Effective Change In Our Life

Every time January rolls around again we set our hopes high for
having a better year than we did last year saying to ourselves, “I’m
going to lose some weight and get healthy,” “I’m going to get out of
debt,” “I’m going to save some money,” but unfortunately many
times nothing really changes. We set the bar high, but we end up
falling short. Then we beat ourselves up because we couldn’t reach
our goals so we throw in the towel saying, “Why bother?”

I believe the Lord wants us to have a successful year in 2018 where we
finally meet our goals. So the question remains, how do we effect
change in our lives? In answering this question, as I answer every
question, let’s turn to the Word of God to find our answers and
solutions. God’s Word should be our first and our last on all subjects.

First of all, we need to seek the Lord for direction for the year. That
has been my habit for many years. I seek the Lord for His will, and
then I try my best to obedient to it.

What is it that He has in His heart for you this year? When you
diligently seek Him He will show you what to do and how to do it. The
Bible says, “There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless
the LORD’s counsel—that will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21) When you find God’s will,
that’s when you will be successful. His will is what will “stand.”

Many times we put a lot on ourselves that God has not told us to do.
We put so many things on our agenda to accomplish in our own time
frame that we can’t accomplish one thing on the list because we are
spread so thin. But if God tells you to do something, then He will
make the way for you to be successful.

In Jeremiah 29:11 it says, “   For I know the thoughts that I think toward
you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an
expected end.” When God gives you a task or an assignment, He has
an expected end in mind and He will get you to that expected end if
you will listen and be obedient to him.

The Psalmist David wrote these insightful words in Psalm 37. “The
steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his
way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For
the LORD upholds him with His hand.” When God orders our steps,
even if we stumble and fall initially, God will help us up and keep us
going. We will not utterly fail because His hand upholds us!

Once God has given us our marching orders, so to speak, it’s a daily
choice to walk in it. We must put off our former mistakes and our old
defeated attitudes. Old attitudes can drag us down and back to our
old ways of thinking and doing things in our own strength. The
Apostle Paul encouraged us to put off our former conduct, to put off
the old man which grows corrupt, and to be renewed in the spirit of
our mind, so that we put on the new man which was created
according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph. 4:22-234)

The best way to renew the spirit of the mind is to be in God’s Word on
a regular basis. Thumbing through it occasionally will not do it. We
need to be consistent in the Word. As we read the Word, our soul- the
mind, the will, and the emotions- will be renewed and transformed
according to the will of God. The Scriptures can literally wash your
brain from stinking-thinking. Colossians 3:10 says, “…put on the
new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him
who created him.” You gain that knowledge through ingesting and
digesting God’s Word.

Putting on the new man is a daily choice- we can choose to move
forward in what God has asked us to do and take steps to do it, or we
can fall back into defeatism and negativity not taking the steps
necessary to accomplish our goals. Sometimes it’s a minute by minute
choice. In life there are so many opportunities to be derailed from
your goal. If you’ve ever started a diet, you know that’s the truth. As
soon as you start making healthy eating choices, everyone you know
wants to take you to lunch or invites you to go have coffee and
dessert.

Being successful in reaching your goals takes obedience, consistency,
determination, and perseverance. When you are running on God’s
mandate, His grace comes along side of you and helps you accomplish
the assignment or task at hand no matter how difficult it is. The book
of Romans declares that we are “justified by faith” and that we have
peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, that through Him “we
have access by faith into this GRACE in which we stand.” (Romans 5:1-2)

Get a picture of this! WE HAVE ACCESS TO GOD’S GRACE!!! Grace is
the God-given favor and ability to accomplish your goal even when it’s
hard and long. God will see you through to the other side if you will
remain faithful. Be obedient and press towards the goal every day
that God has given you!

I pray that 2018 will be a wonderful year of peace, love, prosperity,
and blessings for you and your family.

Happy New Year,
Pastor Joanna

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