A new year can bring new beginnings, re-starts. Lifestyle changes explored, goals written down, new routines put in place, and decisions that have been lingering, are made. Off we go. We are going to start doing ___________ more and better.
I am energized by starting new things. But what I have found to be more effective is not starting a “new”…. but stopping what is holding me back. In Hebrews, it tells us to strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.
Maybe you are ready for a change, something fresh and new. Loneliness and fear of the unknown have been your companions this past year. Of course, you want fresh and new, but just don’t have the energy nor honestly, trust God to bring you new mercies this year.
You are not alone.
Before setting goals, or starting new routines, maybe we strip off every weight that is slowing us down, keeping us in bondage. Our perspective and clarity can get skewed when idols or Satan’s lies become our filter for the words from heaven. Take a minute and tell the Lord just how you feel. Ask Him to help you loosen your grip on your heartaches and fears. Not to let deception cover your eyes, but to fix your eyes on Him, and strengthen you for the race He has set before you.
A portion of a prayer by Ted Loder may help you put a voice to your pain.
Hear me quickly, Lord for my mind soon wanders to other things I am more familiar with and more concerned about than I am with you. Words will not do, Lord. Listen to my tears, for I have lost much and fear more. Listen to my sweat, for I wake at night, overwhelmed by darkness and strange dreams. Listen to my crackling knuckles, for I hold very tightly to myself. And anxiously squeeze me into others’ expectations. And them into mine, and then shake my fists at you for disappointing me.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Hebrews 12:1-2(NLT)