GUEST BLOG WRITTEN BY PASTOR MARTY CARNEGIE
Pastor Marty Carnegie has been one of our church pastors for more than 30 years. He has Pastored churches in the Caribbean and the United Kingdom. After 9 years as a Christian Fellowship Ministries evangelist, he now Pastors the Metro Atlanta Christian Center in Atlanta, GA.
As we face another new year, one thing is certain, no one wants another year of broken promises to God, unfinished tasks, and resolutions that failed to materialize. As we approached the end of 2016, I started praying, "God how do we give ourself the best chance to breakthrough this new year". I got inspired by the New Testament story of Peter walking on the water. Matthew 14, says Jesus told Peter to step out of the boat, and come to Him on the water. Peter obeyed, and walked on water. This miracle was an answer to Peter's request, but it was also a lesson to us, that what's humanly impossible, becomes possible when God is involved.
This miracle started, when Peter took the first step out of the boat. The old Chinese proverb says "the road to a thousand miles, begins with one step". Another way of saying it is "the path to your desired victory or success in 2017, begins with YOUR FIRST STEP towards change. When Peter took the first step, Gods power came, and turned his one step into a supernatural act. I'm sure most believers have already determined what changes they desire for their personal life & their families, in the next 365 days of the coming new year. The problem, is that in previous years, these plans got off to a good start, only to fizzle out after a few months. Within ourselves there is no ability to guarantee the new year will end any different than the old year. As Peter got distracted, doubted, and began to sink, so our efforts fail and sink, leaving us depressed, and unmotivated to try again.
But we must remember, Peter walked on water. We also can trust in Jesus, and experience breakthrough. Peter's success was simply in his first step. Jesus knew, that if Peter would just take the first step, He Himself would work the miracle. God wants the same from us, just ONE STEP toward Jesus, and God will assist us in the breakthrough we desire. I suggest we challenge ourselves in two areas, if we desire to have a truly happy new year.
1. Choose one spiritual discipline (prayer, fasting, bible reading, being on time for church, worship, tithing etc) that you put off this past year, and take the first step toward reviving it in your life. You don't need to do a thousand things, just take one step. Just open the bible, just kneel down to pray. God met Peter at his first step.
2. Choose one bad/sinful habit (gossip, gluttony, cursing, unforgiveness, lying, envy, lasciviousness, etc) that you made excuses for this past year, and take the first step toward overcoming it. Simply refuse to engage idle talk, just eat normal portions, just switch off perversion. God met Peter at his first step.
Don't be discouraged by past efforts that failed. Don't give up because the challenge of righteousness seems so high. Jesus already told us in John 15:5, "without me, you can do nothing". As you start the new year, don't try and climb the entire staircase in a day. Just take one step, the one step in the direction of Jesus, one step in the direction of discipline, one step in the direction of repentance. Step onto the promise of Gods word. That first step will turn our limited ability into His limitless possibilities. For someone, the one first step is just picking up the phone to say "I'm sorry". No one can go back, and fix a bad beginning, but through Christ, we all can step toward a new ending this year. Don't rob yourself another year. God is our help. Now go ahead, surrender your fear, give up your pride, and take that first step toward a Happy New Year.