It’s about now that the resolve for NewYear’s Resolutions is tested. Or forgotten. It’s right about now that most of us have either ignored, forgotten or revised this year’s resolutions (especially if we give in and confess they’re too arduous for us to keep).
In reality, they’re probably not too arduous or difficult to keep — it’s just that our constant companion proves to be a more formidable foe than we realize. This constant companion, Self, is usually pretty convincing. Usually always. Self will never be satisfied.
And, truth be told, most of us make a whole list of stuff to do that really has little to do with what matters most in life. We usually make all these plans and goals and set a course of action without first consulting the Lord — and then we ask Him to bless the resolutions. All this instead of coming to Him with a blank slate and an open heart ready to yield to and obey His words and directions. O, that we could just receive from and follow Him instead of continually asking Him provide for and bless (or clean up) the plans (or messes) we already made. O, that we would seek that He would speak to us and guide us. First.
Reading today’s entry (January 5) in My Utmost For His Highest, I smiled…
” …No matter what changes God has wrought in you, never rely upon them, build only on a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, and on the Spirit He gives.
All our vows and resolutions end in denial because we have no power to carry them out. When we have come to the end of ourselves, not in imagination, but really, we are able to receive the Holy Spirit. “Receive ye the Holy Ghost” — the idea is that of invasion. There is only one lodestar in the life now, the Lord Jesus, Christ.”
In addition to there being “nothing new under the sun,” I take great comfort in the fact that no matter what I think I want to do, that traveling companion, Self, is a relentless reminder of my need of Jesus and His redemptive work and power.
So, wherever you’re at on the NewYear’s resolutions deal… still pressing on, fallen off the wagon — or even having resolved to not resolve, the heart of the matter is: Jesus is calling. Follow Him. On the journey, it may not look like things are working out — but you can know this for certain: because He said, I will never leave you nor forsake you, regardless how your circumstances appear, you can rest assured that everything is going to work together for good. Your good and His glory — bcz all His ways are only good.
[by the way, it’s not too late to start reading through the Word this year. Read a few chapters a day, every day, and a couple of extra chapters from time to time — and by the end of the year, you’ll have read through the Bible. Snap, just like that. :o) ]