Each new year brings a restart. We hope that the new year will be better, we make resolutions to change and set new goals, or maybe renew old ones that have remained unmet. Sadly, our goals and efforts for change often fall by the way, as we lose focus and determination. After repeatedly trying to make certain changes, we can become discouraged and think we “can’t” change, we get stuck, accept our situation and decide we are beyond hope. Part of the problem is the idea that a grand proclamation is the way to big change. The fact is that big change is made possible by small, incremental, manageable changes that lead to a bigger change over time. Our focus should be on the small steps needed to move in the right direction. We must not depend on our own ability, power and determination to change, but on God’s power which will enable us beyond our own ability.
John 10:10; Phil 4:12; Zech 4:6-10; Prov 23:7; Psalm 27:4; Phil 3;13; Isaiah 54:2; Matt 25:21
For I can do everything though Christ, who gives me strength. (Ph 4:13) He said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Nothing, not even a mighty mountain, will stand in Zerubbabel’s way; it will become a level plain before him! And when Zerubbabel sets the final stone of the Temple in place, the people will shout: “May God bless it! May God bless it!” (Ze 4:6-7) As a person thinks in their heart, so are they. (Pr 23:7)
The Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed when the land was invaded and the citizens taken prisoner. They were exiled from their homeland for 70 years. Zechariah records that after their return and resettlement in about 537 BC, God commissioned King Zerubbabel to rebuild the Temple. This was a monumental task, but God assured him that it would not be accomplished by his own power or might, but through the power of the Holy Spirit. Initially, when people came to view the building’s progress, they cried when they saw the site. Why? Historians believe that they had high hopes but what they saw was unimpressive, so little was done, they were disappointed. The Temple was built by laying a foundation, one stone at a time. The second stone can’t be laid until the first is in place. It’s the same when we set out to make changes in our own life. It is often slow progress, the results seem insignificant, but it takes determination and effort to continue laying stones, one after another until progress can be seen. With God’s power and might, you can change. God is the difference-maker!
How have past New Year’s resolutions turned out? Do you tend to follow through or bail out? What has been the cause of either your success or failure? What have you failed repeatedly in trying to change? Is what you wanted to change your idea or God’s? What word do you think God wants you to focus on for 2022? Do you believe that God can and will make a difference in 2022? What is required of you?
Pray and ask God for a focus word for 2022. That word might be patience, courage, kindness, generosity or whatever God lays on your heart. Google Scriptures that contain the word, then write down your word and the Scriptures that speak to you. Put them where you will see them every day. It’s a little thing, but as you pray and ask God to lead and direct your life in whatever area (word) He sees fit, it will be the little thing that becomes big and you will change.
Lord of All, as I begin this year help me cling to you, trust you and have faith in your ability to bring about the needed changes in my life. Help my focus to be ordained by you. Thank you for enabling me by the power of your Holy Spirit to grow and change and succeed. In Jesus Name I pray, amen.