Read: 1 Corinthians 2
Consider: This post is edited from one published on 2nd January 2017.
Well, did you or didn’t you? We are now into the new year and I would surmise that some of you who made new year resolutions have already broken them. I was listening to a tv programme where they discussed resolutions and why they fail. The conclusion was that most people made resolutions that were too grand and they generally tried to achieve them on their own.
There are lessons for us here when we resolve to know Christ more. While we may want to get closer to God and know Jesus better, we can fall at the first hurdle primarily because we haven’t broken down our goal into manageable chunks. What do I mean?
Spending time with God in prayer and Bible study is a discipline and just like any physical exercise, we need to develop the discipline. So instead of resolving to pray more this year, set aside a regular time each day when you can get alone with God in prayer. Start with a time and duration that are achievable. It is better to spend 5-10 minutes in prayer, than to have great plans and to fail to pray at all.
Similarly, reading and studying the Bible doesn’t come easily. We’ve talked about this several times in previous posts and my encouragement is to utilise reading/study notes to assist you in developing the discipline. Spending time reading and studying the Bible will give you a much better understanding of God and how he wants you to live.
Another lesson to learn from new year resolutions is that many people fail because they try to keep their resolutions in their own strength. In the Christian life having someone who will hold you accountable can be a great motivator in getting to grips with prayer and Bible reading/study. If, however, you don’t have someone who can act in this way, you don’t have to do it alone. We can rely on the Holy Spirit to give us the strength to keep what we resolve to do.
So my encouragement to you today is to approach the new year with confidence and ‘Go in the strength of the Lord’.
As I was preparing the graphic for this post I typed in the word ‘RESOLUTIONS’, but it came up on screen as ‘R SOLUTIONS’. Suddenly it hit me that resolutions are often ‘our solutions’ for problems that we perceive in our lives. Surely as Christians we need to get God’s perspective on those things that need to change in our lives. If our resolutions are merely our solutions then they are doomed to failure.
Pray: Father, forgive us for resolving to get to know you better and then letting the everyday busyness of life pull us away from spending time with you. May we rely totally on your strength this year. Amen