Monday, January 3, 2011

It's Not Too Late to be Out with the Old and In with the New

It's the New Year and for weeks now we've all heard about making resolutions and starting the New Year. . . hoping it will be better than last year! I know that's what I'm hoping for. . . something better. Lord, please don't let it get any worse!

We tend to say, "Well, That's Done!" Make some resolutions and PLOW into the New Year. Only to get to December 26th ready to put that year behind us too ~ because if we are honest it really wasn't any better.

Let me ask, what do you call that? Think about it for a minute. . .

INSANITY!! That's what you call it. Doing the same thing over and over expecting something different.

Here is the truth of the matter: We won't get into the New Year correctly without taking care of last years trash.

You've heard the saying, "out with the old, in with the new."

Jesus even said we can't put our new wine in old bottles. Matthew 9:16-17

And Proverbs tells us that every thing we do flows from our heart. Proverbs 4:23

Therefore there is more to making a New Year successful than plowing ahead with some new resolutions. We've got to clean out our heart.

Let's take a good look at the way we're living and reorder our lives under God. Let's lift our hearts and hands at one and the same time, praying to God in heaven: "We've been contrary and willful, and you haven't forgiven. Lamentations 3:40

This is where most people quit on the road to recovery and freedom. It's fun to look ahead to something new and NOT so fun to look back and examine our life, and why it is the way it is.

If you've never done this. . . then you have your WHOLE life to look back at. That can be pretty discouraging. Overwhelming and painful even. It can stir up emotions that you've spent your whole life trying not to re-live. Anger, hurt, walked out on, and shame to name a few.

BUT if you want some sanity in your life and you want things to be different THIS year. You best bite the bullet, and get at it!

Here are some words of CAUTION though. Don't do it without an accountability partner (a Godly one!). Someone to encourage you to stick with it. Someone who can be truthful with you even if it hurts. Someone to remind you to stay balanced because looking back is not all about looking at the bad. You've gotta see the good too. For me, it was amazing to realize that God was there all along. Even before I knew Him. Guiding the path of my life. What freedom came! When I saw that some of those terrible things that were meant for evil God meant for good. Because that's just the way He rolls. Genesis 50:20 He is no different today than we was then (amen?!).

With all that being said, let me encourage you to stop the insanity. Just because it's January 3rd doesn't mean it's too late. As a matter of fact it wouldn't matter if it was August. You can do this anytime.

Make time to really stop and look back at your life. Get alone with God!

Open up your heart, mind and emotions for a good look. Ask yourself. . . what do I fear or feel guilty about. What or who do I resent? Am I trapped in self-pity, alibis, and dishonest thinking? Have I believed a lies?

Rely on Jesus to give you the courage and strength it takes to really do this.

Analyze your past honestly. Be truthful.

List the good and the bad.

And don't forget this. . . the enemy does NOT want you to do this. So I can almost guarantee you it will be hard. But don't quit. God in His great goodness will bring freedom from our past, hurts, habits, and hang ups. And I don't know about you but I'm READY for something NEW. And so is my Lord. Isaiah 43:19

Here is some Good News to help encourage you:

Once you do this. . . you can keep a short account. It doesn't ever have to be time consuming, or overwhelming again. We don't have to wait years, months, or days to do this. We can live like this moment by moment. Right with God, ourselves and others. Ready all the time for something NEW.