The month of January is the local gym’s favorite time of the year! They know that people all across America will make New Year’s resolutions to finally shed off those extra pounds they’ve stacked on. For others, the New Year brings hope of potential change from rough circumstances. Sadly, of all of these commitments that are made, very few are ever kept. Many organizations have taken polls to show that fewer than 8-9% actually stick to their plans. That is a terrible retention rate! As Christians, what would God expect as a sort of New Year’s resolution for his children? What kind of commitments should we make, that would benefit our walks with Him?
First, we should know that God is always pleased with a heart that is willing to serve and obey Him. This is the foundation by which all other things come forth. Having the right kind of heart before God will also keep us from sinning before him. He tells us in Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Start with praying that God would soften your heart, and that you would be sensitive to hearing from his Spirit. Having this heart and attitude, alongside the Holy Spirit, will be the guide to walk through your next steps.
Next, is taking an honest evaluation of your Christian life the previous year. What were some of the events or situations that you had victory in? Also, what were your biggest defeats? In those victories and defeats, there were decisions made that brought you to the final result. Identify your weaknesses and pinpoint those changes that need made. Even in our victories, we cannot be proud as if we have some finality of overcoming sin, but we can be encouraged that we are growing in our walks with God!
Get to the Word of God and find out how the Lord’s wisdom can help you. Sometimes, this is as simple as a reminder of principles that will help us overcome sin. One of the major key aspects to overcoming sin, is to hide the Word of God in your heart. It tells us in Psalms 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” This is why having the right kind of heart as a foundation is so important. It is hard to keep God’s Word with a rebellious and unrepentant heart!
Finally, make time to talk with the Lord and pray, as the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.” This is not always a dedicated time of prayer, though that is important, but it is having an open communication with God. Learn to thank him in small things in life as well as the big. Learn to ask for strength when you are facing a trial or temptation. This will make a huge difference as to the outcome of which path is chosen to sin, or not sin.
Make your way day by day, and realize that you still won’t be perfect. The key is growth, and striving to be close with God. Know His Word and keep his commandments, since that is half the struggle you’ll go through in life. Do these things, and you won’t be like the world’s 8-9% that fail in their commitments. Do these things, and you will live a victorious Christian life!