It’s that time of year again. Goals are being crafted. Promises are being made. Resolutions are being formed. If you’re like me, these goals, promises, and resolutions typically revolve around areas in my life or around my life that need some work … something is not as it could be or should be and I become burdened to do something different or to be something different.
I believe these burdens are from God. The good news is that God doesn’t burden us and then leave us on our own. If all I have at the beginning of this New Year is God telling me who to be but not helping me be it … that will lead to an incredibly defeated and guilt-ridden 2016. I need more than for God to tell me what I should do and who I should be. I need His help to do and to be. Thankfully, help is exactly what Jesus offers. This is why Jesus says what he says in Mark 10:45: “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.” Every time Jesus calls us to something, every time He stirs a burden in our heart for something that should be and could be, it is His way of telling us how He wants to help us. It is His way of showing us how we can come to Him and receive “mercy and find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Any burden He places upon our heart … any passion or fire He stirs up inside of us … any area of our life that doesn’t match up with our identity as a follower of Jesus… all of that is His way of saying, “Hey, I am willing and able to offer you My power to get going.” And, Ephesians 1 tells me that God’s power is an incomparably great power … a power so great that for me to even begin to understand God’s power, I literally need God’s power! His power is more than enough to accomplish whatever it is He wants to accomplish in you or through you.
God is always moving toward us. He is always working, always moving, always acting on our behalf “in order to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13) If you’re reading this and you’re a follower of Jesus, you have the hope of knowing that God’s purposes in your life will always be fulfilled with God’s power in your life. The fancy, theological term for this is “progressive sanctification” and it means that Jesus is changing you by the power of his Holy Spirit. He is working through you by the power of the Holy Spirit. You are never left on your own. But, these changes don’t always happen as fast as we’d like. And, they’re not always as easy as we would like. But, that’s OK. Easy only drives us back to ourselves. Hard drives us back to God. If something is easy, we typically don’t run to God. But when it’s hard, we are driven back to Him for help. And, He will always meet us there. Always. Whatever change God wants to work in you or through you in 2016 probably isn’t going to be easy. But, hard is OK. Don’t run from hard. Run to God in the midst of the hard.
Whatever 2016 has in store ... whatever goals, promises, or resolutions are on your heart ... God is inviting you in to His plan for your life. It may not be easy, but we don’t do things because they are easy. We do things because our God is with us and will accomplish His purposes through His power, not ours.