On the last day of the year it is typical for people to make New Year’s Resolutions – promises to themselves that they are going to make some positive changes in the upcoming year. That’s all well and good, but the problem is that if we need to make serious changes in our behavior or life-style, then we probably ought to be repenting instead of resolving!
Along with repenting, I believe that it is biblical that we mature in our faith so that we can be conformed into the image of Christ, and we are to do so gradually, just as the sun gradually rises from dawn to noontime. People who make abrupt and super-speed changes are often just reacting to an emotional experience and unfortunately it doesn’t last – because they weren’t truly touched by God’s redeeming grace. Some people mature way, way too slowly – so slowly that we wonder if there has been any transforming change to begin with (and that’s between them and the Lord).
The intent of this message was to encourage us to take ‘baby steps’ (as was depicted in the Bill Murray movie ‘What About Bob?’). Movement forward – no matter how small – is still movement. We may be moving ‘two steps forward and one step back’, but it is still progress. Some have taken a thousand steps backwards, and a thousand more steps backward, but the Lord’s mercy is new every morning, so by God’s grace and Spirit we can repent and move forward with the Lord.
That was the essence of this brief message. The Lord wants us to mature in His timing and way, and we are to step out of the boat in faith and trust that the ‘good work that the Lord started, He will faithfully complete’. Don’t kick yourself too hard if you aren’t moving fast enough (you may have set expectations too high), and don’t sell yourself short that you “can’t or aren’t making any progress”....by God’s grace and Spirit we can all mature in the faith – the Lord promised that we would – so let’s ‘do it’ (but not in your own strength!!).