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Why do we commit to change, set goals for the upcoming year, strive to turn over a new leaf? We determine to eat healthier in 2013, to exercise more, to get adequate rest, to spend more time with family, to cut out unhealthy habits, to change harmful behavior, to get out of debt, etc. etc. etc. Why do we do this? Mainly because we feel and sense that something is wrong. Something is not exactly right. Something could be much better. Something is lacking. There is something wrong with us or wrong with our family or wrong with our life, and new year’s resolutions are our attempt to correct all the things we perceive that are wrong in our lives.
Why do most resolutions fail?
The new year represents a fresh start. A new year symbolizes a chance to start again, a turning point, a time of transition. It’s the perfect timing and occasion to make slight or drastic changes. So why do most resolutions fizzle out before the end of January? Because most resolutions are grounded in nothing more than the sheer will and determination of self to fix self. Resolutions fail because you can’t fix self with self. You can’t fix something broken with something broken. You can’t fight your flesh with your flesh.
How To Make Spiritual Resolutions that Last
1. Turn your resolutions into daily prayers. Making your spiritual resolutions daily prayer requests to God keeps our dependence upon God instead of our selves for success. Recognizing our need for help, we can turn resolutions into daily requests for God’s grace and mercy. “God help me eat healthier today” is far different than “I am going to eat healthier every day in 2013.” The former statement keeps you coming back to God daily for His strength. The latter statement grounds every ounce of success in your own will and determination. The former is sufficient to change you. The latter is what led you to unhealthy eating!
2. Turn your resolutions into daily prayers that have the glory of God as their end and not mere self improvement! Aim for something far higher and greater than yourself! Keep your resolutions from folding back into self. Don’t let self become your object! Aim for what you were created to live for, namely, the glory of God! “God help me eat healthier today that I may have greater energy and strength to live to my potential for your glory” is a far different resolution than “I am going to eat healthier so that I feel better.” The latter gets nowhere beyond you. The former goes way beyond your diet to every facet of your life!
3. Remember - true change begins in the heart and you can’t change your heart! However, God can! Heart transformation, new heart creation, is His specialty!
4. For spiritual resolutions that will last, keep placing your heart in and under God’s means of grace each and every day! Pour the Word of God into your life through reading, memorization, meditation, and prayer. God’s Word is God’s “heart changing factory.” He will change you as He changes your heart under the influence of His Word!
So make those new year resolutions! Just remember to make them to the glory of God, in total dependence upon God, and get ready to marvel at His grace and word at work in you in 2013!!!!!