Jan 01 2013

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Is Your New Year’s Resolution Restrictive?

Happy New Year

New Year’s Resolutions – Realistic or Restrictive?

by Mariyn Murphree


Philippians 3:13, 14
“…But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

New Years comes with good intentions and resolutions for a new start.  We resolve to do all kinds of things from taking off extra pounds to being a more committed Christian.  Our extensive lists begin to dwindle down to manageable size by mid January and become non-existent by the end of the month.  Oh, we had good intentions; and it is commendable to look toward a new beginning, but many of the things we resolve to do are just too vague and too much to handle.  They are too restrictive and are not realistic for us to achieve unless we break them down into more manageable segments.  Most of us don’t do that; and, as a result, set ourselves up for failure from the beginning.

Saul of Tarsus may not have come to the Lord at the beginning of a New Year, but his experience would be a good stsrting point for all of us.  Rather than an extensive list of “do’s” and “don’ts” for his new life in Christ, he asked one question that day on the road to Damascus which he followed up much later in the above verse in Philippians.  The question applies to all of us today.  He resolved to do what the Lord wanted Him to do.  Probably he didn’t have the slightest idea what the Lord wanted for his life back at that time.

Do we always know even as Christians who have known the Lord for a long time?  It is always a journey of faith.  Saul of Tarsus simply asked, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”(Acts 9:6 KJV).  Later on in Philippians he said, “…but one thing I do…I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me…” (Phil. 3:13, 14).

It was not only a realistic goal for Saul of Tarsus, who became the great apostle, Paul, but it is realistic for us.  Keeping our eyes on Jesus as the main priority and center of our lives will help us to sort through resolutions that are of lesser priority in the New Year.  It will show us what it is that God intends for our individual lives.

We don’t have to focus upon the resolutions of others.  Saul of Tarsus simply focused on his own direction when he said, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6 KJV)

I believe that the Lord will not fail to answer that question when we ask it in sincerity at the beginning of this New Year.  Where does He want to lead you?  What part does He want you to play in His work this year?  We must seek the Lord on our own for this answer and focus upon the One who has answers specifically designed for us.   When we do this, I believe that we will be a more productive Christian and will see Him work mightily through our lives.

When God has put within our hearts the resolution He wants us to carry out, it will be realistic rather than restrictive; and we will not be setting ourselves up for failure from the start.

I encourage you to prepare yourself spiritually for what God has in store for you.  “This one thing I do…”  Then wait for Him to send you out into the world.

Marilyn Murphree is a guest writer on Daily-Devotionals.com. her article on handling Post Holiday Stress was very possible in the past.  She has published several books and is a licensed minister, artist, and musician.

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