Psalm 84:11 (LB)
For Jehovah God is our Light and our Protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will he withhold from those who walk along his paths.
As I think about the year ahead, I remember the way I used to approach a new year. Typically a good-time girl, I lived hedonistically and looked under every leaf to find pleasure. Every new year I made resolutions that were far-reaching but short-coming. My resolutions were less like determinations and more like appropriations. (That is, a deliberate reworking of something that’s not necessarily meant to belong to me.) The only thing about them that lasted was the feeling they were out of reach. Does that sound familiar? Maybe you’re wiser than that.
Why do we make resolutions? Maybe we need an impetus for change. We see things in ourselves we feel needs qualification, improvement or expansion. That can be healthy and terrific but do we think about what platform we’re diving from?
Joshua 24:15 “Choose this day whom you will serve….”
Essentially, Joshua is saying in verses 14 and 15 – either fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and faithfulness, be devoted, or don’t bother at all. Go one way or the other, but as for me, I’m choosing the Lord.
Many Christians these days are half-hearted about their faith and that means compromised lifestyle choices. It’s very easy to accept things from the world even if it opposes truth and principles in the bible because the world’s ideologies are so pervasive. They’re accepted as ‘normal’ and ‘just the way the world is’. We easily absorb it in to our psyche, our lives and homes (think television, music, social media, gaming) without guarding our hearts as Proverbs 4:23 teaches, just like the Israelites were doing amongst the culture that surrounded them.
What we allow in, we mirror. What we cultivate, we grow.
1 Corinthians 7:23 says, “you were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.”
As we look towards another year, whatever our circumstances, one thing we need to remind ourselves as we consider resolutions, or even just what our hopes and plans are – will our choices honour Christ and what He’s done for us?
Maybe you’re in a good place in your life and you don’t think there’s too much you want to change. But maybe you feel worn out and embattled and this time of year leaves you craving a nice dark cave to crawl into, especially because it’s the time of year when people are traditionally looking forward to a ‘fresh start’.
Consider this thought. The Lord is God.
That should make a difference.
Consider further. The Lord is God and He wants to show Himself.
The Lord is God and He wants us to grow. In Him.
If your life is great – praise God! If your life is testing – praise God! Testing times are His opportunity for us. It's like being able to eat in the wilderness.
We can only find Him if we seek Him and we’ll only see goodness if we choose to.
Consider a simple resolution to love the day because the Lord’s made it for you.
Love yourself better. Love the people around you better. Love God better. From that position we can walk ahead with quiet assurance. Reframe ideas. Redress perspectives. Reform understandings. Be prepared to walk at rest with your circumstances and let the Lord minister to you as you take this simple resolution through each day. This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24).
1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV)
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
If I bury that scripture deep within my heart and let it shape my mind, I won’t let melancholy rule me, I won’t come under someone else’s intentions for me, I won’t cultivate ideas from the world around me. I’ll be able to reconsider previous thought processes that influence my behaviour, my decisions and lifestyle choices, or my relationships.
Celebrate and honour who God’s authentically created you to be and where He’s positioned you for this time in your life. He’s wanting you and me to mature like trees planted by the water.
Be accepting. Be adaptable. Be determined. Be thankful. Be careful. Be proactive. Be disciplined. Be watchful. Be hopeful.
Delight yourself in the Lord and choose this day whom you will serve, and how you will love Him. Don't let anything stop you!
Happy New Year, friend.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord.