With the high failure rate of New Year’s resolutions, is there any point in making them?
It is 1st January, or if you’re using the American date standard January 1st! (Or if you’re reading this on a different day, I guess the date could be pretty much anything!) Traditionally (if it is indeed the 1st of January) a time for New Year’s resolutions, which typically don’t usually last past January. A time of year when people pay for gym memberships that they will barely use, for example. So with the high failure rate of New Year’s resolutions, is there any point in making them? Well, there is certainly no point in making resolutions, just because that’s what everyone does at New Year. There is also no point in making a resolution, unless you make a determined decision to stick to it, no matter what. If you are going to make a decision to change, or a resolution, you need to make what I have heard referred to as a ‘quality decision’. There is no point in making half-hearted resolutions, as the chances are they will not last.
Make a decision to commit yourself to living for God.
So don’t waste your time making trivial, meaningless resolutions. If you want to make a change in your life, make a decision to commit yourself to living for God. As Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you“. For example, decide that you are going to:
- Get up an hour earlier every day to pray
- Read your bible every day
- Go to church with the purpose of seeking God with all your heart, rather than for religious, traditional, or cultural reasons
- Listen to God, hear from God and obey God
Making decisions like this will transform your life, unlike most New Year’s resolutions. In fact, I can tell you now that if you make a decision that you are going to listen to what God is saying to you and obey it, that will take care of any other decisions you need to make, because you have already determined you are going to obey Him.
God’s most used method of communication is the inward witness of the Holy Spirit.
You may not be sure whether you are actually able to hear God’s voice, but let me assure you – you are! In John 10:27 Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me“. You are not the exception to what Jesus said! He didn’t say, “except for x, y & z – they can’t hear me“. No, Jesus said you can hear His voice, so you can hear His voice – it just takes practice to recognise it. I am not directly looking at hearing from God in this post, but as guidance just listen inside yourself. God speaks directly to your spirit, so the voice you hear will sound like you – because it is you. It is your spirit speaking to your mind. It is possible that God could speak to you audibly, but God’s most used method of communication is the inward witness of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit will never tell you something that does not line up with God’s Word.
When you hear, or think you hear, God speaking to you – act on it. If you make a mistake, that’s fine. God will be pleased that you stepped out in faith, and help you to correct the mistake. One way to determine whether something is from God, is by checking whether or not whatever it is lines up with the Bible. The Holy Spirit will never tell you something that does not line up with God’s Word. Never believe anything, even if it comes in a dream or is spoken directly by an angel, if it very clearly contradicts the Bible.
If you want to make a change in your life you do not have to wait until New Year.
Of course you could be reading this post at a time later than when it was published on 1st January 2016, but that doesn’t make any difference. If you want to make a change in your life you do not have to wait until New Year. The day that God tells you to make a change, is the day you should make a change. Whether it is the first of January or the fourth of August. I recently wrote a post looking at Joshua, who represented a new hope for the current generation of Israelites. These people had witnessed the previous generation dying off one by one because of their unbelief, until only Joshua and Caleb remained of the older generation. For Joshua and the new generation of Israelites, this was a new beginning and they took hold of it with both hands – at least for while.
Although God was with the Israelites and they experienced victory after victory, they still had to fight.
What happened to the Israelites is so often the problem. The Israelites were all fired up, after 40 years of wandering round in the wilderness they were ready to take the land. How often have you felt like that? Finally things are changing and you are all fired up. But although God was with the Israelites and they experienced victory after victory, they still had to fight. They still experienced resistance and land was not won over night. To get to the point, the Israelites didn’t fully carry out what God had given them to do – they became complacent and they settled for the easy option. There remained large areas of the land yet to be taken and they did not kill the evil residents of the land as God had commanded them.
You need to complete what God has given you to do.
Now to the modern ear, the command to kill everyone may sound harsh. and words like genocide may come to mind. But these were people who had been given years and years to repent. They were polluting the land and God knew that if they remained, they would still continue in their evil ways and would become a snare to the Israelites – which of course, is what happened. So learn from what happened to the Israelites, its all very well getting fired up about something (and it is a good thing), but you need to complete what God has given you to do, not stop half way like the Israelites did. What seems to be the easy option, is not the easy option. The people that the Israelites allowed to live with them in the land, eventually dragged the Israelites down with them. The end result, was that the Israelites were sent into exile because of getting into the same sin as the previous occupants of the land. What seemed like the easy, and indeed compassionate, option ended up causing no end of problems – multi-faith societies do not work. There only one God – the God of the Christians and the Jews – all the other religions worship false gods and it is about time we stopped pretending that all religions are equal. But that’s a side point to what we’re looking at here, which is being obedient to God.
Trust God and do what He says.
You see, God always knows best (which should hardly come as a surprise!). When God tells you to do something, there is always a reason and it always involves the best possible outcome for you. I will finish with this simple advice: trust God and do what He says. Don’t waste your time arguing with Him. You do not know better! And be persistent to complete what He gives you to do. It may take time and effort, but it will be much better for you in the long run.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
If you have never received Jesus as your Lord & Saviour, if you have gone away from God, or if you have any doubts regarding your salvation. I encourage you to click on the link below. Clicking on the link will not secure your salvation, but praying the prayer you find, from your heart, will.
For the salvation prayer, please click here.