Monday, January 9, 2017

3 Steps to a New Year's Resolution You Can Keep!

This devotion is from Jesus Calling (by Sarah Young) for January 1st...   

   Come to Me with a teachable spirit, eager to be changed. A close walk with Me is a life of continual newness. Do not cling to old ways as you step into a new year. Instead, seek My Face with an open mind, knowing that your journey with Me involves being transformed by the renewing of your mind. As you focus your thoughts on Me, be aware that I am fully attentive to you. I see you with a steady eye because My attention span is infinite. I know and understand you completely; My thoughts embrace you in everlasting Love. I also know the plans I have for you: plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Give yourself fully to this adventure of increasing attentiveness to My Presence.    [Romans 12:2;  Jeremiah 29:11]

So - here you are again... the beginning of a brand new year.  How do you start afresh? What inspires you take that first step towards the goal? Where do you find inspiration to embark on your journey with God?

Here are 3  Steps  you can take towards this year's resolution

1.  Don't make excuses - just move forward

When Elijah threw his mantle on Elisha it caused a brief hesitation. Elisha ran after the prophet and begged him to let him say goodbye to his parents properly. After all - he was the son who toiled behind the oxen plowing the field in anticipation of a harvest for the entire family.

But Elijah rebuked him as he dismissed him to go back to his parents. Elisha then turned back and destroyed his livelihood ( namely the oxen) - providing a meal for the townspeople before committing to the prophet. He had a choice to make that would cost him dearly. However, the reward for obedience was worth it all.

You can't make meaningful progress forward if you are 
constantly looking back over your shoulder.

Jesus said in Luke 9:61-62, "And [another] also said, "Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house." But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." 

God's word illuminates our pathway. Psalm 119:105 says, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." There is no need to stumble in the darkness. God will go before you and make a way...

2.  Don't look backwards with affection

Lot, his wife, and his daughters fled Sodom after being warned by the angels of impending doom if they stayed. Lot and his family had become accustomed to the way things were in Sodom. But the Lord's anger had grown against the wickedness there and He would utterly destroy it. During their daring escape to the mountains near Zoar - Lot's wife turned back to look on the devastation after she was directed not to. She was literally turned into a "pillar of salt" for her disobedience. (Genesis 19)

Likewise, when the children of Israel left Egypt at God's direction, they eventually longed for the "good old days". Despite their miraculous deliverance from Pharaoh's enslavement, they murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness and recalled their "pots of meat and plentiful bread". They had an unhealthy affection for the past. They didn't want to let go of their warped recollection of how good things were. (Exodus 16:3) (Numbers 11:5)

Looking backwards can stifle what God has for you in the future. Paul tells us, "...but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 3:13-14)

The Prophet Isaiah declares this in Isaiah 43:18-19, "Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."

Satan will always try to keep your eyes focused on the past because 
he knows God has something better in your future.

3.  Don't forget the basics

Root yourself in God's Word. Reestablish the basics by way of recollection and recommitment. Moving forward involves confidence and reassurance of God's sovereignty in your life. His character is the cement that forms the foundation for your trust. Knowing that He has a perfect plan for you, and that He will accomplish all that concerns you should give you the boost you need to persevere in your faith walk. 

Immerse yourself in His love, grace and mercy. Savor His promises and rest in His faithfulness. 

Proverbs 23:12 tells us to, "Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge." A similar passage in Proverbs 4:23-27 says this, "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you. Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil."

You will never regret revisiting the basics of your salvation experience. 
Recall your "first love" and "first works" and you will rekindle 
your "first flame".

Make 2017 a year to remember. Your resolutions can turn into 
solutions for a great new year!

Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It is written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion.  It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together. 

If you have been encouraged by this post - please take time to share it with others.




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