No New Year Resolution -- Just a Continuation

For the new year there are no resolutions.  What I seek is a continuation.  Though it is a continuation, I desire for it to be a better one than the year before.  Call it a resolution if you must, but there are no hard numbers, no specific goals enumerated, no date at which I can or should call myself a failure for having not done what I sought to do.  

This continuation, I pray, is by the power of the Spirit (Zech. 4:6).  I cannot do this on my own.  It is too much for me but when I am weak then He is strong.  So the key is not to pursue the latest trends and fads at being the best me that I can be.  Oh, I'll read and learn but the key is admitting that I am weak and that when I am in that condition, God is most present and powerful to accomplish in me His purposes and plans (2 Cor. 12:6-10).

Our incredibly powerful God delights in using little people to do incredibly big things (Judges 6:15; 2 Samuel 7:8-9).*  Therefore, if I exalt myself to being big, I minimize His glory and make Him seem smaller.  The more I wonder at Him rather than at me or anything that I have supposedly created or built, the larger He seems.  And that is not because I have made Him to be something that He is not but I have stopped trying to make me something that I am not.  Instead, I have come closer to seeing the Lord in all of His awesomeness while understanding that I could never totally grasp His immensity.  

I see too much pride in Christians circles, like Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:30), showing off the great things that they supposedly have done. Yet who has made man's mouth?  Who created the deaf, the blind (Exodus 4:10-12)? Look at the great and mighty things accomplished by the Lord through the quadriplegic Joni Eareckson and the blind hymn-writer Fanny Crosby.  So many will pray that God will make them healthy, wealthy and prosperous.  I pray that God will make me like His Son (Romans 8:28-30) and like Joni and Fanny and if it means the opposite of health and wealth, then so be it.  When I am weak, then He is strong.

It will also be, I pray, by my obedience to the Word of God.  Again, this takes the Spirit's empowerment and His wisdom and direction.  It is easy for us to get to a point where we feel as if we have attained some kind of higher knowledge than our peers.  One of the great things in being a small church pastor that God has led on this journey in the most interesting of ways is that I KNOW that there are legions smarter, wiser and more able with the Scriptures than I am.  I can't out-Greek or Hebrew them but I can seek to be a leader in obeying God's Word and not being a hearer (reader/student) only (James 1:22-25). 

Recently I began dwelling on one verse that I have sought to master.  I don't mean that I began memorizing it.  I did that years ago.  Regrettably, I thought that I have been obeying this verse yet in recent interactions I feel as if there is much improvement that is needed.  Therefore, I will be dwelling on it, rehashing it, reminding myself of it and its implications and applications for my life until I feel like I have largely accomplished what it commands me to do.  Once I feel reasonably satisfied with that, I will move on to another and repeat.  As the Scripture says, the purpose for "hiding" God's Word in our hearts, is so that we don't sin against Him (Psalm 119:11).  I don't want familiarity; I want to finish well (2 Timothy 4:6-8).  Perhaps that will happen one verse at a time.  

There you have it, my continuation for the new year.  Call it a resolution, if you must.  However, I like to think of it as trusting Him who began a good work in me to be faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6).  

*note that the asterisk indicates whole passages have been included in the link in order to give the context of the verses

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