Well, the new year is here whether you are ready or not. Scripture teaches us that the seasons will continue until the end of time. The Lord has created built in restart buttons everywhere. We restart every morning and His mercies are new each morning. He set up the system of seven days and put them in order. Each week we reset. With each season there is kind of a reset and then the big one is the new year. None of this is by circumstance. The Lord does what He does for a reason.
I think we have a tendency to get into a rut and we can become so consumed with what is right in front of us that we are not good at stopping to evaluate our past, plan our future, and pray about dreams and goals. The Lord has attempted through the many reset buttons within our calendar to get us to stop and do exactly this. Psalm 46 teaches us that we need to be still and know that He is God. It is not that I can only communicate with the Lord when my body is perfectly still and if my eye twitches, I lose contact. No, this is a spiritual, mental, and emotional pause where we consider and meditate on Him and our life in Him.
One of the weapons of mass destruction being launched from the pits of Hell is the constant pull of over-packing our schedules and todo lists so that we never stop long enough to think and meditate on the Lord. I have taught to my congregation that you do not have to go to church in order to get into Heaven, however, church is a natural emotional and spiritual pause where we fill our mind and hearts with the goodness of God, His ways, His purposes. When we get too busy for church, it is a result of a direct hit from the Enemy upon our families’ spiritual survival.
I want to encourage you to learn to take advantages of these built-in reset buttons the Lord has created for us. During this New Year’s season, consider the past and the future, but do it from the perspective of God’s plan for your life. What does He want to do in you, through you, and for you.
Yesterday, our associate pastor talked about resolutions we make for ourselves and how most of us have failed to keep these after only a couple of weeks. I am quite guilty of this. Proof in point is the indigestion I am feeling still this morning from the extra couple of slices of pizza. To me though, resolutions focus too much on my power and/or ability to do something, to change something in my life. I am come to the place in my spiritual walk that I am quite aware of my great weaknesses to do much good at all and even that is not by my power, but the grace of God alive within me. When it comes to me accomplishing something on my own power, my resolutions, my expectations are low. I often tell people that I start dieting every Monday. And by Tuesday, if that long, I have already eaten a big bowl of Blue Bell or way too many tamales 🙂
But through Christ, I can do all things. This is the key. I must seek the power of Christ in whatever I may endeavor to do. If I am going to eat right, I should meditate on Phil 3:19 where the Lord addresses unhealthy eating habits, not what a person eats, but why they eat. I eat when I am tired. I eat when I am stressed. I eat when I worry. At the times, I should be seeking the Lord, I have a tendency to eat. Meditating on this Scripture in prayer while I am trying to eat better would have a greatest possibility of success because I am able to do all things through Christ. The meditation allows me to tap into the power of Christ.
I don’t know. Perhaps, it’s just me. I have very little expectation that I am going to make these changes that I have needed to make for so long. How well do you fulfill your New Year’s resolutions? Do you really have high expectations for yourself? But shouldn’t we have great expectations of what we are able to do through Christ who gives us strength? And shouldn’t we have dreams of what God wants to do in our life. After all, the prophet Jeremiah reminds us that God’s plan is to prosper us, not to harm us, to give us a hope and a future.
Christians should have higher expectations in our resolutions because we can access the strength of Christ. Christians should also be first to make resolutions and the best to fulfill them since nothing is impossible with our God.
What resolutions have you set for this new year? Take this and fuse them together with your spiritual life. Maybe you need to worry less. Then access the strength of Christ by scheduling more prayer time. Consistent prayer is the path to peace that transcends understanding, is it not? Do you need to exercise more? Meditate on 1 Corinthians 6:19: Do you not know that your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit? You cannot read this without understanding that our physical body affects our spiritual life. If we have no energy, how can we make time to study? If we are sick all of the time, how can we get to church or Bible studies.
Don’t just make the resolution. Adapt your spiritual disciplines to include your resolutions. Then let your expectations soar because now you are not doing it on your own, but through Christ who gives you strength.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
WHAT RESOLUTIONS HAVE YOU SET? LEAVE A PRAYER IN THE COMMENT AREA ASKING THE LORD FOR HELP.
I wanted to give you some resources. It is not always easy to find a Scripture that matches up with what you need in the moment. And sometimes, if you are like me, I have a passage memorized, but I can’t remember where it is found. Well, there is a great FREE resource online called www.StudyLight.org. And within this website, there is an online version of Nave’s Topical Bible Index. This is a great resource.