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“Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something”
“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.”
The dawning of a new year brings hope to many. Resolutions are made to become a better person—whether it be physical, mental, or spiritual. Sadly, the spiritual aspect is usually dismissed quickly—if it was recognized at all. Therein lies to dilemma facing our once great nation.
For many, the primary resolution they repeatedly make year after year is a desire to exercise and diet. Is this an attempt to be healthier or one that focuses on the physical appearance and vanity? Judging by the number of those working out at the gym or jogging along hiking trails come March, one must surmise it was the latter of the two choices.
Likewise, there are many who desire “mental clarity” and descend upon yoga classes or attend meditation groups. These New Age ideas for creating your best life now are but a fleeting attempt at happiness. Once a crisis confronts the weak, they will believe it is just their lot in life to be miserable.
Sharks In The Water
It has been said many times: “It’s easier to believe the bad things than the good.” This defeatist attitude is what the purveyors of false doctrines feed upon. They are like sharks who smell blood in the water.
The Psalmist summed up where many so-called Christians are in their journey: “Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness” (Psalms 52:7). Does this not resemble the lukewarm who preach a prosperity doctrine?
Although there is nothing wrong with making resolutions, we must be mindful of our spiritual needs first and foremost. Eating healthy and getting exercise are but an empty vessel if we do not allow our Lord and Saviour to be the focal point of our life. In 1 Timothy 4:8 we read: “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
One lengthy, seemingly worthy, list of New Year’s Resolutions sounds good to the average person... but what’s missing? God.
The benefit of God’s Word and performing our mission to witness to all is immense and certainly more important than our vanity. Consider the wise words of Paul: “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:9-10).
Embrace Spiritual Growth
As one looks at the events of the previous year, consider the problems that were faced, the tragedies which occurred, and the many blessings experienced. Each incident is an opportunity to embrace your spiritual growth in Christ Jesus. In James 1:3-6 we read:
“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.”
“Patience is a virtue” is not a cliché. In today’s society, many seek instant gratification. This can be witnessed with the amount of social media posts trumpeting material accomplishments. Each individual is seeking approval from others in a race for vainglory.
“Churchianity” Misleads Many
Is it no wonder the youth are so lost in today’s society? Instead of seeking His approval, they willfully exempt God from their lives. Many of those who do attend “church” have their ears tickled which only reinforces the value of “ME” over Him.
The infiltration of lukewarm men, the acceptance of women and homosexuals to the pastorate, has been Satan’s goal. Liberal beliefs have watered down Christian doctrine to the point of complete saturation. “Churchianity” has replaced any semblance of a true house of worship.
Those who continue to stand on the Word of God are labeled fundamentalists. These old-fashioned beliefs are outdated and need to be ignored. The seminaries which churn out class after class of today’s theologians claim to have a fresh perspective on the spiritual needs of society.
Success Through Him
If you are so inclined as to posit resolutions for the new year, make sure you do so with Him in mind. Pray for His guidance to allow you to accomplish your goals. By doing, so your success will be amazing. This is reinforced in Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
In Psalms 51: 10-13 we read:
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.”
No matter what goal you set, if you do not seek His counsel, it will not come to fruition. It also matters not when you seek to make adjustments in your life. January 1st is just one day of the year. If the Holy Spirit prompts you to make a change, heed His wisdom. Proverbs 16:9 teaches us: “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.”
As we embark on our journey through 2024, seek to be a revelation to those around you. Spend more time reading, studying and sharing His Word.
“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.”
Speak to strangers on the street about the glory in Him. The time is short and our great commission is to lead as many to Jesus as we can.