Friday, January 17, 2014

Retro SGM Radio: 2010 Reality Check - New Year, New Day

By Lorraine Walker

Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet, or are you one of many who simply refuse? Are you working on a resolution that you’ve been trying to keep since 1995? The start of a new, shiny, unused year seems to twig something inside us, making us want to be shiny and new as well.

Jeff and Sheri Easter used to sing a catchy tune called: Every Day Is a New Day. A sweet, simple song but a great reminder that not only is every year new, but every day is new too. We can have a fresh start every morning. We can look at the day as a new chance to be a better person or to do something worthwhile, no matter where we are in life.

I’m so glad that God ‘makes His mercies new every morning’, and that His well of grace never runs dry, no matter how often I need to come to Him for forgiveness and for the strength to get back up and walk again after I’ve fallen. I’m glad that each day is another chance to follow Him more closely.

I used to think the verse that talks about ‘denying’ ourselves and ‘taking up the Cross’ meant being willing to be identified with Christ while taking on His burden. And it does, but it also means to deny myself: to be willing to put aside the ‘me’ that always wants to be in charge. I need to be willing to put aside my wants, desires, hopes and dreams and to allow Jesus to place His dreams in my heart.

A friend of mine recently commented that she was wondering if she was wrong in wanting to follow her dreams and what she wanted in life. She commented that she thought she was perhaps being too much like Satan who wanted his own way and who dwelt on the pride that made him put himself on the throne got him kicked out of Heaven.

The Lord gave me words at the time that I’ve thought about often in the days following, as the message was to me as much as it was to my friend.

My response was that as we grow closer to the Lord, He replaces our desires with His. He has already given us talents and skills for specific reasons and I believe He has a special purpose for each of us. As we follow Him and deny ourselves, He places His hopes and dreams inside our hearts, and they become ours. As we place Him on the throne of our lives, we begin to live an abundant life, following the dreams of the God of the Universe. Rather incredible, isn’t it?

The secret to following, I believe, is knowing that every day is fresh chance to draw closer to God. It is a chance to allow Him to see everything that is in our hearts, good and bad. Each day is a chance to let Him to shine His light on the things in our lives that aren’t what they should be, and to draw us to repentance.

Oswald Chambers talks about ‘conscious repentance’ and ‘unconscious holiness’. The more we allow God to be on the throne of our life, the more He will show us what things need to be tossed out of our lives through repentance. That brings us closer to Him and allows Him to shine through us. The closer we follow, the more others don’t see us but see the One we are following. That is true holiness. And every day is another day closer to that goal.

May the Lord bless you in this New Year and may each new day draw you closer to Him.

Reality Check first published by SGM Radio website January 2010.

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