This time of year finds many of us making New Year’s resolutions – promises we make ourselves to stop doing this or start doing that. “This year I will ____!” You fill in the blank. We’ve all done it. A brand new year seems to be the perfect time to turn the page on last year’s failures and move forward with fresh vision and resolve to reach our goals in the days ahead.
So, come January 1st, we tackle the clutter in our homes, start our diets, throw away the smokes and start trudging off to the gym. To motivate ourselves, we invest in self-help books, glossy magazines, fat-burning supplements, nicotine patches, new workout gear and whatever else will get us moving in the right direction with conviction and commitment.
Interestingly, in spite of the incredible amounts of money we often spend getting ourselves psyched up, statistics show that the vast majority of us fall off the bandwagon within days or weeks. All those props lie abandoned somewhere along the way, proved powerless to help us achieve the things we so desperately desired. Why?
Perhaps it is because what ultimately drives us is not external supports or constraints, but an inward, deeply held set of beliefs. If we do not reprogram the way we think, we will default back into our old habits the moment our willpower begins to wane.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
The word “transformed” comes from the Greek word “metamorphosis” which refers to the process that leads to an outward, permanent change. Isn’t that what we crave – an extreme makeover that lasts? That’s exactly what God promises us. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Spiritual transformation is not the result of conforming to external constraints or prompts but rather the overflow of the divine spark of life that ignites our spirits when we put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and ask Our Heavenly Father to fill us with His Holy Spirit. It is from this place of intimacy that God begins working in our lives, helping us understand His Word and giving us the desire and power to live our lives according to the truth He reveals. As our minds are renewed our lives are forever changed – from the inside out.