Happy New Year, everyone! Yup, 2016 is around the corner and it’s the season of wishful thinking, BIG dreams and self inflicted petty heartache. You know, it’s the season of, “I’m really gonna do it this time! No really, I am.” You can probably hear the remnants of my “Resolutionary Ebenezer Scrooge Syndrome.” Yes, I’m a recovering anti-resolutionist. There, I confessed it. Hey, I am in recovery and here’s why. A year from today, you and I may wish we had started that project, began that change, or fixed that whatever, today. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t want today to mark another year wasted.
Besides, failure is no reason to quit. Actually, It’s cause to refine. Success comes from that relentless heart that won’t quit, that won’t give in. Michael Jordan said, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Funny thing is, most of you guys call that guy the greatest ever. Another reason not to accept the majority opinion. Sorry, I digress. My Michael Jordan haterism aside, he was pretty good and I believe he’s on to something.
I’ve read a lot of blogs about New Year resolutions which talk about setting practical goals, like stop procrastinating, begin losing weight, and blog 3-5 times a month. Wait…oops…sorry, those are my resolutions. Again, I digress. Anyway, my goal is to take a step back and attempt to help us prevent resolution implosion, define why we fail and offer the solution. Yes, I said the solution. I don’t mean this as if I have a “one size fits all” practical program. I’m attempting to bring light to a spiritual reality that undergirds all of our planning and resolving.
We simply leave God out. We should never feel so secure that we leave God out of our calculations. This is the spiritual issue that causes so many of our failings. It’s our arrogance. We who are created, don’t consider the Creator and make plans as if we can ever be successful without His intense involvement. What we often do is make a plan, then ask God to bless it. We do the heavy lifting and then ask God to kiss the dice like we’re at a craps table. We make God into a pretty lady providing the luck. Well, at least that’s how it happens on TV when they do scenes about Vegas.
Riddle me this: How is it possible for a professed follower of Christ, to make plans before or without the approval and/or direction of Jesus Christ? How is it possible for a follower of Christ to be out in front of Christ? Is this not oxymoronic? Yet, isn’t this the norm! Have we forgotten the admonishment of James, the brother of Jesus. James reminds us that we outta say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”
In one phrase, James redirects not only our planning and resolutions back to God; James redirects our very existence back to God. The fact is that we exist or we live simply because the “Lord wills.” We are so accustomed to existing without God we have no idea how to plan with God. The first principle of the phrase James speaks is that our very existence is due to God. “If the Lord wills, we will live.” The planning or conduct is secondary. That’s why, “and also do this or that,” is listed last. The fact is this: before planning is existence, and before existence is the will of God. If our way of life isn’t to exist with God we will never plan with God, but rather we will plan for God. This is the ultimate human hubris and Christian arrogance. Godly humility releases human will, human life and of course it releases human planning.
We know that God calls us to plan. Proverbs 16:3 states, “Commit your plans to the Lord and they will succeed.” So yes, please make big plans in 2016, make life changing resolute resolutions, for Jehovah is a big God! Yet, don’t make a plan, don’t make a resolution, until you’ve intensely consulted God 1st!!! God 1st! If the former anti-Resolutionist can do this, you can to. Yet, let’s begin with God, proceed with God and trust God with the results.
For the love of God, be a bridge,
Happy New Year Everybody!!
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