Ezekiel 36:23; 25-26 – “…the nations will know that I am the Lord…when I show Myself holy among you in their sight…25 I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
Each New Year brings with it the good feeling that we can have a fresh start and reinvent ourselves. There are new rhythms and habits that we know we should aim for: cleaner eating, more exercise, going to bed earlier and getting up earlier, less television-social media-and games with more reading and reaching out to family, friends, and neighbors. As you consider your New Year’s resolutions for 2021, have you also considered WHY you are compelled to aim higher with more discipline?
Anything that we do out of self-promotion is idolatry. The Bible knows two types of people: idolaters and worshippers of Jesus Christ. Are your goals for 2021 centered around Christ’s leadership and glory? Just as people seek a certain identity (image) from the name brand clothes they wear, to the car they drive, to the phone they use, and the house they live in; Christians are called to be reflectors of Christ (God’s image bearers).
Who and what are your New Year’s resolutions for? Are you trying to get people to think much of you or are you trying to get people to think much of Jesus? The good news for 2021 is that if you want your life to be about God’s glory, He can cleanse your heart of all idolatry and transform you from the inside out. Unlike resolutions that are about what you can do and therefore often fail, Jesus can change who you are.
Heavenly Father, my Lord Jesus Christ, I thank you for the Holy Spirit that is powerful to cleanse my heart from all sin and idolatry. Show yourself holy amongst your people in 2021, starting with me, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.