Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Some do. Some don’t. But often even if one makes a resolution to start the year, perhaps by today (day 3), the resolution is shelved for another year.
New Year’s resolutions remind me how great my intentions are, but how feeble my commitment to carrying them out can be.
It’s hard to stay focused, stay committed, and work toward a goal.
The Scriptures are true (as they always are!): The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
As we enter a new year we are going to be combating the very true and honorable desires the Spirit of God plants in our hearts and minds to walk more closely with him, grow in his truth, and experience and share his love more. This is a wonderful thing. In fact if it’s not on your “resolution” list for 2023 yet, why not put it there. Having intentional goals for our journey and growth in faith is a very positive exercise. What we work at improves…even in our faithlife.
Even as we seek to grow in our faith and walk with our Savior, we are certain to fall, fail and feel like giving up. At work inside each of us is our sinful nature that desires to spend the year doing things that do not come from the Spirit of God or are expressions of God’s love. Sin is very real. We will say things we shouldn’t. Think things we wish we could erase. Do things we regret. And realize that we truly sin and fall short of the glory of God.
I don’t say this to put a damper on a positive start to a New Year, but to remind you we need the words of King David as we go through the year. We will daily need the mercy of God to forgive our sins. We will daily need the work of Jesus to stand in our place and blot out our transgressions. We will need the love of God to still our troubled consciences with the assurance of his grace and mercy.
Every day of the year ahead, as it was in the year past will be a spiritual battle. The Spirit is willing to engage with us every day…but so is our sinful nature. As you go about your other goals and activities of the year, don’t neglect time with the Spirit of God to be ready to fight the very real spiritual battles of the year ahead. And don’t forget the love, mercy and faithfulness of God to forgive you when you fail and strengthen you to fight again.
Apply: What spiritual battles do you anticipate in 2023? How might you daily prepare yourself to engage in them?
Prayer: Lord thank you for your love and faithfulness that forgives and covers my sin. Strengthen me to avoid sin and walk closely with you in 2023. AMEN