Many people make resolutions on New Year’s Day, promising themselves (and sometimes God) that the next year of life will be different. We determine that habits are going to be changed and new patterns of behaviour developed.
Resolutions like these are highly commendable and can often serve as a stimulus to spiritual growth. But not always. Sometimes, our resolutions are carried out only for a little while and all too soon are forgotten.
It is good to engage now and then in self-examination. We should face up to the changes that need to be made, and then make plans for how we are going to implement them. For example, if we realize that our devotional habits are weak and inconsistent, let us resolve to spend some time daily in focused fellowship with God. Let us ask the Spirit to help us in this consistent practice through all our tomorrows. Today is a good day to start.
In Nehemiah 10, God’s people made an oath, vowing to follow all the commands, laws and regulations of the Lord. This oath was so serious that they were willing to accept the curse of God if they failed to keep these commands.
Our resolutions need not be as serious as that. But any resolution to follow God is not a casual promise. Rather, it is a solemn and serious declaration that – with the help of the Holy Spirit – we can renew everyday.
There is nothing more certain in our lives than change. Yet many of us fear change and make elaborate plans to avoid it. We fear the new and find comfort in the stability of the known and familiar.
But to grow, you need to not only accept change, but to embrace it, joyfully. Think of a flowing stream as representing your life. In some places it flows smoothly, with barely a ripple as it travels on its journey. At other places along the way, obstacles create great turbulence; the water roars and thunders as it crashes through gorges and down steep falls.
These represent both the easy and difficult times your experience.
Yet, a stream may have a place where the water becomes banked up, stagnant, unhealthy. Here, nothing thrives and nothing changes. Welcome the rushing waters of change into your life, for change means growth, spiritual health and self-realization. Embrace each new direction you encounter with courage and enthusiasm. It is the key to a happier you.
You will go forth a little stronger with a fresh supply of grace, if each day you meet the Saviour in a secret, quiet place.
God speaks to those who take time to listen, and He listens to those who take time to pray.
Act on your Resolutions!