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Today’s Truth

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

Oh, how I love a fresh start.

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?

  1. We cannot rely on our own will (the flesh) or emotions (the heart) to carry our resolve through.
  2. 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.

Let’s Pray

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.

More from the Girlfriends

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© 2022 by Kathi Lipp. All rights reserved.

7 Responses to “Is It Time for A Change?”

  1. Trying Hard Each Day says:

    What change are you longing for this coming year?
    I am looking for a change in almost all areas of my life. I have gone so long thinking I have to do this and that on my own. It’s reading this devotion that helped me realize I need to do it with God. They say want to get a laugh tell God your plan. That’s why all are need a change, they have been my plans. I want to change and live by His plan.

    How will knowing that God is the only way sustainable changes can happen change the way that you pray?
    I will devote, pray and listen. Then I will act. The genius I believed myself to be, needs to sit down and listen for the word and guidance of God.

  2. Carol says:

    Thank you, Kathi for this New Years’ lift.
    Just answered an email from a friend that is dealing with covid infections in her family.
    We need a brand new start, with a dark, two year old problem. We can only have “the desire of your heart” (Psalm 20:4), by relaying on God’s strength. We just don’t have that kind of power.
    Thank you, for your inspired words. I’m praying for God’s power to lift this over shadowing disease, off of our world.

  3. Anna says:

    I want to drink less this year. A glass of wine in the evenings has turned into more and I don’t like the way it makes me feel. I will pray for strength on this. I want to be able to enjoy myself without the extra alcohol.

  4. Diane says:

    When I feel pressure or anxious I need to stop and pray, not try and figure it out on my own.

  5. Tanya says:

    Thank you for the message. Yes I need God to remove all my defects of character. I need God to guide me when I am with others. Please God empty me of me and fill me with you.

  6. Mari says:

    Just one!?! But I have so many! 🙂 I think my big one is to be faster to forgive. To stop being mad past its expiration date.

  7. Kathy says:

    My word for this year is acceptance and I wrote each of these in my journal with word acceptance…..acceptance to put my life, my plans and my changes to God, acceptance that it can be today, July or 4:00 pm to make changes or plans when God is in control, acceptance that I don’t need to feel guilty, berate myself or belittle my failures….God doesn’t so why do I, acceptance that I am weak but he is strong
    Seriously this devotion was my New Years resolutions but written with quitting while I used the word acceptance

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8