Can you believe that February 2016 is more than halfway over? By now many of you have made resolutions, then fallen off the wagon. Change is hard, especially when we get discouraged when we don’t see the effects immediately. Our intentions may be good, but we often quickly fall back into our old routine. This is a detriment to anything that requires a transition. Maybe your resolution is to exercise more, or to begin eating healthier, but a bag of burgers on the way home after a hard day of work is such an easy solution for dinner! Or maybe your resolution is to spend more quiet time with the Lord. When and where can you find an intimate time to be still and alone in your home? That may be as difficult as learning to perform with the Cirque du Soleil! Getting kids fed & settled and turning off your computer & phone take more willpower and energy than we often have. It may also require you to wake up earlier or stay up until everyone else is asleep. And of course there’s the return of your favorite shows after a holiday hiatus. That distraction costs you an hour of workout time or uses up your intended time to spend in God’s Word. Change is really hard and after weeks of trying we say, “there’s always next year.’”
I’ve made a decision, no more resolutions for me! Resolution is a re-solution to a problem many of us needlessly carry around year after year. Good intentions without perseverance, effort and discipline never last. Why? It’s because we never give our concern to the Lord. We forget that we have the Supernatural Power of the Holy Spirit in us to call upon. So we make our resolutions and think they can be accomplished with our limited wisdom, resources and power.
If you want to lose weight you should ask the Lord for help. Philippians 4:13 assures us, “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” If you want to start a business, ask the Lord to guide you and send the support you need. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit your works unto the Lord and He will establish your plans.” If you want to further your education, pray for God to supply finances, time, energy, childcare or whatever you need to make that happen. Ask God for His wisdom to guide you. James 1:5-7 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must ask and not doubt, because the one who doubts, that person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” Be confident and assured that God will answer your prayers.
Want to be a better steward and start saving, here’s the answer, pray and begin by giving 10% off the gross to the Lord first and then give yourself 10%. That’s the secret to getting better control of your finances. God first, you second. Malachi 3:10, “Bring the whole tithe into the (church) so that there will be provision in His house. Test Me in this and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so many blessings that you will not have room enough to receive them!”
Instead of resolutions, seek real solutions; give all of your thoughts, concerns and desires to the Lord. (Yes, even the desire to lose the eight pounds gained over the holiday!) Believe me, there have been so many times that I have released and then gone back to pick my concern up again and again and again! It’s madness to think that we can know or do what’s best for us without our Creator, God. So in an effort to live a life of “Once you know better then you’ve got to do better”, I have decided to ask God to fix me from the inside out. My prayer for 2016 is Psalm 51:10, “Lord, create in me a clean heart and renew a Right Spirit in me.” My solution is to ask, Help me Lord from the inside out. If we have a clean heart and a right spirit that is not compromised by fears, what’s going on around, or others opinions, then we will love and take better care of ourselves. If our hearts are clean, then it is free of residual anger, deep-rooted bitterness and lingering unforgiveness. This transformation will be externally revealed in our ability to love others with heightened compassion for their well-being. We will love with a Servant’s Heart, joyfully serving with gentleness, kindness and patience. We will have clarity of thought that is free of stress and worry and instead looks and listens to the Lord to change all of our resolutions into solutions for our good.
Lord, I thank you for allowing us the gift of Your Word. I pray we will all spend time in the Bible daily to find the wisdom that will sustain us throughout 2016. May the words of Psalm 51:10 give us all a yearning for a clean heart and a renewed “Right Spirit” that will produce a better attitude, more perseverance and power to accomplish our goals. Lord, let us understand that Your Word has greater value and is more necessary to our lives than the air we breathe. Amen