Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Year's Day is like Groundhog Day, the movie. This is the day when we look at the past, see what we did wrong, and resolve to do it better in the future. Like Bill Murray's character in the movie, we will have to repeat the same scenarios until we learn the lesson and make corrections, before we are allowed to move on. Unless we love the mess we are in (the pigs my granddaddy raised on the farm liked mud and slop), we are going to have to make changes to get out of the mess. It is easy to blame our environment or somebody else for our problems. When we give environments or other people the power over us, we lose hope and become their slaves. To be free, we must do all within our power to get out of that environment we think is bad for us. We must do all in our power to get out from under the influence of those who cause us to react wrongly. We might not have the power to eliminate those influences completely, but we do have some power to make some change. Like muscles, more power will come from the exercise of what power we have. As in Groundhog Day, one little change repeated regularly has a great effect on the outcome. There is power in resolutions. Write down one or a few areas where you want to see change in 2012. Keep your list where you can see it. Work on it a little bit, every day. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish when you make up your mind to be free from slavery to bad environments and bad reactions to people. When you let somebody make you mad, you lose control to them. They become your master. If, instead, you determine in advance what you will do when they say that thing that makes you mad, you will be the master of that situation. You will be free. This is what being filled with the spirit is like. You have so loaded up your mind and heart with God's word, that you know what is right to do. Then, determine to do it. Spirit-filled living is giving over control of your reactions to the influence of the Holy Spirit as mediated through his word. Do what the Spirit says to do, not what you have always done. Don't be led by the flesh (and the habits you have always had), but be led by the Spirit. Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sinful, fleshly living. Then he was raised from the dead with power so we can now live new lives. There is nothing holding us back. May 2012 be the year we exercise that power completely and walk by the spirit.