Friday, January 1, 2010

Biblical Resolutions

By Mindy Ferguson

Are you planning to make any resolutions this New Year’s Eve? I must confess, New Year’s resolutions have never really been my thing. But, as I prayed about the coming year, I sensed the Spirit’s prompting to research a few of the resolutions that are recorded in Scripture. I think you’ll be as challenged as I was by what has become my list of Resolutions:

Resolve to Inquire of the Lord

The first resolution I came upon was Jehoshaphat’s resolution to inquire of the Lord. Jehoshaphat was told that a vast army was coming to make war against him. But before he ever rallied his troops or formulated a battle plan, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all of Judah (2 Chronicles 20:3). The people gathered together and Jehoshaphat prayed earnestly before the entire assembly. He ended his prayer by declaring to the Lord, We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you (v.12).
Undoubtedly the year ahead will, for many of us, bring about situations for which we have no answers. But regardless what struggles lay ahead, we can take comfort in the fact that our God sees our need (Genesis 16:13), hears our cries (1 John 5:14), and knows us intimately (Psalm 139:1). He is never caught by surprise or left without a plan. When we don’t know what to do or where to step, we can resolve to inquire of the Lord and fix our eyes upon Him as Jehoshaphat did.

Resolve to Guard My Mouth From Sin

The second resolution I found is a challenging one. In Psalm 17:3, King David resolved that his mouth would not sin. Can you think of any words that you said this past year that you wish you could take back? Ephesians 4:29 tells us, Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. It’s a lofty goal, but even if we fail from time to time, just imagine the impact we can have on the people around us if we will choose to say only those words that will build up or benefit others. It is an aspiration that is well worth the effort.

Resolve to Guard My Purity

The third resolution I discovered was Daniel’s resolution to keep himself pure. When Daniel made that resolution, he was surrounded by a culture that was replete with idol worship and completely opposed to the standards of the God of Israel. But Daniel resolved not to defile himself (Daniel 1:8).

Sadly, our society is growing more and more opposed to the standards outlined in God’s Word. We are bombarded by images on our televisions or movie screens that threaten to desensitize us to evil, immorality, and violence. Lines are being blurred and boundaries are being crossed. But Romans 12:2 warns us not to conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. We are to be distinctive and committed to purity. We can’t always control our culture, but like Daniel, we do not have to allow our culture to control us.

Resolve to Keep Jesus as my Primary Focus

The final resolution is my favorite. The Apostle Paul resolved to keep his focus on Jesus. As Paul reflected on his ministry in the city of Corinth, he said, “For I resolved to know nothing (to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing) among you except Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and Him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2 AMP).
It was Paul’s passion to wholeheartedly keep his focus on being acquainted with, displaying the knowledge of, and being conscious of our glorious Savoir. What greater resolution could there be?!!
So I challenge you to join me in making these four New Year’s Resolutions. Display them where you will see them often. Pray often and confess when you fail. I pray you have a blessed and resolute new year.

Learn more about author Mindy Ferguson at www.Fruitfulword.org.

2 comments:

J.A.G. Hanson said...

Thank you ma'am for sharing such an encouraging devotional with so many ladies who are reading this website. I was very blessed by your words and you've inspired me to do two things. 1. Really savor my time alone with the Lord & 2. Send letters to my children's grandparents with their drawings. There is so much for me to think about and respond to in your devotional and I'm so glad you took the time to write it. God bless you!

J.A.G. Hanson said...

Oops, I'm sorry that comment was for the article: "When God Smiles." I don't know how I messed that up. :)