Friday, January 3, 2014

Back to the Start

Every year on or about the time of January first people across the globe will make a promise to themselves to either change something about themselves, look for ways to help others or try something different or just be a better person in the new year.   I myself have fallen into this 'trap' and for a few days, sometimes weeks or several months was able to stay the course and do whatever it was it I had set out doing beginning the first of January.  

Eventually, as I moved on further in the year I stumbled and missed a day or reverted to the old man ( my behavior from the previous year I wanted to NOT carry with me.)  I would say to myself, "self just start again tomorrow."  The problem with that, was me, trying to 'will' myself into doing something I was not capable of doing.  That is perfecting change.  

The account of the Prodigal Son from the gospel of Luke comes to mind when I think about resolutions.  He asked his father for his inheritance, moved to another town and squandered it on needless things and poor decision making.  How could this in any way possible be about a New Years resolution?  Stay with me.

It says in Luke 15:17  when he had come to himself (the son) said " how many of my fathers servants have enough food to eat, and then some, yet I am dying from hunger because I have nothing to eat?"
This young man was taking stock of the past few months or year of his life and was not very pleased with how it has turned out.  (Cough, cough) sounds familiar right?
Still with me?  

The son makes two decisions in the next verse.  First, he is going back to the start, his fathers house, the only home that he has probably known since his birth.  Second, he realizes, he has sinned against his Heavenly Father first, and earthly father second.  New Years resolutions are good and as I said I have made a few in my time.

But, but.....

Waiting for the start of the new year and making those oaths to effect change within ourselves will not produce lasting change.  Why?  Our moral fiber is corrupted by our sin nature.  The prodigal son saw this and sought to correct it.  Remember what he said "I have sinned against heaven (God first) and then before you (earthly father).  The spiritual compass of the younger son needed to be recalibrated back to the heart of God. 
Verse 21 the son returns home and says to his father, " I have sinned against God and you and am no longer worthy to be called your son."  
Sin separates us from God.  Therefore we are not worthy to be called children of God.

This son resolved in his heart to make things right with God, through repentance, and then doing the same with his dad.  Unless we purpose in our hearts to get right with God first, we will continue to follow the wasteful and destructive lifestyle we always have.  Year after year after year. 
Most people do not seek to get right with God, because they have pushed aside the notion He can do more for them than they can for themselves or that they need Him.  But we do.

If you really want to start over again, then go "back to the start".  Go back to your Heavenly Father who created you with His very own hands.  Go back to the time where you felt you no longer needed Him.  Need Him now.  
Just as the prodigal son received love and compassion and kisses from his father, you too can receive love, compassion and kisses from God above.  
The father says of his son " he was dead (sin) and is now alive (forgiven) again; he was lost (spiritually) and now is found (right with God).  A feast was thrown and the son has been restored.
Are you in need of restoration? The new year does not provide it.  Nor does any man.  Only God does. Are you a 'prodigal child' of the Most High?   Go back to THE FATHER!  Go back to the start.  Do not confess yourself before men (resolutions), confess yourself before God (sins) and begin the new year with a new life.