“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
The above verse is likely one you’ve heard preached many times over. But, reflecting about this new year, I’ve realized preaching it is a lot easier than living it.
As we approach the new year, many of us may have planned resolutions or other new habits to better ourselves. While this is undoubtedly a good thing, it is important not to forget the same battles we have faced our whole lives.
Better yet, we need to still realize they are battles that can be fought and won against the enemy. It is far too easy to let spiritual disciplines, such as praying or living intentionally, take the back-burner to the rest of our lives. The best trick of the enemy is to convince us he isn’t there.
Unfortunately, there will likely always be times of our lives where we don’t follow God as best we should this side of heaven. This can be remedied, at least partially, by making small habits that you always follow. This also allows us to not make following God as flimsy as our emotions, instead, we will “not run aimlessly” or “box as one beating the air.” (1 Corinthians 9:26)
I’ll admit, this is something I struggle with as well. For instance, I try to get up a little earlier to make time for prayer, but instead I often find my comfortable bed to be the preferred option. I know I will regret my choice, and I know praying is better than five minutes in bed, but I still wander off the path. Other mornings, however, I am able to get up, not by my strength, but by “him who strengthens me.” (Phillipians 4:13)
So, as we walk into this new year, lets us also recommit ourselves to our lifelong battle of walking on the narrow path, drawing closer to God. As we slowly become better and better at following, increasing our faith and obediance, we can, by God’s grace, fulfill the divine commandment:
“You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.” (Leviticus 19:2)