As we slip from this Christmas season and approach a new year ahead, I want to pause a while and reflect on what those changes may involve. A new year gives us all a golden opportunity to turn over a new leaf, to seek to change and live in a better way than we did before. Let’s begin with taking a look at the first stage in the process – moving on from the old – before we are ready to embrace the new.
Vestiges linger on in our senses:
A prickle of pine,
sparkling lights ablaze,
glowing candles warming
hearts and hearths.
Mince pies, movies and mischief afoot.
Family noise: tears, shouts, cries for attention,
laughter and temper erupting –
competing with the buzz of TV
and diverse gadgetry.
Care folded up in a card,
Presents mingling with Presence,
Gifts glorified by Grace.
A savour and flavour of life, love and laughter
brought to an end by jangling of nerves,
kerrching of shop tills ringing
instead of choirs singing.
Caught up in consumerism
Wearied by work’s
daily grind resuming.
The lure of the High Street is calling.
Sales scrambling becomes the new pursuit,
leaving us stuffed to the gills
with more Stuff to house
No room at the inn
for it – or for Him.
Let’s get away from the mayhem.
New Year beckons.
New reasons to celebrate.
New horizons to explore.
Time for a make-over?
Time to change our ways?
Perhaps God is speaking to you through these words:
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” ~ Isaiah 43:18 – 19
The verses above speak of God making a way where there seems to be no way. He is the One who states:
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” ~ Revelation 22:13
Nothing is impossible for Him. Nothing in our lives is a surprise to Him. God sees the beginning and the end.
Nostalgia, memory, and fear of change can hold us back from moving on. In learning to trust God’s ways we will eventually come to have peace and feel able to make the necessary changes to become a new, improved version of ourselves.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” ~ Jeremiah 29:11
Moving on requires us to let go – of old behavioural and thought patterns, of those things God may be asking us to relinquish (good as they are in themselves) because He has so much more planned for us than we can begin to imagine. Once His anointing is gone from an area of service then it is no longer fruitful or beneficial to us or to others if we persist in clinging on to it.
Jesus came to set us free from old ways of thinking and doing. He saves us from costly mistakes that will harm us, He saves us from following wrong paths,
He saves us from being lost in our bad habits and ways of reacting. He saves us from living selfishly.
“If our greatest need had been information,
God would have sent us an educator.
If our greatest need had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.
If our greatest need had been pleasure,
God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was forgiveness,
So God sent us a Savior.”
~ Roy Lessin from ‘Meet Me in the Meadow’ devotional
Now that The Saviour is here, we can turn to Him, seek His forgiveness, learn to gradually let go of the things He points out are wrong for us, move further into understanding His ways and live to please Him above ourselves.
“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved” ~ Ephesians 2:4 -5
Pause to ponder:
As you approach this new year,what might it look like if God is included in your thinking and planning?
Could God be asking you to ‘let go’ of something in order to fully ‘move on’ with your life?