A blank page.
For most people, the blank page is the most intimidating aspect in the act of starting… anything. A book, a work of art, a letter or even a holiday card all begin with a void waiting to be filled. A blank page can feel intimidating.
For most people, the beginning of a new year can feel this way as well. It’s rather daunting. It seems as though the entire world is expecting to see you fail. It has become a running joke to talk about making the same resolutions year after year only to see them all fall short. People who hold gym memberships deal with the annoying January rush of new members because they know that within weeks the gym will thin out again. It’s almost tragic how many people make great resolutions only to watch them fade with time, difficulty and doubt.
Often times the doubt that plagues us comes from within. We all have our own history that seemingly shouts out over our present moment saying:
“You will fail. You’re not going to accomplish anything. You will fail just like you did last year!”
Here is what you must keep in mind:
A resolution becomes a revolution not by a change of your calendar but by the change of your heart.
Christians should be among the world’s foremost experts in the concept of “renewal”. Because of Christ, we are to be in a perpetual state of renewal and evaluation. Unfortunately, we seldom take advantage of the opportunity to ‘start again’. One reason we fail to act is due to the fear of the all-too-intimidating blank page.
But it doesn’t have to be that way:
A blank page is an opportunity not an obligation.
Your God is a God of renewal. Redemption. U-turns. Starting over. Again and again. The bible declares that His mercies are new everyday! (Lamentations 3:22-23)
This year can be different. It doesn’t have to be hype to say: “This year WILL be better for you.”
You can change the world with your life… and it starts by changing your view of the blank page!
Here’s the deal. A book will be written in 2014. It’s the book of your life. Whether you want to do so or not, you will have written 365 pages when it’s all said and done. I want to encourage you to make this the best volume yet.
Forget asking “What will people say if I fail?” Start asking “What will God say if I refuse to start?”
Over the next few posts I want to give you some encouragement from scripture about how you can look at the 365 pages in front of you called your 2014.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. – Hebrews 10:19-22
Your greatest battle has already been won.
Listen to those words. Confidence. Assurance. Washed.
This is how the people of God should embark on their new year. Our greatest battle has been won thanks to Christ on the cross. Therefore we must walk forward knowing that while we have challenges to come, the greatest battle has been won. If God has already defeated sin and the grave, nothing I will face in the year ahead can tear me down. I may suffer, I may experience loss. Yes, there is likely tragedy ahead but you know what? My God goes before me. My God saw that the greatest battle I had was my own sin and the resulting death. He conquered both at the cross.
This is how God works. There is no battle as important as the battle he has already won on your behalf.
As you approach your 2014 and as you stare at that blank page, keep in mind… “My greatest battle has already been won.” You can have confidence because the One who conquered sin, death and the grave has power over this world. He can and will guide you. Resist the temptation to quit. Resist the temptation to walk away and curl up in a ball. So what if you miss your workout? Get back at it! So what if you fall off the bike? Get back up! God has gone before you in your greatest battle, surely He will be with you as you aim to honor him by making changes with your mind, body or soul.
None of your present challenges are as great of an obstacle as your sin condition. Thanks be to God, Jesus conquered that. Rise up this year. Have faith. March forward. Christ has defeated your greatest problem. Put something to that blank page and do it with confidence! This can be your year of faith.