New Years Resolution

In his heart a man plans his course but God directs his steps ~ Psalm 16:9

I am really not a huge fan of New Years resolutions.  I stopped making them years ago after carrying the baggage of past failures & shame with me that seemed to become too much to even hope for a change.  Goals, aspirations & promises, all seem to look different in my head than in my heart.  The glitter on top of the promise of what was to be, often didn’t match the dull surface of reality.  When real life would happen & my energy would run low, my love tank was empty or my patience was gone, then so was my well-intended resolution.

This all changed for me about 3 years ago when I was driving one day & having a conversation with the Lord.  It was late December & I was thinking of the New Year ahead when I heard Him give me a specific word. 

After prayerful consideration I realized I had to change my resolve instead of resolving to change.  For too many years, I wanted to resolve to change my weight, my attitude, my calendar & my people.  But this word from the Lord showed me that instead I needed to focus on my resolve to walk in a way that glorified God & fulfilled who I was in Jesus.

Resolutions themselves are not bad.  The motives, however, for why we do what we do are the issue.  Too often our motives are rooted in what the world tells us we should do.  When we choose to embrace our current season of life, choose God’s best & walk faithfully in the mundane with our focus on Jesus, then our motive will be rooted in the right place.

When our desire for change is rooted in the wrong place, we will fail.  As believers, our reasons for resolution must be based on the Biblical truth of our identity in Christ.  We cannot believe the lies the world wants to tell us about how we should look, our family should look, the clothes we wear, the car we drive or the job we have. 

When we take a good look at what we want to change, the question inside each believer’s heart wonders if Jesus is truly the answer for all of it. {Philippians 4:13}

Can He fix what is broken in my life? YES

Can He fix my marriage? YES

Can He restore my Joy? YES

Can He bring my wayward child home? YES

Can He help me get healthy? YES

Can He heal me or my loved one? YES

Jesus is not a magician or a dictator.  He will not force His way into our lives & He will not force us to live in a way that glorifies Him.  He gives us the free will to choose Him or not.  But when we do, our lives will be abundant.  Jesus is the answer to everything in life, but in order to allow Him to change us & our resolve, there are some things we need to do:

Embrace your current season of life ~ Often we succumb to the pressures of the world around us that want us to believe we have to be everything to everyone all the time.  This is really hard for me because I truly enjoy serving others.  Many of us have the problem of finding a holy balance between family, church, work, community, etc.  It requires intentionality to make sure that there is space in your calendar to breath.  Take some time with the Lord & ask him to help you to restructure your life’s priorities so that you can live fully in this season without being emotionally & physically depleted.   {Ecclesiastes 3:1, Ephesians 2:10}

Choose God’s best ~ I love how in Paul’s writings he often gives us a picture of putting on something to represent our strength in Christ.   In Colossians he tells us we are to put on love above all else & do everything in the name of the Lord.  When honoring God & showing the world His best is our focus, it gives us purpose beyond ourselves & we will find true contentment & joy in our resolve to live for Him.  When we commit everything we do to Him, it opens our hearts to be clothed in His righteousness, even in the chaos of the world.  {Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10-17, 2 Corinthians 3:5}

Walk faithfully in the mundane ~ Sometimes when we set a goal, one bad day or an unexpected turn in life can cause our focus to go from success to discontentment in an instant.   However, when we choose to walk faithfully in the mundane, we realize our joy & contentment in life come from finding them in the reality that never changes.  Jesus is the only hope & promise in life that will never disappoint.  The enemy wants us to believe the lie that we will never be able to change our attitude, actions or circumstances, but we must remember that a seeming failure does not define who we are.  Jesus defines who we are & in Him we can recognize the lies of the devil & walk in contentment & joy because we are who God says we are! {Psalm 103:1-5, 1 John 3:1, 2 Corinthians 4:16}

How do you need to change your resolve this year to embrace your current season of life, put on God’s best & walk faithfully in the mundane?  Ask your good Father to help you to keep your eyes on Him & crush the lies of the enemy. 

Love, Cara