The first step in making positive changes in your life begins with a decision to stop doing the things that are leading you in the wrong direction. While that may sound overly simplified, the power of denial is amazing. We all deal with this. You are not alone. As we begin the new year, what are some things you are trying to improve in your life? Maybe you need to:
- Get a handle on your finances.
- Become more fit and lead a healthy lifestyle.
- Work on strengthening your marriage and family life.
- Deal with recurring spiritual weakness and temptation.
What decisions do you make on a daily basis that enhance the problem you are experiencing? Usually, the majority of these choices are small. But, the effect of many small things leads to big challenges. Challenge yourself to become more aware of each decision you make. Does it lead you closer to your goal or farther away? Stop what you have been doing, and go the other direction.
Here are three principles you can use to keep yourself motivated as you move away from where you are presently and become the person you want to be:
Accept responsibility for your choices – even the sinful ones. If you are headed down the wrong road, stop living in denial. Do not lie to yourself. Do not shift the focus onto someone else. If you are struggling spiritually, stop moving away from God and turn around. Invite God into your life. Refuse to allow your emotion and embarrassment hold you back from what you know you need to do. The prodigal son blew it, Luke 15. But, when he came to his senses, he came home to the loving arms of his father who welcomed him as a forgiven son, Luke 15.11-24. Own up to the situation and come home. Let the loving arms of your eternal Father surround you and feel the warmth of His gracious touch.
Understand your existence is about God – not your selfish ambitions. God determines your purposes, not your own personal desires. In day to day life, Paul successfully exemplified this, Galatians 2.20. Jesus set aside His personal wishes in order to accomplish God’s redeeming work of mankind, Luke 22.42; John 5.30; 6.38; 12.27; 17.1-3.
Never push God out of your life. Even if you’ve made disastrous mistakes, you can always come back to God. In this life, you can never drift outside of God’s reach. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them, Hebrews 7.25. Develop the kind of heart that is always ready to repent.