At the beginning of each year, there should be change.
Or so goes in the minds of most people at the start of the New Year. Thus they buy posh new planners, write resolutions, plan new activities and reset their goals. Some may even go so far as to soul search in some far flung place in the hopes of finding their true purpose. Then they all hope to God that they could push on with their planners, resolutions and goals until the end of the year.
What we don’t realize is that we are doing it all wrong. This is what Project Grow had in store for a month. In the new series called Renew, we begin to question what we need to change for this year. This gave me new perspective on what renew really means and how it really works.
- Renewing is re-establishing a relationship. A relationship entails some form of love. Between acquaintances it is shallow but between lovers and family it runs deep. Moreover, between you and God, it is deeper. Thus, renewing a relationship with God means realizing how deep a love God has for you. This love was manifested by His sacrifice on the cross.
- Renewing is replacing. Once you get to know that God loves you so much, you will be faced with the decision to replace things that have been wrong all along. This is decision is called surrender. This is where you replace your desires with the desires that are Gods.
- Renewing is giving fresh life or activity to something that was once barren or dry. Once you have realized God’s deeper than deep love for you and you have decided to surrender your life to Him, you will realize that you have been given a new life. You will discover that your desires, your likes now are far different from what you wanted before. Where you once wanted to just a routine at work or in church, you will realize that have found a new relationship, a new love hence new practices and new plans.
- Renewing is resuming an activity after an interruption. You may have realized your need of Christ before and you may have found Him. Yet time and again, you feel that there is more work to be done in your job than to focus on Him. You feel that you need to make the necessary adjustments in your life first before you resume talking to Him. Renewing is resuming that prayer time that you have lost or that meditation time that you have started months ago.
- Renewing is repeating an action that has been discovered. Once you have God’s love in your heart, renewal continues with the continuation of the new practices that you have learned. Continuing these practices leads to a habit. With God, old habits will soon be erased to give way to new and better habits. This may start small like checking out God’s message to you instead of checking out your boss’s message to you first thing in the morning.
- Renewing is extending further the period of validity. Renewal means a continuous process of change. This means a lifetime of change. Renewal therefore does not only happen at the start of the year but every minute and every day of our lives. The habits that we allowed God to form in us become our character when practiced for our entire lifetime.
To renew is to know that one thing that we need to have: a relationship with Christ. This may seem like a small decision but it creates a huge impact in our lives. We need to make that decision to allow ourselves to surrender to Christ and live a life that is according to His will and purpose. Like any lost relationship, it restarts with communication. We need to communicate to Him our past and allow Him to reshape our future.