I hate New Year’s resolutions! I think this hatred is tied to my lifelong fear of failure. It seems like there is so much pressure to make a declaration of our grand intentions for the coming year, but then how often do we really keep these resolutions? If you are like me…not very often. So it is like setting myself up for failure! For me this is because any resolutions I might make in the pressure of the season are most likely MY idea based on the shoulds and oughts that are haunting me at the time. Ideas like that never come along with grace-filled energy or power to accomplish the goal. And then it feels like one more thing I was “supposed” to do and didn’t…one more thing on my to-do list that I didn’t quite manage to do.
I am learning to be a more reflective person as I consider what God is up to in my life and the purposes he has for the circumstances he brings. As I reflect on 2018, I am struck with all the times and all the ways God invited me to trust who he was and believe what he said, when my circumstances seemed to say the exact opposite. In the midst of my darkest days I felt him speaking in the lyrics of a song at church, asking me, “Who can stop the Lord Almighty?”
If God is working on something (or someone), nothing can keep him from completing his purpose.
Well, that would be no one. (“For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him?” Is. 14:27a NIV “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2 NIV)
I remember sitting in my seat the day I answered that question and it felt like a new revelation. Maybe that seems silly to you, but in that moment it hit me in a new way. If God is working on something (or someone), nothing can keep him from completing his purpose. Not unbelief. Not bad decisions. Not really stinky circumstances – NOTHING and NO ONE.
So many days all I had to stand on was that I knew God was at work and that he had a plan. So as I consider what God might have been up to, I think he was showing me what it looked like to be RESOLUTE.
Does that word look familiar?
Yep. It is the root word of RESOLUTION. You had to know I was going somewhere with that, right?
Dictionary.com defines resolute as: firmly resolved or determined; set in purpose or opinion. Oxford English Dictionary describes it as: Admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering. As I read these definitions, it sounds a lot like faith to me. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Heb. 11:1 NIV.
So I guess my word for 2018 would be RESOLUTE. I have become more resolute – admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering – in knowing who God is and in his commitment to his purposes. I have become more resolute in my determination to experience God’s presence even when everything in me wants to isolate and believe the enemy who seeks to take me out.
On the very eve of me writing the words above, my family was hit with yet another devastating bomb. So in the midst of circumstances that make me FEEL abandoned, unloved, taken-out, and destroyed…I am faced with the decision to publish these words or hit delete.
To continue means that I am pressing further into God’s invitation. Will I be “firmly resolved or determined; set in purpose or opinion…admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering”? I pray that I will.
I was reminded this morning of Corrie ten Boom’s words that she spoke to her sister as they endured the horrors of Auschwitz: “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”
I am sitting in a very deep pit. But I know I am not alone. I am looking for God’s love to make it all the way to the bottom here with me. Maybe you can relate. If so, I am truly sorry. But just maybe God is extending an invitation to you as well – not to make a New Year’s resolution of doing – but to be resolute in your thinking; resolute in your being; resolute in your knowing of who you are as God’s beloved and who He is as your Abba Father.
One Step Further:
- In what current circumstances/situations do you sense evil is trying to shake your resolution in who God is and in his commitment to you?
- What might God be inviting you to believe at a deeper level?
- How might embracing that truth change your perspective in the midst of these circumstances?