Keeping It Real: Your New Chapter



We’re a month or so into this New Year. How’s that resolution thing coming? Are you crushing it? Is it crushing you? (“Where is that list anyway? I need Xanax!”)

I hear you. But no matter how hard it feels, I am determined to write new chapters in my story this year. That’s what life is—a story marked by chapters each year. No two should look the same. Who would want to read that, or live that?

I know it’s already February. But it’s not too late to pick up your pen. Hey, I’m talking to YOU! You’re not going to let this year just blow by you, are you? You won’t get it back, you know.  Come on, let’s do this thing!

Before we get started, do this: refuse to limit that story to “what we want to stop doing” and “whom we want to stop becoming.” That gets us nowhere.

If we spend our days merely trying to avoid life’s potholes, we run off the road.

What if we focus instead on what we want to start doing differently and on whom we want to start becoming?  How do we write our new adventures in 2019?

First, be specific. Most folks say things like, “I want to get healthier” or “I want to get closer to God.” If that is the extent of the goal, nothing changes. Simply wanting something does not produce it. Goals need details! What will I invest to reach this goal? If I want to get healthier, I must commit to consistent exercise and real nutrition. If I want closeness with God, I must prioritize time with Him. Be specific!

Second, write it down. What are you waiting for? This is your story. How many stories can you recite from memory? Trust me – your mental list will quickly evaporate (just like your quiet time after your children’s feet hit the floor!).

Third, after establishing those written specifics, keep returning to your list to evaluate progress. You won’t conquer Rome in a day. Frequent self-checks keep you inching toward your goal. Even baby steps create momentum. Small successes energize and prepare you for bigger steps, for real!

You know all of that. Right?  But there’s more. Are you still with me?

Fourth, Pray. Friend, don’t stroll past this. My list is bigger than me, so I need Someone bigger than me at the helm. As I revisit my specific priorities, I ask God for wisdom and courage. “Lord, help me see what I need to see to do what I know to do. Set my soul on fire to accomplish these things as if I am doing them unto You . . . because I am!” Listen! His Unsurpassed Power is infinitely greater than your willpower!

Do you really want to get radical with me? Here we go….

Fifth, Fast! Fasting is simply hyper-prayer. It’s so much more than stepping away from particular foods. That’s just a diet. Fasting is about stepping toward the altar of God, about wanting HIM more than you want anything else. I’m telling you, RIGHT THERE, you will discover your best self!

These words came from Jesus’ lips: “If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to Me, you’ll find both yourself and Me.” (Matthew 10:39) Now that’s radical! Jesus’ words fly in the face of our culture that specializes in indulgence and navel-gazing.

I will never find the best me until I find Him. When I remove myself from the center of my world and let the Everlasting Father reign there, I find the very best version of me. He becomes the Power in me to crush those challenging resolutions like a Pixie Stix!

So, how will this new chapter look different than our last? What specifically will we do to make that happen? Let’s write the most adventurous, audacious chapter of our story yet. The only thing stopping us is us, but not anymore! Here’s to amazing new chapters!  For comments or prayer, contact Dr. Lanier at PastorDebbie@HopeCommunityChurch.tv.

 


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