Welcome 2013 and welcome, Dear Readers, to my very first blog post for the year!
As it has usually been the case at the start of every new year, people talk about their New Year’s Resolutions. Some of the resolutions we’re most likely to hear would be “to eat healthier”, “to start losing weight”, “to get more serious about exercising”, “to quit smoking”, “to become a better [wife/mother/boss/employee]”, the list goes on. Some would even vow to make a drastic lifestyle change such as quitting a job, or moving to another state, or starting a business.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to change certain aspects of your life especially if it’s aimed at becoming a better version of yourself. Wanting to become a better mother, wife or employee is an admirable goal. However, as noble as our intentions or desires might be, they are often not grounded on the will of God for us; not to mention that we often fail because we think that we can accomplish our goals by relying on our own abilities and willpower. That’s why we lose the battle before it even began.
So, I propose that we make this year significantly different not because of a resolution but a RESTORATION through Christ Jesus.
Based on the definition above, the way I see it, the whole process of Restoration can be simplified and summarized in three steps — Refresh, Realign, Reclaim.
Surely, we each have our share of frustrations, disappointments, heartaches and downfall last year. We’ve had our moments of weakness and failures of epic proportions. But the first step in Restoration would be to lay down all the pains of the past at Jesus’ feet and leave it there… for good. As it is, you don’t have any use for it… you wouldn’t want it, you sure wouldn’t need it. But in God’s hands, our pains can be used to bring glory to Him. He can bring good purposes out of our sufferings. As soon as you cast your burdens upon Him, allow His peace to fill your heart and experience a moment of refreshing. Feel the burden disappear as you let His Holy Spirit comfort your heart.
Now, time to ask the Lord to realign your will and plans to His. There’s no point in planning out the rest of the year if we’re not operating within God’s will. You won’t succeed, your achievements won’t taste as sweet, it will all be in vain. Seek the will of God for you and your family this year. Let Him confirm if He wants you to quit your job. Let His Word be your motivation to living a healthier lifestyle. Let Him teach you how He wants you to love your husband or raise your children. Let Him be your Financial Adviser, your Match-Maker, your Job Finder.
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” ~ Proverbs 19:21
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” ~ Proverbs 16:9
Without faith, it’s impossible to please God. So, if you’re going to start the new year right, I say you meet it head on, armed with faith that this year will be a triumphant year! Reclaim what is rightfully yours as a Child of God — VICTORY in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Why ask God and then doubt that He can give what you ask for? Why even bother if you don’t believe? After you let go of yesteryear’s pains, and getting your heart in alignment with God’s will, reclaim the victory in Christ, through Whom we can do all things!
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” ~ Hebrews 11:6
“But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” ~ James 1:6
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” ~ Philippians 4:13
Restoration, Not Resolution
Committing to a New Year’s Resolution is not the key to the lasting life transformation many of us may be looking for. Committing our hearts to Christ by constantly refreshing our souls with verses from the Bible, guarding our hearts and making sure it has no greater desire than the will of God for our lives, and facing the future with boldness, determination and certainty that God will never fail… that is what brings forth a lasting transformation in our lives that will inspire our children and everyone else that may choose to follow in our footsteps.
This year, let’s commit not to a Resolution. Instead, let’s seek a Restoration — let’s return to our Creator and allow the Master Potter to do the much needed repairing, renovating and renewing of our lives.
A New Year’s Prayer
Instead of a New Year’s Resolution, may I invite you Friends to join me and write a New Year’s Prayer instead. Please feel free to share your prayer with me by posting it on the comment box below or by sharing it with me through a private message. I’m also welcoming your prayer requests.
Below is my prayer for us:
Father in Heaven, we thank you so much first and foremost for the gift of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, apart from whom we would be nothing and would accomplish nothing. We are extremely thankful that the God who holds all authority in heaven and on earth is the same God who is in control of our lives; that nothing happens without Your knowing and without Your permission. We thank You that everything You have allowed to happen to us has been a part of Your greater plan for each of us. As we seek to know You more, would You please open the eyes of our hearts so that we may receive what Your Holy Spirit has to speak to us today.
Thank You, Father, for every single person You have led to this page, joining me in prayer right now. You know our every desire and need, every pain and suffering, and You alone can touch even the deepest recesses of our souls and bring healing where it’s needed. I pray that you meet each person reading this right where she is.
Lord, we confess that we have made many wrong choices last year and that we have lived our lives in a manner not pleasing or totally surrendered to You. We have entertained thoughts, spoken words, committed actions that didn’t honor You. We humbly ask for Your forgiveness. Please forgive us also for the times we questioned Your will or doubted that Your grace is always sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). Thank You that You are faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9), blotting out our transgressions and remembering our sins no more (Isaiah 43:25).
Please give us hearts that will seek to know You more, to obey Your commandments and to walk in Your truth. This year, we ask that You guard our hearts and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. We surrender our past to You, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. We look forward to a year with You, Lord, and growing in a deeper relationship with Jesus. We are thankful that in Christ, we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and should no longer be afraid of all the ghosts from our past. Thank You for reminding us that we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves nor let anybody condemn us for past mistakes because there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Thank You also for not letting us be tested beyond our ability to overcome (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Give us the wisdom to make the right choices this year for as You have promised, if any of us lacks wisdom, he should ask You, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and You will give it to him (James 1:5). We will face this year with complete trust in You that although we make many plans, it’s still You who are directing our steps (Proverbs 16:9). Thank You that we can count on You to finish the good work You began in us (Philippians 1:6).
Father, we ask You to bless us this year that we may be a blessing to others in return. We come boldly before Your throne, merciful Father, and present every financial, medical, emotional and spiritual request to You (Philippians 4:6). This we pray, in the mighty name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, the founder and perfecter of our faith.
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” ~ Hebrews 4:16
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” ~ Hebrews 12:1
Friends, let’s continue running the race until we see our Lord’s face. Don’t be weary or discouraged. Don’t give up. Keep pressing on. A Happy and B-E-A-U-tiful 2013 to us all!
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