As we enter 2023, it’s important to spend time focusing and reflecting on the goodness of God. Despite how many challenges we’ve faced, every one of us can identify our many blessings. The mistake that many of us make is that we spend so much time thinking about the things we’ve lost including the pain, and the discouraging situations. Allow gratefulness to guide you into a new year. “I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness. They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness.” (Psalm 145:5-7)
Do not allow the problems of the past, rob you of a beautiful new year of possibilities and potential. There is so much that God wants to do in each of our lives. Often, we blame God for our deferred dreams. We blame the enemy for our troubles. We seldom see the decisions we make that create barriers and obstacles for our destiny. God gives us the ability to feel, think and choose. If we don’t like the way our lives look, it’s time for some evaluation of our hearts and minds. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” (Mark 7:21-23)
Just as we can make a decisionmn to do what we want–we also can make the choice to something different. We’ve all heard the cliché, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over expecting different results.” In 2023, let’s make a decision to live our lives for God. We desire the blessings and benefits of God but in order to see the miracles and manifestation of God to fully show up in our lives, we must do our part.
If we want God to do something new in our lives in 2023, we must be willing to do something different. The Pharisees and Sad-ducees were a group of religious leaders who focused so much on the interpretation of the law that they failed to recognize the new thing that God was doing. We can get so caught up in religious traditions that we miss God in our presence. “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst ; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved” (Matthew 9:16-17).
Bibleref.com states “… that the Pharisees lived lives like old wineskins. When new wine was poured in, the wineskins would break apart and the wine wasted. Jesus however, brought freedom in grace. His grace could not be held in legalistic rules that the Pharisees enforced over others. We cannot alter Jesus to fit our mold of religion, we have to remember that we are the jars, and He is the Potter. He will shape us to learn.”
Do not miss what God is doing. “See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19) Allow God in 2023 to do a new thing in your life without being restricted to old ways of doing and thinking. This year, focus on relationship versus settling solely for religious traditions that have no significance or ability to transform our lives. Commit to building a relationship with God that goes beyond just going to church on Sundays. It must be a lifestyle that is a part of who we are and what we do. Don’t just ask what would Jesus do…be committed to live a life that reflects who Jesus is.
Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the CEO of Soulstice Consultancy and the founder of the Reconciliation and Restoration Foundation (r2fdn.org). She is also the author of four books including Empowering Charity: A New Narrative of Philanthropy and the host of the Tapestry podcast.