The Apostle Paul states in Philippians verse 13-14, “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.”
In order to move forward - we must remain unencumbered. No baggage allowed!
There’s a familiar saying we’ll hear over and over again in the next week: “I’m making a New Year’s resolution to …” Well, I’ve decided to say, “I’m making a New Life resolution.”
The world view of resolutions run the gamut from diets and exercise, to spending and vices, manners and tempers, to everything in-between. As a Christian, I’m going to focus on “life style” resolutions that revolve around Christ and His example. Sure, we all have plenty of other things to work on, including those mentioned above. However, Jesus wants us to exhibit His qualities and attributes as we walk in this world. Our light needs to shine a bit brighter, and our salt needs to retain more saltiness as the days grow dimmer and more sinful (Matthew 5:13-16).
King David expressed his sentiments regarding the Lord’s leading. (Psalm 141:3-4) “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing…” (Psalm 143:8) “Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.”
I want to resolve to walk in the path God has for me, and to guard my mouth and heart. I need God’s eye upon me, and His gentle hand of correction as I journey through this life. I rely more upon Him now than I did as a new believer. Year by year, I recognize His new mercies and faithfulness towards me. I am amazed at His forbearance with me as I fall short of His standard. Praise God there is no condemnation, but only love and encouragement through His Word.
The Apostle Paul instructs us to know Christ in an intimate way. That intimacy caused him to “press on and lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” (Philippians 3:10-12) We have a revelation from Christ that brings a fresh, spiritual comprehension, which in turn gives us apprehension to live out our Christianity with boldness. Our confidence cannot be in our flesh, but in the power of God. Look to Him with the expectation of what He can do in us and through us.
Isaiah called Israel to not dwell on the past - but to move forward towards God's promises of deliverance and a future of hope: "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."
What a great lesson for the New Year and our “New Life” resolution. Look forward, not backwards. Keep your eye on Jesus and the heavenly goal. Pattern your new ideas and habits on what the Word teaches. Model yourself after your Maker and Master. Fix your gaze upon Jesus…He’s all you need to walk in the newness of life.
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