A 2017 Decision
The Year 2016 has become a year of our past. It is now considered history. We have stepped into our New Year 2017. To God be all of the glory for all that He did for us this past year; His blessings of provision, new mercies every morning; His shield of protection, grace that is sufficient… We could go on and on declaring what the Lord has done. …But how about how we lived our lives this past year? Every one of us would be quick to say that we could have done more. We could have prayed more, read and studied our Bibles more, been a greater witness. Do we find ourselves realizing that we fell so short of what our Christian walk should have been?
Are we one of those who made our New Year’s resolutions back in January 2016? Did we keep them? One may have committed to attend church regularly, daily read the Word and pray, commit to a particular ministry, eat healthier, regularly exercise, etc. Others may have resolved to stop behaviors that were not right before God. …Again, did we keep our resolutions?
Resolution means a firm decision to do or not to do something. So, if we make a firm decision, why do we most often break our resolutions? There are probably thousands of possible reasons, but I want to focus on what we need to do to fulfill what we resolve to do. The most important is that Jesus Christ is the Lord of our lives. Remember, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:12). We need the Lord. Too many people are attempting to live life by their own strength. Are we resolving to do or not to do something based on what I should do or what I will do? “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). We are then to “commit our works unto the Lord, and our thoughts shall be established.” (Prov. 16:3). “Commit” literally means to transfer our burdens to the One (Jesus Christ), Who is stronger and better able to bear it. The verse promises that it is then that our thoughts will be the plans or counsel out of which the works spring.
Robert and I choose to fast at the beginning of every year. There are promises to those who fast, found in Isaiah 58. (Please read verses 4 - 14.) We desire the will of the Lord for our lives. We desire His guidance. We list the things that we desire of the Lord. Robert and I then pray accordingly in agreement (Mt. 18:19).
I recently counseled with a young woman. She said, “I know that I should lose weight. It seems that I eat correctly for a week; and when the week end comes, I eat everything that I can find in my fridge and cabinets.” This woman was depressed over her appearance. She was so depressed that food had become her solace. She needed a plan. The plan should be made with the help of the Lord. First, she committed to write on her calendar when the plan was to begin. If she didn’t, she would only put it off over and over. She made a grocery list which included only healthy foods. She wrote on the calendar the days for exercise, how long, and where. She listed some short-term goals and confessed to a friend what she intended to do. Having an accountability partner is most helpful. I personally write down my intentions. I submit it unto the Lord requesting His strength and help. I bind the powers of darkness in Jesus’ name that would attempt to thwart what I had committed to the Lord. Brothers and sisters, the Lord is Faithful to us. Will we be faithful to Him? If not, our hearts go on condemning us, and we lose our confidence before the Lord, ourselves, and others.