It is that time of making resolutions once again. They come in all shapes and sizes. “I won’t eat as much; I’ll cut out sweets; I’ll exercise more; I’ll spend less; I’ll pay off my debts; I’ll spend more time with my children; I’ll learn something new.” Maybe you even throw in a couple of resolutions to pray more or read your bible more. Those are all good things, but trying to keep those promises in our own strength can lead to disappointment.
Once we are God’s through Christ, we have the Holy Spirit as a power, hopefully the power, in our lives, and anything we try to do in our own power is destined to, if not fail, then fall extremely short. And unfortunately, our minds somehow think that there is some kind of separation between the every day, practical things in our lives and spiritual things. We may ask God for the power to accomplish what we consider “spiritual,” but the smaller, more mundane things, we think we can tackle on our own. But when God has redeemed us, everything in our lives becomes spiritual. We are His, wholly and completely and God is the head of absolutely everything in our life.
If we need to learn to eat better, He wants to give us the power and wisdom to do it properly. After all, He did create our bodies, did He not? He knows what we each need for our bodies and minds to run as efficiently as they possibly can.
If we need to get on a budget and pay off some debt, God wants to give us the wisdom and strength to learn how to be proper stewards of our finances. After all, He has provided us with the jobs we have and the money is really His that He entrusts to us anyway, is it not?
Submitting every area of our lives to the Lord is as spiritual and holy as resolving to pray and read God’s word more. Even those promises to ourselves can leave us disappointed in our ability to keep them if we do not first seek God for the power and ability to remain faithful.
I think the apostle, Paul, had the best resolution - “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:2)
Paul chose to keep Jesus as his focus. The only thing worth knowing was the One Who held the power needed for all things.
Paul continued, “And I was with you in weakness and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (1 Cor. 2:3-5)
Paul admitted his weaknesses. The great teacher, Paul, was afraid to the point of trembling. You wouldn’t know it by his writing, though. His letters are filled with unwavering boldness. But not only did Paul acknowledge his weaknesses to himself, he even humbled himself enough to admit them to those who would look up to him. And maybe that’s precisely why he admitted those weaknesses – he wanted people to know that the strength he had was not his own, but came from the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit Who indwelled those new Christians and the same Holy Spirit Who indwells us who have given our lives to Jesus Christ.
Paul knew that if he determined to fix his eyes and heart and mind on his Lord and on the power of the cross, that he could do all things that God called him to do. And so can we.
I pray our first resolution this year is to make the choice to know Jesus better and to realize His power in our lives through our relationship with Him to carry out anything we are called to do, whether it pertains to practical, every day living, or being involved in ministry, or whatever God will ask of us in the coming year. The practical and the spiritual really are one and the same because we are to do all things unto Christ.
Maybe the first step is admitting those weaknesses. They don’t have to stop us from serving God, just as they didn’t stop Paul. Admitting the weaknesses can propel us into an even firmer grip on our Lord so that His power may rest on us and He will always receive the glory.