I made two lists, one of resolutions and one of goals for 2013. I’m actually usually not one to even make one resolution, but one to always make goals all year long. I made a list this year of everything I wanted to do, get better at, change, accomplish in 2013. Some won’t happen, most will fall through. But I made the list on paper so I could look at it in one year and see how far I’m come…..but not becasue I got better at making and keeping resolutions.
Reflecting on 2012, I can say that it was a huge year for growth and I made no resolution at the start of 2012. I did grow and it’s because I finally caught on to why resolutions never work out. We’re trying to change the wrong thing.
What if we worked on ourselves and then let God take care of all the rest? What if we just did what the Bible says and watched the blessings flow?
We all have good in our hearts and we all have evil in our hearts. Since the beginning of time it’s been this way. We can’t change our situations or others, but we can change the conditions of our hearts and work on our unresolved sin. That’s all that needs to happen. When we do this, we can’t help but grow closer to God and that is what He desires — a deep, intimate relationship with us.
“So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am!” (Romans 7:21-24)
The truth is, we can change the actions every year on January 1, but until we start the change in our hearts, no resolution is going to stand firm. But what if someone’s did stand firm? What if I kill myself every day running 5 miles like I wrote down in my resolution? What if I really do it? That’s fantastic! But, when running 5 miles daily becomes more of our identity than Christ, that’s when we still have unresolved sin. What’s the sin? Idolatry. When we began to lose any part of our life because of something that has become our identity (and it’s not Christ), we living with addiction and idolatry and begin to lose our life. We make ourselves feel better by doing it more, working harder, trying harder, controlling more. This is exhausting……if we even admit that.
It’s simple, when we’re too connected with the world, we’re not connected to God. When we’re connected to God, we’re listening to God. When we’re connected to the world, we’re listening to the world. Who have I been listening to? Wow. Sometimes God….other times the world. Sometimes half and half. But, no matter how you look at it, idolatry is idolatry. Here’s the problem with listening to the world; It’s biblical, it’s truth and it’s a problem in the lives of believers and non-believers alike — The enemy will lie to us. he is the father of lies. (John 8:44) The world will dissolve the word of God and tear it down. Who are we listening to? We will never have a heart change, or change the way we think, until we renew our minds in Christ. (Romans 12:2)
I mentioned that sometimes I’m half way, luke warm. Here’s the problem with that. It becomes about ME and it’s not about me. There are offenses, more unresolved sin, anger, confusion. It’s a vicous cycle. We continue this cycle or we are forced to fall flat on our face. Normally in this position we finally turn to God. How sad that it comes to this, but how wonderful it is that He uses it for good.
“The man on his face can never fall from that position.” – Pastor Larry Stockstill
I’ve come to really like being on my face. It’s where God works the most. I know Him more, trust Him more having now been on my face many times. I used to come to that place after much strife and many struggles. Now, I get on my face daily. Start on your face, you can never fall from that position.
A huge unresolved sin in my life that I’ve had to really work on is insecurity — not believing what God thinks of me and not believing who God says I am. Insecurity = Not Good. Insecurity makes the cycle even worse. Insecurity magnifies the lies of the enemy. Guess what, the enemy wants to keep you in that place of insecurity. God wants you out of this cycle. God wants to bless you.
So, I’m still going to keep my list…only I’m only going to work on two things: the conditions of my heart and unresolved sin in my life. His promises stand true forever and all I really, sincerely want to do better in 2013 is trust in His timing, rely on His promises, wait for Him and His answers, believe Him for His miracles, rejoice for His goodness, and rest in His presence. I want to remember to crucify self, to deny MY flesh and remember that I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. I want to crucify the world to me….to not let culture define me, but only boast in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Galatians 6:14) I want to overcome insecurities by seeing God and myself the way His Word states.
Here it is for everyone to see: God, I don’t know what weight you want me to be in 2013. All I know is I don’t want to be at this number and I trust You. God, I want to blog more in 2013. I’m asking for favor with my time. God, I want to write a book, start a non-profit organization, start a business with a good friend, and lead a LIFE group. I’m not sure I can do it all and I know I can’t do any of it without You. If it’s Your will, speak clearly. Open doors and close doors, I’m listening. And last and most importantly:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)