A new year often brings impetus for reflection and a recalibration of focus and energy. We might be inclined to spend a few moments thinking about what we like about our life and what we want to change. We might even be honest about areas of life we know God wants to change in us.
This process can be healthy and spiritually productive. It can also become a means of self justification or despair, depending on the amount of success we achieve. We are called to “mortify” or consider dead the deeds of the flesh (Colossians 3:5).
If you are like me, these efforts at change are often very discouraging because they are not instant. Additionally, the battles and struggles with sin don’t go quietly and repeated failure can result in us wondering if we are making any progress at all.
These repeated failures do accomplish a good work in us, for they make us realize the ultimate power for lasting change is not found in our self efforts, but rather in the person and work of the One who successfully faced each and every temptation without sin, Jesus Christ the righteous, Hebrews 4:15. Not only is He perfection incarnate, Christ is the sole source of real and lasting change that God accomplishes in His people. We cry with the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:24-25 “Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord . . . ”
So in this new year, let’s together go to Christ for our source of help and grace to change. Knowing He has given us all we need for life and godliness, He has ample grace to aid us in our battle, and His love for us is based on His character and promise. We come boldly in prayer to Him for this help, Hebrews 4:14-16. The Cross of Christ promises that the Spirit of God will utilize His Word, His Church, and even the trouble of life to not only justify us from our sin through His grace, but continue the process of spiritual renovation in us as the root level. He truly was and is faithful in all things and worthy all glory, Hebrews 3:1-3.