We all make New Year’s resolutions. Some want to lose weight and become healthier. Some want to abandon a harmful habit such as smoking. How many people actually keep their resolutions? And for how long? How about you? Are you still committed to your resolutions?
There are three people in the Bible who made special resolutions. Not much is revealed about these resolutions. The men can be considered great for individualized reasons. They are famous and two can be considered infamous. All of them have had an impact on those around them and their lives impact us nowadays. We can learn many things from their lives and their resolutions.
“Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.” Psalm 17:3 NIV. David determined that his mouth will not sin. Words have a powerful impact on self and others. In Proverbs 18:21, words bring life or death sooner or later. It delves deeper than mere words. Jesus said, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” So in order for a person not to trespass with words, the heart has to be pure. If there is a problem with your words, perhaps a little digging in the heart arena will fix the problem. “We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check,” James 3:2.
“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way,” Daniel 1:8. He resolved not to eat the king’s food. He regarded God to be greater than the king. He was not afraid of the king for he feared God. God gives us free will. He respects our decisions because of His love for us. If we choose Him above all, He guaranties our victory through the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Daniel chose God above all and found favor with many. In certain verses of scripture, God’s word to the soul is like food to the body. Jeremiah said in 15:16, “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty.” In Psalm 119:103, God’s word is deemed sweeter than honey. Anything we fill our sight, ears, mind, and heart with has the potential of bringing us closer to God or separating us from Him. We need to be selective in every arena of our lives if we want to be an impact in our world. Daniel was selective and impacted his world.
“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified,” Paul said in I Corinthians 2:2. He did not want to know the latest news or gossip of the church. He did not use persuasive speech or fancy words. He spoke in the power of the Holy Spirit. We fill our lives with many things that in the end will be useless or a waste of time. We study the Bible and ignore the author and main character. We go to church for specific motives that disclude Jesus Christ. We attend church religiously and live the rest of our time as we please. We serve in churches without the power of the Holy Spirit. We are lying when we sing worship songs. We practice hypocrisy when we act pleasantly to certain people we cannot tolerate. How many times have you told someone you cared when you didn’t? We are stumbling blocks to others and ourselves. We are deceived by thinking we are on the right road when in fact, we are digressing and regressing. The foundation of the Christian faith is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Paul kept that point in front of him during his visits to the Corinthian church. He impacted his world.
Those three men made resolutions and with the help of the Holy Spirit, they kept their commitments. Do know that God loves you and respects all of your decisions; one being following Him or not. Some people do follow at a distance. He is not going to force them to come closer. It is our decision how close we come to God. It is a relationship. If we decide to come closer, He will draw us to Himself. He will reveal more of Himself. No one I know has ever regretted being a follower of Jesus Christ.
Until next time: “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” III John 1:2 NIV