New year, new you!
It may be a new year, but you are still the same you. Nothing magical happens while you sleep the night of December 31st. You still wake up the same you on January 1st.
The year might have changed, the weather may be different, you may even have resolutions to kick yourself into gear for the new year, but the inner workings of who you are remain the same. You still have the collection of moments and experiences that make up who you are in the present day. Your past still informs your future.
You remain you.
But you being you is not a stagnant thing.
It’s an ever growing thing.
The thing is, you have a choice as to how you are going to grow.
Will you grow in hatred or love?
Will you grow in anger or peace?
Will you grow in immorality or holiness?
Will you grow in frustration or patience?
Will you grow in cynicism or compassion?
Will you grow in complaining or kindness?
Will you grow in greed or generosity?
Will you grow in sadness or joy?
Will you grow in fear or trust?
Will you grow in control or faithfulness?
Will you grow in shame or freedom?
Will you grow in bitterness or forgiveness?
Will you grow in spiritual complacency or spiritual health?
Will you grow in hiding or vulnerability?
Will you grow in timidity or boldness?
Will you grow in disobedience or obedience?
Will you grow in becoming more like Christ?
Which way will you choose to grow this year?
Sometimes a challenge of a full year is daunting, so my question for you now is, which way will you choose to grow today?
Growth doesn’t happen overnight. It is a moment by moment, day by day choice.
For the believer in Christ, this growth and choice of becoming more and more like Christ is called sanctification. It’s the work that God is doing in you to mold you into becoming more like Him and it is the choice you are making to be obedient to Him.
My husband gave his testimony at church on Sunday. To say that it was powerful is an understatement. The trials he has walked through have been far from minor and they have left scars. He had a choice as to which way he was going to go. Would he become more like the world, letting his heart become calloused and hardened, or would he become more like Christ through his trials?
He chose Christ.
Again, it wasn’t overnight that that happened. And it is still in the process of happening, as it is for me and for you and for all believers.
He is actively choosing to daily surrender to Christ.
What does that look like?
It starts with just a simple prayer of, “Jesus, I’m all yours. Have your way with me.”
Beyond that it looks like faithfully praying, studying God’s Word, praising and worshiping our Almighty God, avoiding sin, fellowshipping with other believers, being actively involved in your local church, responding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and serving God and His people with a glad and sincere heart.
What will your choice for today be?
May your life, may my life, be hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3).
I encourage you to take a few minutes, listen to this song and proclaim it with your heart, mind, and mouth that you choose surrender to Christ.
“Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him.” Romans 12:1, The Message
God, overshadow me.