Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just say a little prayer—God, please help me reach this goal—then go to sleep and wake up the next day a transformed person?
Unfortunately, God doesn’t usually work that way.
Often, we fail to reach our spiritual goals because we’re sitting back, waiting for God to change us, while He’s sitting there wondering why we don’t follow His suggestions if we want to change.
Let’s begin our New Year’s study by seeing what the Bible has to say about change. Read the following Bible verses and list the role we play and the role God plays in the transformation process. I’ve done the first one for you. (If you’d like a pdf of this Bible study, click here: Transformation Bible Study.)
We renew our minds.
He transforms us.
In summary, what is your part in the transformation process?
What is God’s part?
Living in His Word
The Greek word for abide used in John 8:31-32 and John 15:4-5 is the same word that’s used for living in a house. The idea is that we don’t just visit the word for 10 minutes a day. Instead, we live in the Word.
Meditate on it. Chew on it as we walk through the day. Let it fill us and change the way we think about life. Let it fill us and change us enough that we can follow through on our resolutions.
This is what it means to renew our minds. We’re taking off those old thoughts and putting on the new thoughts – thus re”new”ing our minds.
Practical Tools to Help You Renew Your Mind
If you look at the Renewing of the Mind Tools category at the top of this blog, I have all kinds of tools you can use to renew your mind so you can follow through on your New Year’s resolution. But these tools only work if you know what the Bible has to say about your goal.
Each time I start working on a new goal or project, my mind is usually filled with the culture’s view of the subject. In order to adjust my thinking to God’s view, I need to pour through the Bible to see what God thinks about the matter.
So the first thing you need to do if you want to follow through on your new year’s resolutions is to scour the Bible for help. See what God thinks about your goal. Ask Him to reveal any underlying issues that are keeping you from accomplishing your goal – then see what the Bible has to say about those issues.
What is your New Year’s resolution?
What do you currently look like in that area of your life?
How long have you struggled in this area of your life?
Have you asked God if He would change you yet? If so, did He change you?
If not, what will you need to do if you want to be transformed according the Bible verses you just studied in the chart up above?
What does the Bible have to say about your goal? (During this study, continue to search the Bible for help with your goal. You could begin with a google search: Bible verses for anger, etc.)
More Help with Working on Goals
Go through the New Year’s Bible Study on this blog.
Use my book The Renewing of the Mind Project to pursue your goal.
Elizabeth Archer says
I was hoping God would send me a different, easier, more fun resolution. But He loves me too much!
Haha! I would also like a different, easier, more fun resolution! I’ve been reading through Exodus in my quiet time lately about God delivering the Israelites from Egypt. He could have done it in a snap of His fingers, but He didn’t. I’m learning so much from His dealings with the Israelites. And also remembering what He has taught me from past renewing of the mind projects. They all seem to have a common thread: God is enough. I can live any life He wants me to live because He is enough. I can’t wait til I learn that lesson at a deep level with my current to-do list project!
Wonderful Post! I made a chart just like yours and it’s pretty powerful to see my role is so small in comparison to God’s role. Seems silly I ever try to do God’s job for Him.
I can’t wait to share my post Next Monday on how God is breaking strong holds in my life. I pray it blesses others. You and your blog have blessed me and helped me write next weeks post. Thank you!
That’s so great, TC! I can’t wait to read next weeks post and so happy God is breaking strongholds in your life. I feel like He’s doing the same for me in the area of time management, perfectionism, and procrastination – things I’ve struggled with forever. It’s exciting! Still a ways to go before they topple, but there’s some major crumbling going on. :)
Amen and I hear ya on having a ways to go…but it’s awesome and encouraging to see how far God has already brought us…one day at a time!
Yes, and thanks for the reminder to focus on all He’s already done rather than on how far I still have to go!
Ngina Otiende says
Your opening paragraphs remind of of my attitude early in marriage. I talk about it briefly in my current post – whenever I asked God to change my husband or circumstances I’d get this feeling that He was waiting on something. took a while to figure out that He was waiting for me to change – to take the truth of His word and run with it. He already gave the “how to” in His word and I needed to dig out the truth myself and apply specific truth to specific areas.
I’m thinking of that Garth Brooks song, “I thank God for unanswered prayers.” I loved your post today, and I can relate. It sometimes shocks me at how many layers of truth and growth God can give me through one trial. I’m always thankful in the end that He didn’t fix the trial right away because the growth and the fruit of the Spirit that come out of the trial are always worth it.
Melanie Wilson says
Barb, you’re a gifted Bible teacher. I meant to comment on your last past because it was absolutely fabulous! I plan to link to it in a post on The Inspired Day next week. I’m going to print out this study and do it! I only recently realized that I wasn’t getting any of your posts, though I’d signed up for email. Don’t know what happened, but I’m glad it’s fixed. Keep writing, lady!
Thanks so much for the encouragement, Melanie – and the links. I appreciate it!
Loren Pinilis says
One of the biblical principles I love is the concept that we have a part to play and God has a part to play. All of our problems come from failing to do our part – or not trusting in God to do his part. If we can keep that in mind, so many things instantly clear up.