Can I Start Over…Again…In 2010?
By Laurette Willis
“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness.” Isaiah 43:18
A new year and a new start. Perhaps you’ve talked yourself into believing this month will be like last month, or this year will be like last year. Maybe you have heard whispers in your ear that the mistakes you’ve made before will be repeated again. Someone may have told you, as was once said to me, “a leopard never changes its spots.” Did you know that’s in the Bible? It’s from Jeremiah 13:23.
Before I came to the Lord in 1987, I was that leopard who could never change her spots. I had so many “spots” on me that only the Lord Himself could see something salvageable beyond the spots and stains caused by a life of sin.
It is true. A leopard cannot change its spots. I could not cleanse myself from sin. Neither can you. Are there some things you would like to do differently in 2010?
Ask yourself: “What are the three most important things in my life?” Please write them here in the spaces provided. Write them in the order of their importance to you.
Holy Spirit Spot Remover?
Consider for a moment that Scripture from Jeremiah 13:23 and notice the last part of the verse. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.”
Wait a second! Surely an Ethiopian, Norwegian, Israeli, or Cherokee cannot change his skin; neither can a leopard change its spots. So why does the Lord then follow this statement with the admonition to do good?
It seems on the one hand, that we are being told we CANNOT change, and on the other hand, we are told TO change. It reminds me of Paul’s words in Romans 7:24, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”
The answer to this perplexing and soul-wrenching dilemma is found in the next verse. “I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh, the law of sin.”
No, you cannot change your spots. Only God can. We can, however, choose to turn to the Lord to help us. By ourselves we can do nothing, but with Him all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).
How can we help make 2010 better than last year—to be more of the person God created us to be? Take a look at the three things you wrote in the spaces above. Ask the Lord right now to tell you something you can do to see improvement in each of these three areas. You may be surprised how simple the ideas that occur to you may be. I’ve found that the Lord leads us in STEPS, not LEAPS.
Write the ideas that come to you. Please do that now.
“Then May You Also Do Good”
We can take action in the new direction and trust God to take us the rest of the way. Often, a willing heart and a step forward are the only things that are required. I believe that is where “then may you also do good” (from Jeremiah 13:23) comes in. You do what you can, following the leading of the Lord, and He will take you the rest of the way.
In time, that good thing will become a habit. If you want to become healthier, more fit, lose some excess weight, and keep it off; it will take a change of lifestyle. Remember, you cannot change your spots. You cannot work only on the outside of you and expect permanent change. All of the diets and the best exercise plans in the world will never feed a hungry heart. Only the Lord can do that. The change must come from the inside. With God’s help, it can be done, and you will succeed!
Yes Lord, together we can start over again in 2010. Amen!
Christian Fitness Expert and author Laurette Willis is the Director of PraiseMoves, offering fitness programs, DVDs, books, and training for those interested in a Christian alternative to yoga, and fitness for spirit, soul, and body at http://praisemoves.com. To follow Laurette on Twitter visit http://twitter.com/Fit4Christ and on FaceBook: http://facebook.com/praisemoves. See the new “Power PraiseMoves” DVD trailer; get the free “Fit Favorites Devotional” and PraiseMoves FitNews http://praisemoves.com.