How long did your New Year’s resolutions last?
It would seem odd for a blog relating to New Year’s Eve resolutions to come out three days later but a majority of those resolutions so resolutely made may now be on life-support. Companies like Weight-Watchers, Jenny Craig, and gyms advertise around this time to gain business from those who resolved to lose weight. Why is it most people wait to the beginning of a new year to make such resolutions? Could it be the significance of beginning anew each January 1st gives people the motivation to make such resolutions?
“When we heard that, we and everyone there that day begged Paul not to be stubborn and persist in going to Jerusalem. But Paul wouldn’t budge: “Why all this hysteria? Why do you insist on making a scene and making it even harder for me? You’re looking at this backward. The issue in Jerusalem is not what they do to me, whether arrest or murder, but what the Master Jesus does through my obedience. Can’t you see that?” We saw that we weren’t making even a dent in his resolve, and gave up. “It’s in God’s hands now,” we said. “Master, you handle it.”
(Acts 21:12-14 The Messsage)
God’s faithful servants are great counsels.
Sometimes as Christians we face opposition from those we thought would be our greatest advocates. They may not have the divine inkling you received from prayer, counsel, and more prayer. I try to find those who have labored hard in their walks and it shows on their faces–not wrinkles or lines but of joy and peace. They have faithfully followed the Lord’s leading and these warriors make great counselors. They may be a pastor or a tried and true lay-servant and praying and listen to their advice helps to keep my plans from failing.
Paul was not concerned by the consequence of his resolve but of the Lord and how he would be glorified by Paul’s response. At times, Christians believe God has called them to a certain task and take the attitude of “charging Hell with a water pistol”. Even Jesus tells us to count the cost of discipleship. Perhaps, this year, we will weigh the costs, seek prayer and counsel and determine it is not about me but HIM. Then our resolutions will be like Paul’s–wondering how Jesus is glorified because of our obedience.