With the coming of a new year everyone is talking about resolutions. Resolutions are worth about as much as some of the junk mail that invades our mailboxes every day. And they last about as long as it takes for the junk mail to hit the trash can. I have a better idea. I have a different suggestion.
Let me set this one up. Thousands of years ago, when the followers of God were getting ready to move into the new land God was about to give them, they were given specific instruction. Here’s what they were told. “Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” (Joshua 3:15)
As we prepare to enter a brand new year, don’t you think that is a good direction for all of us to take as well? Consecrate means to set aside for God’s use. Now God uses all kinds of people. He uses shy people. He uses outgoing people. He uses really smart people and He uses people who aren’t so smart. He uses all different races, ages, stages of life and backgrounds. He uses men and women. God wants to use you. God will use plain vessels and He’ll use ornate vessels. He’ll use big vessels and He’ll use small vessels. But there is one thing that God will not use. He will not use a dirty vessel. We have to be clean on the inside.
That’s why Joshua tells the people before they move forward to sanctify themselves, purify themselves. So if you want God to do amazing things in and through your life don’t you think this is a good way to start a new year?
Let me make it as practical as I can. If you want to be used by God it begins with removing anything that might stand between you and Him. Here’s how you can do that. Very soon take a day off or an hour, sometime in the next couple of days, and sit down with a yellow pad or whatever and say, “God, show me what’s between me and You. What’s piled up in my life? What’s wrong in my life? Show me. I’m going to write it down and I’m going to admit it. I’m going to confess to You.” You wait and you say, “God tell me.” You write it down. He gives you another idea and you write that down. The idea is you make a list and then you say, “God, I admit these to You. These are wrong. I don’t want them in my life. I repent of them and turn from them.” God says, “I forgive and I forget.”
Who have I hurt? That’s guilt. Who’s hurt me? That’s resentment. What am I worrying about? That’s a lack of faith. Who have I been jealous of? Just cleanse your life. That’s the way to start a new year. I purify my heart.
The Bible says this in 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins to God He will keep His promise and do right: He will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrong doings.” God says, “Here’s your part – you confess. My part is I’ll purify, I’ll cleanse.”
Can you think of a better way to start a new year? This is not resolution stuff. This is fresh start, redirection of life stuff. Do you have the courage to begin your new year with this cleansing process?
I will if you will.