I hope to change.
I hope to use my life to highlight God’s greatness more.
Most of my life, and most of time and energy in 2014, has been spent on me. I seek pleasure and attention and respect and a hundred other things that not only fail to deliver what they promise (as all idols do), but that also rob God of what He deserves. The God of Father, Son, and Spirit is good and big and fair and wonderful and righteous in a million ways I am not, and he deserves to be worshiped as such. To be thought of and honored and treasured for the wonder that He is.
I’ve noticed that in the few moments when I actually surrender and allow myself to become an appreciator of His glory rather than a seeker or my own, I feel better. I feel more at peace. The inner clamor for affection and admiration fades a bit. I have more of a sense of humor about myself and less of a need to be taken seriously. I can laugh at my honest failures a bit, and can truly grieve over my forgiven sins. I can gratefully savor how merciful my victorious God is.
It’s a pretty freeing experience.
And then ten minutes or four hours or thirty seconds later I’m chasing the idols again, palms sweating and anxious heart racing as I chase meaning and happiness down dead end streets. Thinking maybe if I can get five or six people to respect me this month I’ll feel real and substantial and satisfied. Maybe if one or two people tell me how wonderful and unique I am this week I’ll have peace and gladness.
I don’t know how much goodness there is in setting a goal for the first of January. Maybe a lot for some people. Maybe for some it’s a genuine launchpad into a noble effort. For me it feels a little more forced and fake. But regardless of the date on my Google Calendar, I resolve to highlight how wonderful the God of Jesus Christ is more with my life. I resolve to spend, use my life to make God look as good as He is to others. To enjoy Him as as wonderful and soul-satisfying as He is in my own heart.
Someday I’ll give an account to Him, and so much of what I’ve done will be revealed to be selfish and idolatrous and false. I’ll have only one merit to plead: That of the perfect blood and life and work of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. My Lord and Savior. But between now and then, I want to spend more of my years and more of my heart in genuine service to and worship of Him. More than I have. And I ask for His grace and His Spirit to help me do it.
But one thing I’ve learned is that when you ask Him to help you be His, to rip away idols, be prepared for some painful destruction. What is to be resurrected must first be killed. His yoke is easy, but it weighs no less than a cross. It’s one of the reasons, I believe, that the Messiah said we should count the cost before we sign up. But the great part is that what is taken from you is given back renewed and sanctified. You lose some earthly pleasures and idols, but you’re given the eternal joy of the Creator of Earth and all she has in her.
I resolve to count everything as rubbish when compared to the incalculable value of my Shepherd and Savior. And I ask for His help, because my heart must be changed for that to happen.