Those Pesky Resolutions
It's 2019! What now? Set New Years resolutions of course! If you're like me you'll set goals with every intention of checking off each resolution as I complete it. It's like a total remake of a system that is the ideal plan for personal success.
But sometimes we can concentrate solely on what we’re doing and never ask ourselves who we’re becoming.
Maybe your resolutions involve serving others or giving back to the community. Or maybe you set goals to help you grow closer to Jesus — committing to reading the Bible or praying. These are great resolutions and good things. But sometimes we can concentrate solely on what we’re doing and never ask ourselves who we’re becoming.
Don’t get me wrong, I dig a good goal-setting session. But sometimes, my focus totally on my to-do list instead of how God wants to use me and teach me. If you are like me, we need to be reminded that God is more interested in our hearts than our hard-working to-do lists. In 1 Samuel 16:7, God tells us what is most important to Him: “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
God desires to use us and teach us, so we can develop a deeper relationship with Him. King David writes, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
What if God has more for us this year than just checking off our resolutions? While we chase after those check-marks on our to-do lists or achieving our resolutions for 2019, are we neglecting the matters of the heart? Are we more focused on getting another rep on the bench press than who we are called to be as Christians? What would it look like if we focused on what’s happening inside of us as much as what’s happening outside of us?
Real change comes from focusing on the condition of our hearts. Starting a diet or joining a gym is an awesome goal, but true freedom comes from dealing with the cause of our cravings. How can we do that? We need to have a willingness to look at more than what we’re doing and to begin to ask: Who are we becoming?
Paul writes in Colossians 3:5-17, a description of what following Jesus will require: forgiveness, thankfulness and gratitude, compassion and kindness, humility, patience, and wisdom. But above all those virtues, Paul addresses his readers to put on love, which binds them together in perfect unity (Colossians 3:14).
We need to have a willingness to look at more than what we’re doing and to begin to ask: Who are we becoming?
Then, in a letter to the church in Galatia, Paul writes to his readers on how they are to grow in these areas, writing, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control...” (Galatians 5:22-23).
What is Paul writing? Paul is saying that becoming more like Jesus comes from listening to the Holy Spirit and following His direction. If Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon. we desire to be more patient — simply resolving to be more patient won’t work. But following the Holy Spirit will. The Holy Spirit enables us to be who we aren’t naturally. He guides us into a closer relationship with Jesus. And, He lines up our desires with His desires.
The Holy Spirit is may be waiting for us to be still and listen, so we can become more like Jesus. Is there margin in our lives to be able to hear what the Holy Spirit has to say to your heart?
Yes, go to gym, eat healthy, spend quality time with our families, and create a budget...but let's make sure we are making those goals our priorities and neglecting
who God has called us to be.