8 days into the new year. How’s it going so far for you? And your resolutions? Are you still resolved 8 days in?
Somewhere along the way, I kind-of gave up on creating resolutions. Instead, I like to call them goals. Because as soon as I call them resolutions, I know I’ll be doomed to not follow through, like almost everyone else on the planet.
That’s why I was so encouraged a few days ago by Genesis 1:1. Yep, Genesis 1:1. The verse you probably memorized in 3rd grade and never associated with New Year’s resolutions.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Like all good Bible reading plans, the one I’m using starts in Genesis on January 1. Honestly, I wasn’t that excited about reading Genesis again… but God is good. He can take the most familiar passages and bring out something meaningful and specific to our lives if we’re open.
As I read through Genesis 1, I tried to picture what it would’ve been like for God speak into existence everything we can now see with our eyes. Verse 2 tells us that earth began as a formless, void and dark place, somehow covered in water. And the Holy Spirit hovered over those waters.
Then, day by day for 6 days God literally spoke into existence light, sky, sea, land, ocean creatures, land animals, birds, plants of all kinds, stars, the moon and the sun. And each day He took a look at what He made, and He liked it. It was good.
I love how the Big Picture Story Bible illustrates this:
Lastly and uniquely, God made man and woman, His prize creation, made in his own image, with dignity, honor, reason and an eternal soul. God liked this creation most of all. He declared man and woman as His very good creation.
What Does This Have to Do with New Year’s Resolutions?
So glad you asked. You see, as I was reading Genesis 1, and specifically verse 1, I was reminded of who God is.
Our God is Creator.
He is able and enjoys making things come into being when there was nothing there before. He creates. He takes nothing and brings something. Ex-nihilo is Latin for “out of nothing.” Out of nothing, He created everything. And He did that in the beginning (vs 1).
So here at the beginning of a new year as I look at the goals that I’ll no doubt struggle to keep, I gladly turn my eyes to the Creator, the one who has the ability to produce in my life something from nothing.
The new habits that don’t exist in my life yet, He can create.
The true, victorious thinking I’d like to start believing, He can bring to life.
The love and patience I’d like to give my family, He can cause to spring up.
The kindness I’d like to consistently speak, He can produce.
Something from nothing in me, created by the work and power of the Holy Spirit.
What I’m Really Getting At
For a while, I think I’ve relied on my own wisdom and power to get things done in my life.
What I mean is, when I’ve struggled to overcome sin or to press forward in a particular area, I’ve found myself sitting down and creating lists…
-Lists of how I need to improve.
-Lists of what I should be doing.
-Lists of what I think a good Christian/ a good wife/ a good mom would do.
(Of course, I usually had some scripture to correlate with each “should,” but mostly the verses centered around me doing something, instead of being and trusting.)
In general, these lists came from the best intentions of my heart, to please God. But still, they were my intentions, created with my own wisdom and in my own power.
But now as I remember that my God is Creator, I find myself so encouraged to look to Him to lead me, to bring to life the desires of His heart for me.
Rather than push my own agenda or even use the best human logic I have,
Why not let Him take the lead?
Why not follow Him toward His goals for me this year?
Why not let Him create those things in me by the real power of the Holy Spirit?
This is what I really want, to live by His power and to accomplish things completely beyond my own ability. Don’t you?
I believe this Creator God is kind enough to do that in 2016 (and 2017!), and desires to bring glory to His name through women like you and me who are surrendered to Him.
So how do you see God leading you as the new year begins? What steps of faith can you take toward Him? In what ways can you obey as you trust Him in 2016?
May 2016 be our best year ever, as we look to God to create His work in our lives each and every day!! Blessings on you as you follow Him!