mucked straw you don’t want anyone to know.” Voskamp

When I read those words, it makes me want to live my days for Him. Look at what He did for us!!! He came down. I can’t get that fact out of my head! And, He not only came down, but He also wants to lay Himself down in our mire! 

Word nerd alert! What does mire mean? 1. a stretch of swampy or boggy ground. 2. a situation or state of difficulty, distress, or embarrassment from which it is hard to extricate oneself.

He wants to get into the things that drag us down. He wants to be with us while we battle the things we want to hide from everyone. I have learned that the only way I am going to get out of the mire, is to grab onto Him for dear life. He is my only rescue! I might try to attach myself to other things, but HE IS THE ONLY WAY OUT! 

If you want to get free from something in the new year, you have to invite Jesus into the stench you want to hide. He wants you to ask for His help. He wants to rescue you, but you have to do your part. 

I know what it is like to be desperate for change. I know what it is like to be stuck in my own sin looking for a way out. I have felt utterly helpless because I couldn’t see how I was going to be able to break free from the bondage in my life. But, I am here to tell you that Jesus came down in the muck and mire of my sin and brought me out!

There isn’t a magical pill you can take. You simply have to be honest with God. No more hiding or lying to yourself or to Him. He knows the truth anyway. That issue or issues in your life aren’t going to go away without inviting Him into them. I have spent many years getting honest with God. I have had so many strongholds that needed to be broken. But God has been right by my side setting me free from the sin that was keeping me in bondage. He got in the mire with me and brought me out. But, I had to do my part. 

We have to be willing to give up what we desperately want to hang onto. A drug addict has to be willing to give up drugs. An alcoholic has to be willing to give up alcohol. A sex addict has to be willing to give up sex. We have to be willing to give up whatever is keeping us bogged down. If you want to be set free, you have to be willing to give it to God. 

I know that there is someone out there that is reading this post and thinking, “I want to change, but I just don’t think I can give up _________.” Let me tell you right now, you can. And the reason why you can is because Jesus came down. He came down for us. And if He can come down and die on that cross for us, then we can give up whatever it is that is controlling our lives. 

I am very passionate about this because I have lived it. I have had to go before the Lord many, many times and lay things down. I have had to ask for His help so I can walk in freedom. I have journal after journal that documents freedom from the sin in my life. I know how hard it is to give things up or give people up. But, what you gain makes the people or the issues in your life lose their importance. And that my friend is pure joy! When you gain more of Christ, there isn’t anything else on this earth that can compete with that!

Philippians 3:8 “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”

There is never a day that I say, “I wish I had that bondage back. I wish I had those people back that were a big part of my problems. I wish I could go back and live in the mire and stench of my sin.” I kind of like living in freedom. Once you taste it, you don’t ever want to go back. And there is freedom to be had for all of us!!!

So this year, when we make our New Year’s resolutions, may we be mindful of Christ and include Him in the process. Ask Him what changes need to be made and seek Him for His wisdom and strength. Call on Him to get into the messes we have made and rescue us from our sin. He is there waiting to help us. That’s why He came down. He came into the world for us and we are in this world for Him!!! 

I am going to end with some verses from Isaiah that I learned when I was taking “Breaking Free” by Beth Moore. These words depict who Jesus is and why He came. 

Isaiah 61:1-3 

“The spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,

     because the Lord has anointed me

     to preach good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

     to proclaim freedom for the captives

     and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor

     and the day of vengeance of our God,

to comfort all who mourn,

     and provide for those who grieve in Zion—

to bestow on them a crown of beauty

     instead of ashes, 

the oil of gladness

     instead of mourning,

and a garment of praise 

     instead of despair.

They will be called oaks of righteousness, 

     a planting of the Lord

     for the display of his splendor.”

Happy New Year!! May 2022 be a year of freedom for all of us!! 

This is my journey to joy. Until next time…

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