Do Over by Rocky Fleming
“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17 (NLT)
Happy New Year!! Some of you may be thinking that you are glad to get past 2022. But I bet you felt that way about 2021 and 2020? I say that, for I think most of our lives have been redefined by those years and the challenges we faced. The nation has been redefined, so has education, morality, law and order, weather, immigration, politics, and churches. In fact, the whole world has been rapidly redefined by unknown powers that have been at work for years. But not The Church. She is steady and continues to thrive. Now let me be clear that when I say the "churches", I’m not speaking of The Church. The Church is the Body of Christ throughout the world made up of true Christians. Churches are where believers attend, but there are also those who attend who are not true believers, and there are churches that stand against the teachings and precepts of Jesus Christ. I make this distinction for some churches in this country have been in a change for many years, which some are good changes, and some are bad. People and social norms shift, and some church models try to adapt their methods to relate better to these changes. The danger for some of these culturally relevant churches is that they can let in more outside ungodly influence than they give out, and when this happens, a disintegration of their purpose and God’s favor begins to happen. It looks like this:
“… having a form of godliness but denying its power. Turn away from such as these!” 2 Timothy 3:5 (ESV)
However, The Church, God’s family, stays stable, for the Church is attached to God, through Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself said in Matthew 18:18 that the power of hell would not prevail against The Church. But churches and so called Christians will not have this power if we are not attached to Him and under His leadership. No matter our perspective and argument that we are simply trying to do God’s work in very difficult times and trying to adjust as we do. This argument is met with Jesus’ own words:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)
These are sobering words, and ones that you may not want to greet the New Year with, unless you are like me and you welcome a do-over. What can we do to live more stable and consistent lives? What can we do to change our world around us toward the good things of God, and while doing so, change ourselves? What can we do as followers of Christ to be a better influence on our world? There is a simple and clear answer. It is simply to try and do everything this next year with one objective, which is to please the Lord and bring Him glory. This new year we can resolve to seek Him with all of our hearts, to love Him likewise, and to partner with Him through our days activities and challenges to show His love to those around us. I believe that when we do this, He is faithful to show His delight in ways that we cannot understand until it falls on us. This sacred place I speak of is learning to walk with Him... learning to seek Him in everything and learning to yield to Him. I tell you when we do this, He shows us His blessings as never before. In fact, I think He is waiting for this, so that He can bless us beyond our hopes, dreams and prayers.
Before you say this is impossible, I ask you to ask God to make it possible in your life. Ask for His wisdom to guide you. Ask for the courage that comes from His nurturing care to let it assure you that He is with you at all times. Present yourself to Him as an incomplete, flawed individual who asks for, and submits to his reformation in your life. Transformation will surely follow, for He is waiting for your faith, trust and dependence on His work in your life to complete you, and not by what you can do for yourself or Him.
Now is the time to make 2023 the best year of your life. Now is the time to grasp what Jesus wants to give you. You will see His power and glory pour through your life, if you will.