This week, many will be making new resolutions for this year. These resolutions may involve healthy choices. They may include financial changes, promises to study more, or to spend more time with parents or children. They may include less complaining. These resolutions may be resolutions of ways to improve our health, lifestyle or ways to better ourselves. I believe any resolution we make that will better ourselves, any resolutions that will make us a better person-pleases God! Sadly, too often while making resolutions we remember only the physical. We forget those resolutions that will make us a better person spiritually.
A Check List for your Resolutions!
Will your resolutions include decisions to attend church more regularly, to begin attending Sunday School or get involved in a Bible study? Will there be resolutions to start a daily quiet time, to pray more, to tithe or to serve the Lord more? Will your resolutions this year include ways to learn more about Christ and to draw nearer to Him?
Any resolution we make that improves our relationship with God, greatly pleases the Lord. For Daniel and his friends their resolutions were more than a health issue or a choice to eat healthy food. To adapt to the Babylonian ways would be compromising their beliefs. They knew this would affect their relationship with God. God was pleased with Daniel’s determination to stick by his resolution. The Scriptures tell us that God blessed Daniel and his friends. Not only were they healthier and better nourished than the other young men that ate the king’s royal food, but God also blessed them with knowledge and understanding. The king questioned these young men and found them to be ten times better in wisdom and understanding than his top advisers. (Daniel 1: 8-21).
You say, “But Bro. Dan, I tried, and I just can’t do it.” “I tried, but I give up…”“I can’t forgive him” “I can’t get my finances straightened up.” “I can’t quit this bad habit.” “I can’t’ . I can’t, I can’t… “But God says, “You’re right you can’t, but I can, if you will just lean on me for strength.” Where did Daniel get the power and the strength to stand up to his resolution and to be resolved for life? Daniel didn’t’ tackle the problem alone. He got strength from his friends and he drew strength from the Lord. In Chapter 6 of Daniel, we read that Daniel had developed a habit of prayer. He spend daily time with the Lord. Where do we get our strength to stand up to our resolutions and to be resolved for life? We gain strength from one another and from the Lord. We gain strength through prayer. Philippians 4:13 reads: “I am able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Does that include lose weight? Yes. Does that include quitting ugly habits? Yes. Does it include those things that affect our witness, like complaining and an unforgiving heart? Yes! Christ’s desire is to change your life for the better.
Does God care about the resolutions you make this New Year? Yes! Does God care if you keep your resolutions or not? Yes!
If there is an area in your life that is destroying your health, affecting your family negatively, or destroying your witness, God’s desire is that you resolve to a change for the better. Is there an area in your life that is affecting your relationship to God? Make a resolution, a firm decision, and a strong commitment to a course of action for improvement. But don’t just make a resolution for only this year. Resolve to it for life.