Life change is hard. Whether you are trying to pick up better habits or lose bad ones. Change is hard. We fight hard, even if we desire to change, for things to remain the same. We work diligently to maintain the status quo, so when we get the bright idea to make a real change in our lives, something inside of us immediately mounts an offensive.
January is a notorious time to set resolutions to better ourselves. We’re going to lose weight, eat right, go to church, stop smoking. The list could go on and on. We rarely reach the end of January before most of our resolutions have fallen away. Real life change is hard.
This January I decided to exercise. And I did. Almost every day. It just about killed me to start with. Five minutes on the elliptical machine, and my body was screaming obscenities to my brain. It sounded a little like George Jetson screaming for Jane to, “Stop this crazy thing!” In those early few days, I would listen to my body and stop after a few minutes. I’ve worked up to a decent workout now, but my body still begs for relief. Every day there’s a struggle that goes on in my mind about whether or not the exercise is really worth it. Sometimes I decide it’s not. Change is hard.
My pastor talks about how we have to have change from the inside, before we can have real change in our lives. Change is a matter of the heart. Any kind of change. Our bodies are weak, our brains can reason us into, or out of, pretty much anything. So real life change has to come from the heart. A heart tuned into the One who loves us, and can facilitate real change in us, is the only way to lasting change. A changed heart can convince a mind and motivate a body. The Bible tells us in Isaiah 30 that when we cry out for help, the Lord will hear us and answer, and that even though we face adversities and afflictions, the Lord will point the way to go. His voice will say, “This is the way; walk in it”. And then, that we can then turn to the things that hinder us and say, “Away with you!”
The key is in listening to the right voice. Sometimes our own voice is our worst enemy. I have to work hard to hear the voice of God over my own. Yet when I can do it, when I can really hear his voice, that’s when my life changes. And that can happen any day of the year.