My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:26 ESV).
Friend to Friend
My two favorite times of year are September and January. September, because, even in my fifties, September means new notebooks, freshly sharpened pencils, and the hope of a fresh start with a new teacher, a new class, or even a new school. (Let’s just say school was not a happy place for me as a kid, but I always had hope for a new start.)
January, because it’s a new year. A chance to gear up for a new plan, a new start. All that New Year energy just busting to be unleashed on a new project, plan, or program. Every year, I enter the New Year with new hope.
I start the diet, lace up the walking shoes, and dust off the devo. All of which I’ve ignored for the past eleven months.
For some reason, we have been tricked into thinking that January 1st is the best day to start a diet, devote ourselves to an exercise plan, sign up for a Bible reading plan, or any of those things we “should” be doing. But, if you are anything like me, inevitably I stop around January tenth because I’ve lost all my New Year’s mojo.
It is natural to want to change. It is healthy to want to change. But any sustaining change needs to be carried not by our human strength but by God’s strength.
We are told in Scripture, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26 ESV).
So what does that mean for you and me?
- We cannot rely on our own will (the flesh) or emotions (the heart) to carry our resolve through.
- It is only God who will carry us through as we make changes in our lives.
I hope you will join me this year, in the year of quitting.
I’m quitting putting my trust in other people’s plans to make changes in my life.
I’m quitting looking at a date on the calendar to make changes in my life.
I’m quitting beating myself up because there are times that my flesh and my heart may fail.
But here is what I’m starting in earnest this year:
I’m starting to put everything I “should be able to manage” in front of God and admit I’m weak.
I’m starting to reach out to friends who have failed and let them know that change is hard and we are in this together.
I’m starting to recognize that I’ve been fed a lie that my self-control is enough.
That’s why I need to have a better plan than a workout program I buy off the internet, or even a devotional book I’ve ordered online.
I’m not giving up on the hope of change. I’m giving up on thinking that if I were only smarter and more focused, all of this would not be such a struggle. True change, for me, can only spring out of a heart God has changed and sustained.
Friends, let’s normalize change being hard and that we need God in our life to make the real, lasting changes He requires of us. We can’t sustain the change on our own. We need God’s staying power for each step of the way.
Heavenly Father, there is so much change required in my life. Let me not be fooled by the world into believing it is all up to me. Be the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What change are you longing for this coming year? How will knowing that God is the only way sustainable changes can happen change the way that you pray? Click on the comment button and share one way you’ll approach change in the coming year that’s different from before.
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