These are the things that fill my mind as I set my eyes on 2017. As I think about New Year’s Resolutions, I could not help to think of Romans 7, in this passage Paul talks about the war between the sin that allures us and our desire to do what is right.
My goal for 2017: Sin less. Not to be confused with sinless, but a life with less sin.
Why do I want to sin less? Because I want to look more like Jesus. I want to glorify God in with my life. I believe what God has for me, His plans, His purpose, His life is best accomplished when I hate sin. I believe that God designed people in His image and we were without sin, so in 2017 I would like to sin less. I think that’s a great goal for 2017, but if the motivation is just me with all my efforts again, I’ll fail again.
Thankfully, Romans 8 reminds us that we have life in the Spirit. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives within each and every believer. God’s love is poured onto us by the Holy Spirit. In 2017, I want to die to myself each day. I want to ask the Spirit of the Living God that lives in me, who makes intercession on my behalf, who convicts me of sin to reign. For 2017, I want to be intentional about being Spirit-filled over working out of my own strength.
What does this look like? It looks different for each person. All of us have different sins that trip us up. To me, it looks like starting each day verbally giving God control of the details. Control is something I struggle with. It looks like surrounding myself with other Christ-followers who I trust to tell me when I have justified my sin so well, I am blind to it, and allowing them to speak truth and life into me. A spirit-filled life for me looks like not needing to have the last word, which is an action, but it shows an inner belief, or being spirit-filled, that God is my defender and peace with all mankind is important. A spirit-filled life is a life that chases after Jesus and His holiness and His righteousness. It is a life that shares and lives the gospel with everyone they come in contact with each day.
As we embark into 2017, where are we finding our strength? Are we trying to achieve through our own power or through the Holy Spirit? These questions are ones I have to ask myself on a regular basis. It is easy to set goals, even righteous goals, and forget that it is only by God’s grace we are saved. It is only through Him we have hope. As we look forward to a New Year, I hope that you might join me in seeking new beginnings each day, in living a life filled with the Holy Spirit’s leading!