New Year, New Ambitions, Same Me, Same God

The dawn of the new year is upon us. Gyms are flooded with hoards of people, myself quite possible among them, committed to their health and the health of their body. Finances are scrutinized. Bible plans are picked up with new vigor and dedication. For at least a week. 

I used to work for a coffee shop. After December’s madness, the business died down and January became a barren wasteland. Inevitably, by the time Valentine’s Day rolled around, it picked back up and we were operating at full speed, making warm beverages full of chocolate and slathered in whipped cream for those who had already abandoned the diets they were so committed to at the start of the year. 

Resolutions for the new year are helpful.

Resolutions for the new year are helpful. Goals guide and shape us. They give us something to strive for, a lens through which to make decisions about our daily life. But they are not what defines us. 

Because even though I have new goals for this year, who I am as a person did not magically change overnight. When the clock struck midnight, I kissed my husband and cheered hopefully for better times to come than the year before. But I did not magically become a person who enjoys salads or dislikes shopping. The ushering in of this new year did not usher in a higher state of holiness than the person who had previously been struggling to read her Bible and spend daily time in prayer. 

Resolutions for the new year are helpful. Goals guide and shape us. But they are not what defines us.  Click To Tweet

While this year has brought new opportunities for me to commit myself to becoming a better version of who I am today, nothing has innately changed about the world. There are days when that causes me to despair, to wonder how I can become the holy and sanctified person God has called me to be, but those are the days I am not rooting myself in the truth of who I am and who God is. 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8, ESV

When the clock struck midnight, I was still a sinner in desperate need of the mercy of God. But God? He was also still the same, yesterday today, and forever.

When the clock struck midnight, I was still a sinner in desperate need of the mercy of God. But God? He was also still the same, yesterday today, and forever. 

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:6, ESV

God is not changing, and neither is His commitment to my sanctification. While I may stumble and fall along the way, He will be there, gently restoring my soul and lifting me, through His Holy Spirit, to become the person He shed His blood upon Calvary to make me. 

When the clock struck midnight, I was still a sinner in desperate need of the mercy of God. But God? He was also still the same, yesterday today, and forever.  Click To Tweet

This new year, my growth is not solely dependent on me. God knew I would never be able, on my own, to be holy as He is holy. So He called me to be His, but He also equipped me to be His. And He shed His very blood that it might be possible. 

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. – Romans 8:29-30, ESV 

So while I will try my hardest to honor my body, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, to exercise self-control, and to dedicate myself to spiritual practices God has given us to strengthen us, I will do so knowing I will fail. 

Trust God for Change in the New Year #womenintheword #devotional #newyeargoals #godlywoman #christianliving

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I will fall short again and again and again. But God’s grace will not fall short.

I will fall short again and again and again. But God’s grace will not fall short. 

I will fall short again and again and again. But God’s grace will not fall short.  Click To Tweet

While I do not want to presume on His grace, I know that I am in desperate need of it, in this year as much as ever. Because any true, lasting, heartfelt change that will come in my life will come only by His grace. 

I am too weak on my own to lift myself from my natural, sinful state. For a season, I may try and even see some success. But, inevitably, it will fall short. Thankfully, I can walk into this and every year knowing that His mercy is more than enough to cover my failing and that, by the grace of God and His blood shed for me, one day, I will be holy as He is holy. 

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony about your walk with Christ here and tying it to the symbolism of a New Year. What I got from your story was like how we were blessed with a new year, a new season, a new day, Christ gives us another chance every time to continue His good works, to preach the gospel, and to better ourselves as best we can (with His guidance of course) to lead the best lives as disciples as possible. People are beginning to turn a way from resolutions, but I believe they are still a good practice to cultivate good habits and help break old ones. As long as we are following the Most High’s instruction (as best we can) and living a life with the love He has instilled within us, every day, every year will be better than the one before.

  2. Very good post! I think it is so important to make goals, to stretch, to see what God has planned for the year. Then, to work to trust God to see every good work come to pass with his strength and our willingness. I am so excited about a new year, but I loved last year as well!

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