Well, we are one week into the new year of 2017. Did you make a New Year Resolution? If you are like most of us, your resolutions involved losing weight and getting fit. It seems that the gyms are full to capacity in January. However, by February or March, many have given up on those resolutions made such a short time ago and gone back to our old habits. I have not given up on those two resolutions but it got me thinking about resolve, what it really means in other areas of my life and what I needed to resolve to do this year (my New Year Resolutions if you will). I looked up the words resolve, resolute and resolution. Here’s what the Webster’s dictionary has to day about them:
- Resolve: Fixed purpose of mind; settled determination; resolution.
- Resolute: Having a fixed purpose; determined; hence, bold: firm; steady; constant in pursuing a purpose.
- Resolution: Fixed purpose or determination of mind; as a resolution to reform our lives; a resolution to undertake an expedition. The effect of fixed purpose; firmness, steadiness or constancy in execution, implying courage.
Like any habit you want to begin or perhaps end, it takes practice. But, before we can practice, we must resolve in our minds to either do it or quit doing it (whatever “it” is). My biggest resolution this year is to continue drawing closer to God in my relationship to Him and others. This takes a determined effort and plan. You know the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Well, I certainly don’t want to fail in this! I don’t mind so much losing at board games (I have plenty of practice there) but these stakes are so far greater and higher.
In my Sunday school class at church, we have been discussing and diving into the scriptures about prayer and its part in spiritual warfare. That term may be foreign to you but that makes it none the less real and dangerous. I don’t know about you, but we have decided not to just simply live on the defense any longer but to plan, strategize and fight the battle with all the God given weapons at our disposal. We have determined to practice! No habit arrives and stays on its own. It takes a concerted effort and much practice. We are practicing prayer in the real sense. Personal prayer, corporate prayer, strategic prayer, intercessory prayer, along with quiet times of listening to the voice of God. He speaks through His Word and through the Holy Spirit that we can’t explain how we hear and know – we just do. We have begun praying scripture, which can seem foreign in the beginning but what better way to know we are praying within the will of God?!
I spent many years not really understanding this battle we are in and how to fight to win. Of course the battle and victory are God’s but we are in the trenches. Just like our military, we have a Commander (God) and we, as soldiers, have to train and obey as if our lives depend on it because – they do! Think of Boot Camp. I’ve never been but I imagine they go over and over again the drills until they get it right. That’s what we have to do. Practice, practice, practice. God’s word (the BIBLE) is our guide book (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth).
So, my question is, are you with us? Will you resolve this year to draw closer to God? I hope so. The only way things of this earth will change is if we do. It all starts with a step toward God and then hanging on for dear life. A full life. An eternal life. So…Happy New Year!