As always, I’m excited about another new year. Heck, I’m excited about each new day! Every new year (as every new day) is pregnant with promise. It is a blank slate upon which another exciting chapter to the chronicle of your life may be written.
I am not, however, beholden to the myriad of traditions. Why? Because traditions of men nullify the Word of God (Mark 7:13). Another reason I don’t get caught up in celebrations is because far too many people approach the new year with the same baggage they carried around in the old.
Now, I could really expand on this but I have neither the time nor the patience to do so. For this reason, I’m going to stick to something very specific:
The un-renewed mind.
The Bible tells us that the transformation that comes from constant renewing of our minds is key to resisting being conformed to the world and its system (Romans 12:2). This sounds very simple and, yet, so many Christians fail to do so. How do I know? Saved folks still insist upon calling themselves “sinners” even though the Bible clearly says we are Saints. You cannot be a “sinner” and be the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21). To confess that you are simultaneously a Saint and a sinner makes you, by confession, double-minded – unstable in all your ways and incapable of receiving anything from God (James 1:7-8).
The un-renewed mind is also lacking the revelation of sonship. As a result, they still say they are servants, bondservants, or – worse – slaves. The truth is, a slave has no inheritance. Moreover, a slave is not privy to his masters will and intent. Sons, on the other hand, are not only aware of the Father’s will but are considered unwise if they don’t (Ephesians 5:17).
The un-renewed mind also prone to self-flagellation. As such, they remain wedded to the law as a method of correction and chastisement when it is clear that Jesus set us free from it (Colossians 2:14). Paul called the law the ministry of death (2 Corinthians 3:7). And like rat poison, it doesn’t take a lot to be deadly. In fact, James said that if you’re guilty of any part of the law, you’re guilty of the whole law (James 2:10). Eventually, spiritual flogging does not suffice to the un-renewed mind; they ultimately turn to religion – the pinnacle of slavery.
Lastly, the un-renewed mind is yoked to the law. Paul has illustrated this succinctly, here:
For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:14)
Paul goes further in explaining this in Galatians, Chapters 3 and 4. Trying to justify yourself by the law not only relegates you to the religious treadmill, it is the very prescription for falling from Grace:
You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. (Galatians 5:4)
Moreover, being stuck in the law is just as bad as being stuck in sin, because it frustrates the grace of God:
[Therefore, I do not treat God’s gracious gift as something of minor importance and defeat its very purpose]; I do not set aside and invalidate and frustrate and nullify the grace (unmerited favor) of God. For if justification (righteousness, acquittal from guilt) comes through [observing the ritual of] the Law, then Christ (the Messiah) died groundlessly and to no purpose and in vain. [His death was then wholly superfluous.] (Galatians 2:21 – AMP)
Understand that as a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:7) you are remade in the image of Jesus, who came to redeem you from sin and restore you to the original intent of the Father – a position of dominion. In other words, you are created to rule and reign in this earth realm as your Heavenly Father rules and reigns in the heavenlies.
So, in this New Year, it’s time to “up your game!” It’s time to take authority over your circumstances and your environment instead of being shaped and influenced by them. It’s time to awaken to your glorious inheritance as a Saint of God. And it’s time that you realize that the same power – the Holy Spirit – that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you (Romans 8:11). Therefore, the power and presence of the risen Jesus goes with you wherever you go. His power and presence equip you to demonstrate the love of God wherever you go and manifest liberty in Christ!
That’s a good reason to bring the new year in with a shout!
© – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)