Can you believe that 2010 is nearly upon us? I can hardly believe it has been 10 years ago since the Y2K scare that held us all in suspense as we awaited the “clock rollover.” Would the computers be able to handle it? Would the banking system survive? The Y2K fiasco sounds so crazy now!
As we approach a New Year, have you begun your New Year’s Resolution list? Or are you like me, not even caring to make a list because you know you will “miss the mark” by February?
In years past, I have made lists upon lists and failed miserably and for the past 2 years I have refused to even make a list! But this year…well….this year will be different! Yes, I am making ONE New Year’s resolution this year. Why only one? For me, I can only focus on one thing at a time, and as I am successful at this main thing, I can then begin to work on another area of my life.
As I battled within myself this week, about whether I should even make a New Year’s Resolution, God sent 2 confirmations to me, that Yes I should—and that I should not JUST make a New Year’s Resolution, but also ongoing lifestyle resolutions! The first confirmation came as I listened to a sermon which was an interesting perspective on setting New Year’s Resolutions. The primary text was from James (the pull no punches book!): James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
Our ultimate priority in making New Year’s Resolutions is to go to God and His Word. We must HEAR Him speaking to us and DO what He says! Making a New Year’s Resolution is not about me and what I feel I must do to make changes in my life; instead it is about God! What is God calling me to do? What is God laying on my heart, showing me, calling me to walk in? My New Year’s resolution must reflect God’s leading in my life!
The second confirmation came when I took time this morning to look up the meaning of the word “resolution”. I was totally blown away! I always considered resolution as “make a promise to do better”—but was I wrong! Resolution is a much stronger word! The word resolution means a “fixed purpose or determination of mind”. A fixed purpose—when something is fixed it is unmovable. As you consider a New Year’s resolution, are you making the determination that when you set this resolution, that it will come to pass…regardless of what happens? The definition for resolution continues with this profound thought: “the act, operation or process of separating the parts which compose a complex idea; analysis.”
I just love this!! Within the definition of a resolution is the idea of GOAL SETTING! It is not just a “pie in the sky” what I want to change about me….A true resolution includes the ideas of having a vision for change in your life, setting goals and creating action steps to reach that goal. We are to analyze the change and separate the steps to achieve our resolution! Now this kind of resolution is do-able!
How many times have you sent a resolution with absolutely no thought of how to pull it off, except for the vague, “well tomorrow’s the new year, it will just happen”? Ah but this is not what is meant behind a resolution! A resolution is having the end in mind (a vision), setting your heart on it, determining the steps to being successful and then DOING it!
At the beginning of this article, I began with the text James 1:22. Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Have you ever considered that God has a lot to say about setting resolutions? In the Bible, we are called to be like Christ in our attitude (Philippians 2:5), and we are called to be holy (1 Peter 1:16; 2 Peter 3:11; 2 Timothy 1:9 Hebrews 12:14) and within these 2 callings is a multitude of fleshly, sinful desires! I know as I battle each of them myself! Oh how I praise God for His Word! In His Word, you will find behaviors/attitudes we are called to “put off” and the right behavior God calls us to. (See Colossians 3; Ephesians 4:25-32 and 5:4; 11; 18; Philippians 4:6; Romans 13:12-14) Oh, dear sisters, lest we become overwhelmed with the prospect of so much change—let us not grow weary or burdened…instead let us lift our eyes to the hills from where our help comes from—our help comes from the LORD (Psalm 121:1-2)
Hebrews 4: 15-16 tells us that Jesus (our High Priest) is able to sympathize with our weaknesses and will give us grace and mercy to help us in our struggles (time of need) IF we approach the throne of grace. We simply must ask Him. And when we ask, we must believe that He will hear us and answer! So many times, I have struggled to approach God for help as I *think* that He will not hear me, because He expects me to be holy and perfect…and I am not. Oh, this is not God’s heart. God desires us to seek Him out for strength, help, and the power to overcome our temptations and sin. He knows we are in a daily battle, He knows our weaknesses; He knows we cannot overcome it alone! Listen to the words of Paul in Philippians 3:12-14 “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect but I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers (and SISTERS!), I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Oh sisters, we must PRESS on toward the goal. We must seek God for any areas that we are not obeying His call, we must seek God for areas of temptation that we are losing the battle in and we must continually seek Him to remain strong in the battles we are winning (or even have won historically!)
New Year’s resolution? Yes, I have set one. God has shown me what the one area I must work on and that is to seek Him first and not become bogged down with theological arguments and the like, but to keep my focus on Jesus Christ and HIM ALONE. He alone has all the answers I need, He alone is the “Theology” I must learn.
And dear sister, I encourage you to seek God for your new year (and throughout the year!) resolution. What is the one thing you need to work on? Let your vision and goal be His vision and goal and look unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our Faith for the strength, courage and power to succeed in living a godly life for His glory!