(Photo by Jess Sanchez)
Breaking the Monotony
Why You Can Let Go of New Year’s Resolutions
By Sarah Komisky
I’m going to let you in on a little secret – I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. In a season where everyone is making mental notes resolving what they will and will not do, I choose to relish in the fact that it’s a new year, a reminder of my own identity in Christ – new, clean, righteous. But I did not always think that way.
For years, I was a full-fledged member of the “try hard” tribe. Striving was a lifestyle. Being a “good girl” was the label and the fear of making a mistake was a gripping reality. Ergo, resolutions were apart of my everyday experience.
The problem when you live this way is that you will inevitably break your own rules. Resolutions kept through working hard never stay for long. Hence, condemnation never lingers far behind and your left always coming up short of your own expectations. You never fully reach the goal and your performance never seems quite up to par.
This life is exhausting to say the least and it was all tied into my misunderstandings of God. Since I have chosen to give my life in relationship with God, I’ve gone on a journey of grace – one that I am still on. Jesus has reshaped my thoughts to come to know Him in a very real and honest way as a relational God who is loving and is ok with my humanness.
One particular day, God unlocked a huge truth in my heart and mind – I am not condemned.
“There is therefore,, now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
– Romans 8:1 (ESV)
My friend, this is a truth you need to hear. If you are in Christ, you are not condemned.
Striving naturally leads you to try to earn from God what is given and it’s futile. God’s Word to humanity says, that if we choose to be in relationship with Christ there is now no condemnation. Now. Let that word sink in.This isn’t 20 years ago or even a few months or days ago. It’s not even 5 minutes ago! It’s now! Wow!
I once heard a pastor say that even in that moment of our messing up, our moment of sin, we can declare in victory, right standing, and righteousness in Jesus’ name! Condemnation has to flee and that is freedom!
Most of us especially in the area of purity try to honor God with an endless to-do list. That’s not God’s heart. I’ve read more articles and books that talk about “ways” in which we can be pure. However, I believe this places us back into a place of striving for something that is already ours. We can try to be pure in our own strength by getting more accountability, reading more Bible verses and list goes on and on.
However, purity was already given to us if we are in relationship with Jesus Christ. I am pure because He is pure. I am righteous because He is righteous. I am in right standing because He declares it to be so.
This is why I no longer have to do more. I can simply be. Now that’s a breakthrough!
So many times, we want to earn what we cannot receive and we must learn to be people who come to God empty handed. I like to say that I have a limp. What? Yep, a limp. As a human being, I have the human condition of sin that I live with on a daily basis in this flesh that I walk in. In and of myself I have no capability of controlling or stopping it and either do you.
I heard that very same pastor I mentioned say that when God asked people to go and sin no more it was because he was getting them to say, “I can’t” so they could turn to lean on God’s strength and not their own. The same is for us today.
This is why I say that I have a limp and so do you. Don’t think of it as a handicap or weakness. Paul in the Bible said that God reminded him that His grace was sufficient for Paul and His power was made perfect in weakness. Because of this Paul said, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me… For when I am weak, then I am strong,” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, ESV).
My deficits. My weakness. My human frailty are the things that keep me running dependently to Jesus and I have found it to be a beautiful experience to lean on His strength that isn’t my own.
This year at Marked Ministry, my prayer is not to list a million ways to be pure my desire is to have conversations about the One who declares you to be pure and about the truth of grace that sets people free. I pray you and I would see Jesus and lean on Him each day for strength and a filling of all that you need.
I pray you would reconsider your mental resolutions. Break the monotony of the endless cycle of rules and rest in the One who redeems every wrong. May we break the monotony of sin through surrender to Jesus Christ.
My friend, God’s heart for you was never condemnation. His desire, was never for you to live under that weight. It is far too heavy of a burden to bear – trust me, I know. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30,
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
My prayer, is that you would come to Jesus whether it is for the first time or not. In your place of struggle, Jesus loves you, right where you are. His desire is to break the monotony of the endless cycle of rules and sin, redeem your wrongs, come near in your struggle, and lead you to freedom through a surrendered life in Him.
May our resolution be to know Jesus, fall in love and let that love be a response that changes us forever. May we live open-handed to receive the grace of God each day in 2019. Let’s live like people who are pure because of the God who speaks that over us and desire to let go more and more every day and simply, let God.