Restart. Reset. It’s a new year! The idea of restarting in the new year is romantically attractive. It comes with a sense of newness that can’t be found elsewhere. It’s the second chance we’ve been waiting for since last year’s goals, dreams, or ideas fell flat. This year, it’s going to happen. This year I am going to do better, this year those goals are going to be a reality. This year, things will change. That is what we tell ourselves.
Wait, didn’t last year start that way too? Didn’t we say the same things? We even got a day, a week, a month, two months, or half-way through it and then life happened. But not without trying. No, we wrote down our goals, we posted them on social media, we told our friends about them, and we started all of them. The world got in the way. This reminds me of Galatians 5:7, “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you?”
When you set out to do something – like run your race – you start strong, you run, then something gets in your way. You stop. You lose your momentum. Sometimes you start again, to go on but most of the time you just move on. It’s just too hard. It’s not what I thought it would be. No one else is supporting me. I don’t have enough time. All excuses disguised as reasons to stop what we were so passionate to start in the first place.
I think we desire a full reset, and we believe we can accomplish it on our own. It’s kind of like when our technology continually messes up we just reset it and it’s as good as new. We believe the new year holds the same promise. Except – there’s not really a reset button for us. No true restart and we certainly can’t CTRL+ALT+DEL our way out of life’s trouble. And actually, even a restart of your technology isn’t enough. The change it needs requires power, and so do you.
Have you ever tried resetting technology when the battery is drained? Well, if you are like me, and in a hurry – you have tried – and you know you can’t. Our technology will not work until we press reset and plug it into its power source. We have to find our charger, plug it in and wait for the battery to be refilled. It’s the power source that fuels the reset, the change we desire. The same is true in life. We can’t reset our life, our goals, our dreams, our brokenness, our relationships, our parenting, or other strongholds when we are running on empty.
So our reset, our restart, our second chance doesn’t just come because it’s a new year. It comes when we tap into the power source to charge our battery. The battery the world persistently drains.
Our hearts want change, we need a reset, but we can’t get there without plugging into Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). To find your life, to see your version of new realized, to have the power to change– seek Jesus.
Don’t mistake the power as void of problems. Jesus tells us in this world we will have trouble, but take heart, He has overcome the world (John 16:33). In other words, that goal, that dream, that second chance you are taking– it won’t be easy, there will be some tough circumstances, you will want to quit but take heart – He overcame it all. With Jesus, you have His power to change, to see all the new you dream of realized– but you have to choose. Otherwise, you are on your own, your battery will drain, and you face missing out on the Hope Jesus is inviting you to. Plug in, power up, restart, reset. Don’t choose to run on empty.
How do you plug into Jesus?
Here are three ways to practically plug into Jesus:
- You worship…when you feel like it and even when you don’t. When you choose to worship Him when your battery is running low and it’s the last thing you want to do He will show up. We are empowered to unplug from the circumstances that surround us to plug into Him. You don’t need to be in a worship service at church to worship Him; simply call out to him, thank him, lift your eyes from your reality to His kingdom.
- You pray…all the time. Prayer is a two-way conversation. Just talk with Him and then listen for Him. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Grab your journal in the moments you feel weak, the moments you feel like giving up on the race you are starting, and let His voice fill you with His power, strength, and confidence to keep walking out your dreams this year.
- Read His word…each day. Reading the word of God helps you to become more familiar with His voice. You will start to hear His voice more in your day-to-day lives when you engage the Word. The Bible can be very overwhelming, I know. It really is a book of His promises to you. And it’s a story of everything Jesus has done for you; it is not a book of rules for you to follow. Read for quality, not quantity. Start by picking one chapter, one paragraph, anything! Read it, write down your thoughts, questions, how it makes you feel. God will speak to you through it.
Every time we worship, every time we pray, every time we read the Word, we give up our life, our perspective, our thoughts, and we pick up His. And His ways are always higher than our ways, and His thoughts higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9).
He is good, he can be trusted– He is your second chance. He is the power to your change this year.
What will you choose? Will you go it alone this year, or will you let Jesus power your change? He’s can and He is willing (Matthew 8:3).
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