It is that time of year again when people break out their journals, begin to capture their list of New Year's resolutions, fully intent on carry out each and every one of them. Oh, don't get me wrong, I have done it, but trust me on this one - it has been a futile effort, so I just don't do it anymore! Probably one of the best I have come across in recent years is this one: "Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will." (Johnathan Edwards found on www.brainyquotes.com) You might think it a current quote of this English clergyman, but he died in 1758! I might suggest it is a great couple of resolutions to begin our year!
People do their best making plans for their lives, but the Eternal guides each step. (Proverbs 16:9 VOICE)
We have all kinds of plans, but we often lack the clarity of mind or heart to actually fulfill those plans. Why? We "plan big", not knowing the details required to accomplish our plans, then find ourselves in over our heads when we come to seeing the fulfillment of those plans. Our plans require our actions, so this is probably the biggest reason they don't quite get to the place of completion some of the time! I find it is much easier to let God help me with the plans - they usually tend to be much more attainable in the long run!
The idea of "resolutions" is okay, but the "excitement" of making them doesn't always match with equal excitement when it comes to actually living out those resolutions. As with anything we undertake in life, these resolutions have the potential to give us more anxiety and stress because they are planned by us, not the Eternal! If we are going to make resolutions this year, we should first consult the one who already knows what the year will hold for us! Although we may not see each step clearly at the beginning of the year, he can guide us into making realistic and attainable goals for our year.
A lot of people set out to read the entire Bible through in a year, purchasing one of those "read these chapters this day" kind of Bibles. It is a worthwhile "reading plan" as God's Word is a great thing to actually "take into" our lives. The problem is that when we get to the "dry stuff" of Leviticus, Numbers, and even some of the minor prophets with all the recorded history of Israel and Judah, we get a little less enthused about the reading plan! It might even become the place we abandon the resolution - making it another year with an unattained goal. It wasn't unattainable - it was just not attained.
It would be much better to share with God our intention to study his Word - to actually share with him our desire to get a little bit of it into us each and every day. Then we need to ask him for the ability to do it, but ask him to help us get excited about what it is we are taking in - not just taking it in for the sake of putting a check mark on the page-a-day calendar! I find the best way to get into the Word is just to let God direct me to the place he wants me for the day - it may be a place I "visit" quite often, such as the Book of Romans or Proverbs, but it is "our" place, so it is a "good place". Don't miss that my friend - when God helps me with the plan, takes me to the place where I "belong" that day, it becomes "our place" - a time of communion.
My prayer for you this year is that you find your place of communion with God each day - not in the rigid, determined study of the Word, but in the place of enjoyable discovery of what he unfolds to you. I have found God doesn't meet me in the "much", but in the "wee bit" he brings alive in me. I pray you will discover the excitement of this experience, as well. Just prayin!