by Josh Hughes
"So this is the new year… and I don’t feel any different." - Death Cab for Cutie
“New Year, new you,” am I right? Flipping (or swiping) the calendar from December to January holds out such promise; there are new paths to forge, old habits to kill. It’s the time of year when resolutions abound: this will be the year I shed those extra pounds, start tithing, read through the whole Bible, quit smoking, start getting up earlier, get out of debt, world without end, amen.
But how many of us can even remember our resolutions from January 2015, let alone give ourselves a gold star on the chore chart for having fulfilled them? Here’s a sobering, unrelenting truth - change is hard. And God’s plan for our change, the way his transforming, empowering grace tends to work most often, isn’t through one-time decisions, but rather through a process that takes place over time. That process is called sanctification, and it’s is often difficult. The progress we make in sanctification is measured in degrees. Rather than teleporting us forward, moving us along one transcendent experience of growth to the next, God’s glorious plan is to work in the day-to-day mundane realities of normal, humdrum life to shape us and refashion us in the image of Jesus.
Here’s the deal - I think resolutions are a good idea. I’m going to make a few of them myself. But even as I do that, my chief concern as I march into 2016 is that I would assume and maintain a posture of humility before the Lord, asking him to rule in the mundane details of my life and to be present and at work in my little moments. Because as Paul Tripp says, “if God doesn’t rule our little moments and doesn’t work to re-create us in the middle of them, then there is no hope for us.”
There is hope today, friends. Our God is far more relentless in his gracious pursuit of our change than we realize. So as you make your resolutions, do so with your eyes fixed on the God who loves you and is at work, even this very day, to carry you along in your faith. He is good and does good.
P.S. To those who have given this year, thank you so much for your generosity that funds the mission and ministry of Four Oaks.
If you are interested in making a year-end gift, you can mail a check to the church office at 4500 W Shannon Lakes Dr, Ste. 12, Tallahassee, FL 32309 (the church office is now closed until Monday, January 4). Any gifts post marked by 12/31 will be included in your 2015 giving. This can also be easily done online through fouroaksconnect.com.