"A New Year, a new you."
"How to make your financial New Years resolutions stick."
"This year, resolve to lose weight."
"Quit smoking in 2017."
Do a quick Google search of words and images surrounding New Years resolutions and you will find a whole host of ways to improve your life. Most are well-intended I assume. But many might just be a way to make a quick buck and sell the buyer some snake oil...snake oil that's wrapped up as all your hopes and dreams.
I'm not aware of any mention in the Bible of New Years in the sense as we celebrate it. But there were ceremonial feasts and holy days which usually marked times and seasons. In bridging the context from thousands of years ago to today, there is a similarity that as time passes, we reflect and we look ahead. We give thanks for God's blessing over our lives and we ask for His hand upon the future; uncertain as it may seem.
You see, resolutions and making changes are all well and good. In fact, I think they might be some of the healthiest things we can do. But apart from God, any changes we make within our own power are really just our best efforts to improve ourselves. If I want to quit a habit that I know is destructive to my life, my strength is limited without bringing Christ and His power into the equation.
As Christians, we must consider a New Year with all of its possibilities through the lens of prayer and Scripture. Appealing to heaven with all of its wisdom and guidance should be the first place we go, not the last...whether it's New Years or any day of the year. I know I forget this often in all of my plans and then realize the mess I've made by not seeking the Lord first in my plans.
"We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps." Proverbs 16:9 (NLT)
As you look ahead to 2017, what do you need to commit to the Lord? In seeking the best for this New Year, have you laid all of your plans before Him saying "Not my will, but yours be done"?
I pray God's blessing for you in the coming months ahead. Allow 2017 to take you where He wants you to go.