It was night for long enough; the day has arrived. Cease immediately with any action associated with the darkness of ignorance. Clothe yourself in the radiance of light as a soldier would wear his full weaponry. (TMB)
Are you still making resolutions?
How many years have you made the same resolution January after January? This year, I am going to lose weight. This year, I am going to let go of the things I do that are not pleasing to God. This year I am going to eat right. This year I am going to pray and study more. This year I am going to work toward a promotion on my job. What prompted your resolution? Maybe you want to make more money. Maybe you received an unfavorable medical report. Maybe it is because you don’t want to buy more new clothes. Maybe you feal defeated in your walk with the Lord. You have to stop planning and stop talking about what you are “going” to do, and do it!! You might ask, is making a resolution a bad thing? That is something you will have to ask the Lord for yourself. However, here are two things to consider when you make resolutions.
1. Often resolutions are emotional and based on something that is currently going on for you personally. They can be a knee-jerk reaction instead of the result of time spent consulting God.
Proverbs 3:5-7 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. 7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. (New Living Translation NLT)
There is nothing wrong with setting goals. Wanting to spend more time with the Lord, wanting to lose weight, wanting to read the Bible more, wanting to make more money, etc. are good things. God is concerned with every aspect of your life. Why do you want to accomplish your chosen goal, NOW? Is it because it will make you spiritually stronger? If the goal is not spiritual, is it what God wants for you at this time? Why do you need to make a resolution to do it? When you want to change, you don’t have to make a resolution. You can simply pray. When you do, ask the Lord what His will is for you. Ask Him if what you want will make you better able to fulfill His call on your life. Ask Him, “Will this bring You glory?”
2. Often the resolution is just talk. As Christians, because we belong to God and when we make a resolution, it is a vow to God. Keep these scriptures in mind:
Matthew 12:36 But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak. (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition AMPC)
Ecclesiastes 5:4-6 When you tell God you’ll do something, do it—now. God takes no pleasure in foolish drivel. Vow it, then do it. Far better not to vow in the first place than to vow and not pay up. 6 Don’t let your mouth make a total sinner of you. When called to account, you won’t get by with “Sorry, I didn’t mean it.” Why risk provoking God to angry retaliation? (Message MSG)
Do you really want to promise God something on a whim? There is a better way.
- Align yourself with God’s purpose.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you”, says the Lord, “plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”. (Amplified Bible, AMP)
- Walk in His plan.
Philippians 1:6 I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return]. (Amplified Bible, AMP)
- Allow God to unfold your life before you.
Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (KJV)
- Delight the Lord with your life.
Psalm 37:23 The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step]. (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition AMPC)
- Embrace the decisions God has already made.
Psalm 37:5, 7a Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. 7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; (New King James Version NKJV)
You don’t need to make a resolution in January that you probably won’t fulfill and will abandon by February. Resolutions challenge you; the spirit of God flowing freely in your life changes you.
- Get hungrier with desire for the Lord, EVERY DAY.
- Look at how you spend your time and cut out those things keeping you from His presence, EVERY DAY.
- Fall in love with the Lord, EVERY DAY.
- Carve out time exclusively for the Lord, EVERY DAY.
- Empty yourself of anything that is not like the Lord, EVERY DAY.
- Release your ties to the world, EVERY DAY.
- Become faithful and stop making excuses, EVERY DAY.
- See the Lord beckoning you to Him, not demanding your time, EVERY DAY.
If you walk out your claim that Jesus is Lord of your life, EVERY DAY, you won’t need to make a resolution of any kind.
Please agree with me as I pray:
Father, I repent for every empty resolution I have made in my life. Thank You for stopping me from making and breaking vows to You. Thank You for showing me I should want to be in Your presence on purpose, not because You require it of me. I must create time. I can’t just fit You in. I can’t rush to be with You, for a few minutes here and a few minutes there, in between doing the “important” things in my life. I know that is not enough for me or You. There are promises I can have if I acknowledge You and ask for Your guidance every day. You will release all fears and uncertainties I have about my life and my future. You will restore me to the place You ordained me to be before I veered off the path, making my own way. I won’t have to wait for the battle to be over; I can rejoice because I know I will win. I will always be radical in pursuing my relationship with You. You hold my life in Your hands. Thank You for knowing what’s in my heart. Thank You for showing me making resolutions is not the way. Because I am special to You and You are special to me, You require special time. Thank You for creating a relationship where You can nudge me and say, “It’s our time now.” I am overwhelmed and amazed at the work You’ve done in my life because of our time spent together. I want more…
———- Ask the Lord what He wants to say to you about today’s devotional and journal His response as described here.