Happy New Year! Another year has come and gone, and most of us are reflecting back on the past year. There’s no doubt been some wins and many things we’re thankful for, but as we head into a new year the focus is often on the things we want to change. We set some goals and we call them New Year’s Resolutions. We decide to give up some bad habits or to start some good ones. (Maybe both, if we’re really ambitious!) This is going to be the year that we finally have some victory! But before long, we find ourselves falling back into our old patterns and when the calendar turns to February, many of us have given up on our goals. There’s always next year, right?
Why is that? Why is it so hard to make a change when we really want to do it? For starters, we have an enemy that does not want us to be victorious. For the child of God, he knows that we have already won the war and our eternity is secure in Jesus. So if he can’t change the ultimate outcome, he will do everything he can to make the journey as difficult as possible. When he sees that we’re struggling in an area, he will make that area the weapon he uses to beat us over the head whenever we start moving forward. Addictions, bad habits, and pessimistic attitudes make perfect weapons. They are like a ball and chain fastened to our ankle, slowing us down until we give up under the exhaustion of the fight. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20
Our “old self” was littered with habits and dispositions. Whether they were passed down through our families or picked up along the road of life, they became a part of who we were. It is our flesh that has always struggled with these strongholds. But here’s the important truth the devil wants us to forget — Our “old self” was crucified with Christ the moment we decided to put our faith in Him.
The “old me” with all of those addictions, habits, and attitudes is dead and gone! Now Jesus lives in me! And even though I may still be living in the same old body, I have a whole new operating system. Now I live by faith in Jesus and what He can do. He already gave his life for me. He will have no problem giving me the strength and self-control I need to overcome bad habits that are holding me back and replace them with life-giving, God-honoring habits that will move me forward in the will of God! Trust God and believe you have the strength you need in Him!
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9