As of December 31st, 2015, I still had not made a New Year’s resolutions. Not one. And while hearing so many others sharing their dreams and vision, it became clear that mine were drifting out to sea as I stood watching.
Me, the girl who thrives within plans and processes had not come up with a single heading, Roman numeral or bullet point. Though I have will power to spare when it comes to staying the course and seeing things through, I could not zero in on a single action item to improve my health, intelligence or finances in the coming year.
And it’s all because my mind could not shake the idea that my family would not be making a clean break from 2015. And this thing that was trying to pull us down from behind while simultaneously looming ahead was claiming our resources from all directions. In this light, resolutions are non-essentials.
GOD’S TIMING, NOT RYAN SEACREST’S
Like so many others, we’re facing a critical situation that a New Year’s resolution can’t even begin to touch. You may be going through something too – perhaps relational, financial or physical – that didn’t magically disappear as Ryan Seacrest emceed the ball drop at Times Square. We don’t have a choice but to carry this thing with us into 2016.
I do appreciate the many well-meaning encouragers cheering us on to make impactful life changes because, as I stated before, making and sticking to plans and goals thrills me. But my insides say there’s someone out there needing to hear someone else say it’s okay if you don’t have the heart strength to do this now.
Just because the calendar says it’s time to devise and execute plans to springboard health, wealth and prosperity, you should listen to your gut if it says now is not the time.
Yet, inaction is not an option either. Too much time on our hands leads to too many lying thoughts in our heads.
So how can we best spend our energy when self-improvement goals are insignificant, yet idleness wedges despair and self-pity between ourselves and others?
GO TO THE WORD FOR A WORD
“You shall serve the Lord your God; He shall bless your bread and water, and I will take sickness from your midst” (Exodus 23:25 AMP).
When I rested my eyes on this scripture and soaked in its beautiful promises, I could see my dream on the horizon slowly returning to me. The Lord had defined my purpose in this resolution-making season and equipped me with readiness and understanding to fulfill it.
We don’t need a self-made resolution to affect our external situation; we need God-powered restoration to infect our internal condition!
“You shall serve the lord your God…” There’s my resolution.
“He shall bless your bread and water, and will take sickness from your midst.” There’s my resting spot during this difficult time. He’s taking care of the details like the good Father He is.
We need His provisional blessing and promise of restorational healing alive in our lives. And as we serve Him by serving others, no matter how difficult our circumstances may be, we can know that the Spirit of the Living God is working in us and through us in a supernatural, His kingdom come way.
GOD IS SMARTER THAN US
I’m sure you’ve heard of SMART goals, which are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results focused and Time bound. When making plans and resolutions, this is an excellent blueprint to follow to ensure success; however, these steps demand our energy and focus to see them through to completion.
As I said before, this January, I can’t afford to earmark even an ounce of attention for such a consuming process. So I asked the Lord to help me hone in on His resolution perspective in serving Him.
He showed me in the following scripture that His desire right now is not for me to produce external life change (declutter closets, lose weight, create and stick to a budget), but rather for me to allow Him to fill me with His goodness to equip me to serve Him:
16 “Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor 4:16-18 NIV).
The Lord uses a SMART plan after all, though not in the way you may think. This scripture helped me see that He creates NEW even in the midst of the old. Instead of affecting positive change outwardly, the Lord’s plan is to transform us through an inward renewal.
Here is the restorational resolution our Father desires for those of us struggling this New Year:
- S – Sight for the unseen: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen…” v18
- M – Measure of faith: “Therefore, we do not lose heart…” v16
- A – Achievement of glory: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory…” v17
- R – Renewal day by day: “…yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” v16
- T – Timelessness: “…since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” v18
If you or a loved one are in the midst of a heartbreaking relational struggle, a grim financial mess, a critical health issue or any other seemingly hopeless circumstance, I pray you will see God’s victory over your life as I have. Even when it feels like your world is crumbling down, my hope is that the only resolution you make is to surrender your resolve to the Sovereign One who reconciles, provides and heals.
Will you chose His inward restoration over your outward resolution this year?