>> Monday, January 4, 2010
Happy New YeaRRR!
Most people think that the "R" in Happy New Year stands for "Resolution," and that very well may be true. But what about the other "R"s? You know, the two preceding?
I sat in a pool of quiet last night wading in my thoughts on the subject. The verses that kept floating through my mind were common ones:
"Create in me a pure heart, O God,and renew a steadfast spirit within me.Do not cast me from Your presenceor take Your Holy Spirit from me.Restore to me the joy of Your salvationAnd grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."Psalm 51:10-12
It occurred to me that resolve without repentance is useless. My "new promise" or "new start" for the new year is impossible without newness of my heart.
Repentance is not a guilt trip, it's remorse...contrition...a brokenness of spirit. It's a way of acknowledging that no good thing is within me, apart from His righteousness, and resolutions are pointless without it.
When I repent, restoration follows...maybe not immediately, but the process begins. And it begins with daily surrender (along with minute by minute dependence). He restores the "joy of salvation" and grants us "a willing spirit" to keep us walking in righteousness.
So yes. Happy New YeaR(repent)R(restore)R(resolve). And may I add just one more? Repeat. He never grows tired or weary to start the process over in us. His grace is steady and continuous, unfathomable--it's more than enough to sustain us as we live out our resolutions instead of merely trying to keep them.
The Message puts it all in perspective (Psalm 51:7-12):
"Soak me in Your laundry and I'll come out clean,Scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life.Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,Set these once-broken bones to dancing.Don't look too close for blemishes,Give me a clean bill of health.God, make a fresh start in me,Shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.Don't throw me out with the trash,or fail to breathe holiness in me.Bring me back from gray exile,put a fresh wind in my sails!"
Ready for Rrrevival, my friends?
Because when Godly restoration occurs,
praise and worship follow:
"I'll sing anthems to Your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
I'll let loose with Your praise."
Psalm 51:14b & 15