Most people start the new year by thinking about things they want to change or do differently in the coming year. It is a time when we can hope for a better future and many people will make resolutions or set goals for the coming year. I firmly believe in goal setting and have done that for years. It helps me think about what I want to accomplish and the kind of person I want to be.
Most people never follow through on the resolutions they set or goals they come up with. The main reason for that is we don’t change the way we think and therefore our actions never follow. Only when we change our mindset and what we care about can we change our lives. We all have things that we believe to be true about ourselves, the world, God and others. Those core beliefs drive our thinking which in turn drives our behavior. So, to really make a change in 2012, the way we think and what we believe needs to change.
To do that it is important to identify what lies might be a part of our belief system. Here are a few that many of us struggle with:
- Believing that acquiring money and things will bring lasting happiness
- Believing that excessive food and alcohol can relieve my stress and make me happy
- Believing that an attractive body and personality will get me what I need
- Believing that gratifying sexual lust will bring lasting satisfaction
- Believing that I can associate with bad company and not be corrupted
- Believing that I can read, see or listen to anything and not be corrupted
- Believing that I must gain approval of certain people in order to be happy
- Believing that I must measure up to certain standards in order to feel good about myself
Here are some lines of thinking that lead us into deception:
- Thinking I am something I am really not
- Thinking I was just born this way and can’t change
- Thinking I can be truly religious but not bridle my tongue
- Thinking that God is the source of my problems
- Thinking I can live my life without the help of anyone else
- Thinking that it’s my life and I can live however I want to
- Thinking that I need to control the people and situations around me
- Thinking that I can change other people
Before we can identify lies we believe we need to know what is true. That starts by looking to the ultimate source of truth and that is God and the Bible. If you only do one thing this year, let it be to read the Bible more than you did last year. Maybe it’s reading a devotional daily or maybe it’s reading the New Testament or the whole Bible. If you have never gotten into the Bible, let this year be the year. Get a translation that is easy to understand like “The Message” or the “Amplified” or the New Living Translation”.
Here is a summary of some of the most important truths from the Bible. A goal might be to read this daily for 3 weeks and see what happens.
I recognize that there is only one true and living God (Ex. 20:2-3) who exists as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and that He is worthy of all honor, praise and glory as the Creator, Sustainer and Beginning and End of all things (Rev. 4:11; 5:9-10; Is. 43:1, 7, 21).
I recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1, 14). I believe that He came to destroy the works of Satan (1 John 3:8), that He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public display of them, having triumphed over them (Col. 2:15).
I believe that God has proven His love for me because when I was still a sinner, Christ died for me (Rom. 5:8). I believe that He delivered me from the domain of darkness and transferred me to His kingdom, and in Him I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Col. 1:13-14).
I believe that I am now a child of God (1 John 3:1-3) and that I am seated with Christ in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:6). I believe that I was saved by the grace of God through faith, that it was a gift, and not the result of any works on my part (Eph. 2:8-9).
I choose to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might (Eph. 6:10). I put no confidence in the flesh (Phil. 3:3) for the weapons of warfare are not of the flesh (2 Cor. 10:4). I put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:10-20), and I resolve to stand firm in my faith and resist the evil one.
I believe that apart from Christ I can do nothing (John 15:5), so I declare myself dependent on Him. I choose to abide in Christ in order to bear much fruit and glorify the Lord (John 15:8). I announce to Satan that Jesus is my Lord (1 Cor. 12:3), and I reject any counterfeit gifts or works of Satan in my life.
I believe that the truth will set me free (John 8:32) and that walking in the light is the only path of fellowship (1 John 1:7).
Therefore, I stand against Satan’s deception by taking every thought captive in obedience to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). I declare that the Bible is the only authoritative standard (2 Tim. 3:15-16). I choose to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15).
I choose to present my body as an instrument of righteousness, a living and holy sacrifice, and I renew my mind by the living Word of God in order that I may prove that the will of God is good, acceptable and perfect (Rom. 6:13; 12:1-2). I put off the old self with its evil practices and put on the new self (Col. 3:9-10), and I declare myself to be a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
I trust my heavenly Father to fill me with His Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18), to lead me into all truth (John 16:13) and to empower my life that I may live above sin and not carry out the desires of the flesh (Gal. 5:16). I crucify the flesh (Gal. 5:24) and choose to walk by the Spirit.
I renounce all selfish goals and choose the ultimate goal of love (1 Tim. 1:5). I choose to obey the two greatest commandments; to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul and mind, and to love my neighbor as myself (Matt. 22:37-39).
I believe that Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18) and that He is the head over all rule and authority (Col. 2:10). I believe that Satan and his demons are subject to me in Christ since I am a member of Christ’s body (Eph. 1:19-23). Therefore, I obey the command to submit to God and to resist the Devil (Jas. 4:7), and I command Satan in the name of Christ to leave my presence.
Happy New Year!