Oh, boy, a new year has begun.
New beginnings, new promises, new commitments, new resolutions – and I have made and done them all. These are just a few: eat healthy, exercise daily, let go of control, practice imperfection, and hold my tongue and don’t lose my temper… At 59 + years of age, I have succeeded at them all…for an hour, a day, a week…only for them to get lost in the mayhem and mire that is part of life today. I have the list of excuses to match: “I’m stressed”, “I’m tired”, “Thad made me eat too much”, “I can’t throw out the box of candy the neighbors gave us”, or here is an oldie but a goody – “I was provoked….”
I have spent some time on this idea of new beginnings, and new resolutions; I am determined not to cling to my old promises or my old ways. Instead I have but one commitment to make. It is to renew my covenant with God. I have decided that if I can keep my heart, mind, body and soul in tune with Jesus Christ then all my resolutions (listed above) will fall into place in God’s way and in His time.
You may be wondering how I plan on doing this. Good question. With much prayer – here is my plan.
- Take time to sit with God for He is my refuge (Psalm 46:1-3).
- Transform myself by renewing my mind and aligning it with Christ Jesus. Study the word of the Lord and allow it to permeate my daily life (Romans 12:2).
- Don’t just talk to God, but submit, rest and wait (i.e. hush up and listen!) Psalm 37.
- Lean not on my own strength or understanding for I will grow weary. God’s strength is impervious to failure (Proverbs 3:5-6).
- Trust God to be actively working on my own behalf and thank Him for his mercy and grace.
- Have a teachable spirit, be willing to be changed.
It’s a tall order and I will need prayers. But I have never included God in my New Year’s resolutions, promises, and commitments before. I have always felt like I had to do it all by myself! I hereby surrender my gluttony, my laziness, my perfectionism, my need to control, and my sharp tongue to God so that my belief in Him will determine my behavior on earth. Christian speaker, Rev. Nancy Sheffey states that “It is possible to live the opposite of what you profess, but it is not possible to live opposite of what you believe.” Belief determines behavior. And it is my behavior I wish to change. And it is my belief that through Christ, all is possible (Philippians 4:13).
Will you join me in a New Year’s Resolution that is not earth bound but eternally bound? Will you choose Jesus not just as your Savior, but as your teacher and go from a life of improvisation to an intentional life with God?
For God is our ever present Father, Adonai (Lord & Master), Jehovah Rapha (The God that heals), the Alpha and the Omega (the Beginning and the End). He rejoices in our presence with Him. He loves us not based on our successes or failures, but on our love of Christ. No matter how we succeed or fail, God never fails, and He is always with us.
And that is the only assurance, promise, resolution and commitment I need.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11