At this point, only 8% of us will keep those resolutions we made back in the New Year. For the rest of us, our momentum has already slowed to a crawl.
And let’s be real; who wanted to brave subzero temps and ice storms for a trip to the gym? Truth be told, my yoga pants have never even been to yoga.
Each year we start out with eager anticipation, a desire for change and the expectation that things will be different. Last year I went into the new year armed with menu boards, dry erase markers, and all things organized. I thought if I could be more productive, come December I would feel more accomplished.
But no amount of binders or books could have prepared me for what lay ahead.
The onslaught of anxiety, depression, physical setbacks and loss I have faced in the last year demanded much more from me than what my planners could provide. In fact, it became so overwhelming I stopped writing and blogging for almost 9 months just to cope.
Too often we make plans and goals as if we know what is needed. But in reality, we have no idea what each year will bring.
This week alone, I experienced the death of two family members. The truth is, I won’t have what it takes to handle anything and everything life throws at me this year. I don’t have enough insight to know what I really need to work or how I need to grow. I’m not powerful enough to change myself or even maintain my own goals. And I definitely don’t have the foreknowledge to know what is coming down the pike.
When we charge into the year with our own personal goals, do we ever ask God about His? Do we even consider that God may have His own plans and agenda for us this year? Or that He has His own opinion of what needs to change?
More often than not, I forget God. I forget that He already has a purpose for my life that He is planning and orchestrating perfectly.
Resolutions are great but resolve is better.
What’s the difference? A resolution is a decision we make but resolve is the direction we take.
What direction have you been traveling this year? What is charting your course? We’re all going somewhere and more often than not we are moving in the direction of what rules our heart.
If we want to do more than just survive adversity, disappointments, and setbacks this year, we need more than a handful of resolutions and good intentions. We need a single-minded focus that helps us stay the course, come what may.
Science tells us that the body follows the eyes. Wherever our eyes look, the whole body subconsciously adjusts to accommodate. The same is true spiritually as well.
Whatever we fix our eyes on will determine the direction of our heart this year. And our heart is the seat of our spiritual life – the mission control center of our thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors, will and character.
Perhaps this is why the writer of Hebrews wrote this:
“Therefore…let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” Heb 12:1-2
It’s interesting that the word endurance here can be defined as “a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith by even the greatest trials and sufferings” (Strong’s #5281). Sounds like resolve to me.
Only a closer walk with God will make things different this year. Only God can change, transform and heal us. Instead of getting distracted with daily worries and goals, what if we chose to fix our eyes on Jesus this year? What if we directed our resolve toward walking with God? What if we made Him the center of our heart, the object of our passion, the direction of our course?
I don’t mean centering our lives around Christian values, principles or a worldview. I’m talking about fixing our eyes on a person; our personal, interactive, powerful God.
God doesn’t care about my list of accomplishments, good works, or thriving ministry. He cares about my heart. God deeply cares about whether or not I am walking with Him and abiding in Him.
The disciples walked with Jesus. Enoch walked with God. Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, David, Paul all had thriving, deeply personal relationships with God. They talked with God, not at Him. They consistently sought His face, drew near to Him, and clung to Him as though He was life itself.
God will supply everything I need for the year. He has and will continue to be the sole agent of any real change, healing and transformation in my life. May Jesus be front and center in our hearts, above all else. May we resolve to seek His face and walk with Him this year.
- What are the things that are easily entangling you right now?
- What distracts you from keeping your eyes on Jesus?
- How can you invest in your relationship with God this year?
- Challenge: Ask God what His goals are for you this year and spend time with Him this week – He is a person after all!