That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.Ephesians 4:22-24
As we begin another year, there are many who have goals they would like to see achieved in the upcoming year. It could be reading the Bible through, finding a new job, or the most common one of losing some weight and exercising more. There is a company named Garmin whose slogan is, “Better than yesterday.” If we remain the same, we are digressing more than we are progressing. Progression and good change takes intention, effort, and a plan. We cannot simply write out goals and ambitions, but we must put feet to our goals and act on them. There are many who want to change, but they have no goal and they are not willing to put in work and effort to make it happen. Things will not change for you in this coming year if you do nothing, and in fact, things may get worse. Do you want to see real change in your life?
Romans 12:2 tells us, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” If you want to see true change in your life, you will need to change your thinking and thought process. You will need to renew your mind. You can no longer live life thinking how you used to think, but you must think how God would want you to think. It most instances, this will require you to pause and think before reacting, as our first reaction many times is wrong and ungodly. Our thinking often is distorted by this world as we conform to the world’s thinking. We hear things that often sound good, but are really new-age thinking and unbiblical. If we will conform our thinking to God’s will, we will see God change our thinking which will lead to biblical change.
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” What are your plans for this year? Are you perhaps pursuing a job in a different state or location, but have not given much thought to a potential church home? Are you confused about where God would have you to go? Are you confused about your next steps? Is there an action you need to take by faith that you are not willing or sure you want to take? I remember being a confused and lost 18-year-old and not knowing what God would have me to do. I was not in my Bible or on my knees pursuing God as I should, but I still desired His guidance in my life. My old pastor gave me these verses and it opened my eyes to pursue God instead of what I wanted to do. These verses were my father-in-law’s life verses, and there is no better path to take than the one on which God leads you.
I look at the key verses posted at the top of this blog, and I think of how we need to put off the old man. Only by God’s grace can we change and become unrecognizable. Unrecognizable to our friends, family members and those we work with. We should no longer accept the phrases, “Well, this is how I am” or “I have always been this way.” God wants to change your life and He will if you cooperate with Him. I do not want to be the same as I was last year and there are things that God has shown me that I need to work on. I want to be unrecognizable at the end of the year, and I want to lay aside those besetting sins and distractions in my life. I want to have an eternal focus and not one that simply looks at the pleasure of today.
Where do you want to be at the end of the year? Who do you want to see saved that you have praying for? What do you need God to do for you this year? What changes do you need to make? Will this year be different, or will you fall back into the old man? May we allow God to mold us more into the new man and by God’s grace, may we be unrecognizable as we end the year and even more so as we see the day of His coming approaching.