January 23, 2018

Choices for the New Year

George Stiekes

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, CHOOSE you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15

There is always much talk about New Year’s Resolutions at this time of the year – lose 20 pounds, improve my marriage, control my tongue, get a better job, quit smoking, obtain more education, save money, take a trip, etc.

The problem with resolutions, while our intentions might be good, they usually do not amount to anything more than just words and secondly, on our own, we are powerless to accomplish them. Many people begin the year with these good intentions and quickly find themselves defeated and forgetting all about their resolutions.

Here are a few helpful hints at some things that might help you to move forward with some of these good intentions.

1. Recognize that we ought always to be making spiritual decisions that will accomplish God’s will in our lives. New Years does indeed present a good opportunity to do some internal examination and to determine what the Lord wants you to be doing or becoming in the New Year. The key here is to avoid making commitments for the wrong reasons. Remember, that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever (I Corinthians 10:31).

2. Always consider your motivation in making commitments. Is to please self, someone in the family, your boss, neighbors, or friends? All of our decisions should be made to please the Lord.

3. All commitments made must be realistic. Many fail when setting goals simply because of the impossibility of achieving them.

4. Write down your commitments and keep them before you when you read the Word of God every morning. You will discover Scripture verses that will assist you in keeping those commitments. Write them down and refer to them when you find it difficult to stay the course.

5. Find someone who will support you in the spiritual decisions you make and be accountable.

6. One website states that we ought to get more sleep in that it can actually assist you with willpower.

7. Daily feed on God’s Word and make choices based on the knowledge derived from it. The history of those who failed to do this is always before us. For that they hated knowledge, and did not CHOOSE the fear of the LORD (Proverbs 1:29). The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7).

Those who fail to fear the LORD will suffer the consequences of their own actions, reaping that which they have sown (Galatians 6:7). Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices (Proverbs 1:31). Make all your (resolutions) commitments, goals and decisions Christ honoring for God’s glory. That is the key to His leadership in helping you to achieve them.

George Stiekes held successful pastorates in churches in Michigan and Washington among other places. He currently resides in North Carolina and blogs at Reverent Reflections. We recommend his ministry and republish his material by permission.

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