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Be Extraordinary in 2017

Late December and early January is the time of year when many make those famous New Year’s resolutions. Sadly, statistics show that only a paltry 8% of those who make New Year’s resolutions actually stick with them for an entire year.

Most of us, unfortunately, end up much like the man who made the following resolutions:

  • 2013—I will seriously start going to the gym five days a week

  • 2014—I will make it to the gym three days a week

  • 2015—I will try to drive past a gym at least once a week

  • 2016—I will try to drive past a gym near a Krispie Kreme at least once a week

Or perhaps, you are like this young lady:

  • 2013--I will not let my friends push me around

  • 2014--I will stick up for my rights when my friends are rude to me

  • 2015--I will not let my sadistic friends drive me to the point of insanity

  • 2016--I will tell my therapist about my friends

Yes, we all make resolutions and break them. Frankly, though, most of our resolutions are misplaced anyway. They are only designed to make us “slightly better.” They are only designed to take what we already are and fine-tune it, remodel it--just a little bit.

“I resolve to lose twenty pounds, so I can look a little slimmer.” “I resolve to exercise more, so I can be a little healthier.” “I resolve to control my temper, so I can be a little nicer.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. These resolutions are not bad. However, if we are going to make resolutions, why not make resolutions that can change us forever? Why not make resolutions that help us connect with, and be transformed by, the Creator of the universe?

This year, let’s resolve to make resolutions that will completely change us, fully transform us, and truly enable us to do things we never thought possible.

Now, of course, left to ourselves, resolutions such as those are impossible, but we are not by ourselves if we have accepted Christ. Those who accept Christ as Lord are filled with the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes into your life, He makes the impossible very, very possible.

Check out these amazing verses. In Romans 8:11, we read…The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.

In Ephesians 1:19 and 20, we find these amazing words…I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.

And finally, later on in the same book, we read in Ephesians 3:20…Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

This is incredible! Do you understand that the same Holy Spirit that raised Christ dwells in you right now if you are a believer? This same Holy Spirit, with His amazingly great and mighty power, is ready to work in your life. He is ready to do things beyond what you could dare ask or hope.

What a shame it would be to have all that power at our disposal, to make an extraordinary difference in and through us, and yet never use it. Think of it like this. Imagine receiving a Bugatti--the most expensive sports car in the world. Top speed: 254 miles per hour. 1200 horsepower. 0 to 60 in 2.4 seconds. Price tag: 2.3 million. They only make forty of them a year…but you just got one...for free. It is sitting in your driveway!

Yet, after a whole year of owning this carefully crafted machine, you have not driven (or ridden in) it once. This powerful sports car has done nothing but sit, collecting dust. Someone asks you, “Hey, are you ever going to have a ride in that car?”

“No, no, no!” You respond immediately. “It’s better that I just leave it where it is.”

That would be ridiculous!

Let’s further imagine that you won a Lear jet in a contest. Congratulations! Top speed: 565 MPH. Flight ceiling: 55,000 ft. You just received a 13.3 million dollar flying cruise ship! Yet, after another whole year, your friends, who have been waiting for a free trip in your new luxury airliner, can’t help but ask why that beautiful piece of engineering is just sitting in a hanger.

You answer them, “I think it’s better just to leave it on the ground.” WHAAAAT!!

Perhaps as I spoke about these two scenarios, you pictured yourself speeding down the highway or soaring through the skies. It didn’t even cross your mind to not use those gifts. Yet, may I ask, what have you been doing with the gift of the Holy Spirit? Has He been left to sit in the driveway, while you attempt to do life in your own strength? Has He been relegated to the corner of the hanger, while you crawl through one circumstance after another?

Left to ourselves, we can do very little. When powered by the Holy Spirit, however, all things become possible. So let me put this very plainly: If you are a Christ follower and didn’t do anything extraordinary, anything beyond your ability in 2016, then you just may be wasting the gift the Holy Spirit.

The question then becomes, "What will you do with the Holy Spirit in 2017?" Something amazing and extraordinary I hope!

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