New Year Resolution
Throughout our adult lives, we have taken advantage of the end of a year to close the book to our bad habits and faults and make ‘New Year’s resolutions.’ Unfortunately, these feeble attempts don’t last very long, and we find we are writing the same things that we struggled with yesterday in our ‘new book,’ and in so doing, adding fuel to the fire and making our habitual flaws seem never-ending. After being an ardent supporter of ‘turning a new leaf’ for many years, I decided to chuck the idea and use a different set of factors to close my year, leaving me with the feeling of satisfaction and not so worn out and disappointed in myself.
Remember that in your innermost soul you carry an inexhaustible treasury of refined and heavenly joy, so your life can’t be controlled by your victories OR your failures. If you glory in your victories and accomplishments, you will find that when you hit rock bottom, or when you fail, you will take it as personally as you did your victories. You cannot take your accomplishments so personally that you believe that you acquired your trophies without God. Therefore, if your failures control your disposition in Christ, then so will your victories. Pride comes before a fall. You need to know how to forget! The things that should be forgotten most are the things most easily remembered. These are usually the mistakes that we’ve made and the failures we’ve encountered.
Most of the time, we allow our failures to consume our victories so that they are blotted out of our memory as if they never, ever existed. Our memory does not only behave basely, not coming forward when it is needed, but our memory is also foolish, for it comes to us when it shouldn’t. It is long and wordy when it can give us pain, and careless when it can give us joy. The best remedy for failures is to FORGET THEM. TRAIN YOUR MEMORY AND TEACH IT BETTER MANNERS. IT CAN GIVE US HEAVEN OR HELL. Children in their silly innocence are always happy. Let us learn this lesson.
YOUR ‘LEAN’ MUST NOT EAT UP YOUR ‘FAT.’
Let’s talk about Pharaoh’s dream in the days of Joseph. Genesis 41:1-4 “And it happened at the end of two years, Pharaoh dreamed and behold he stood by the river. And behold! There came up out of the river seven cows beautiful of form and fat of flesh. And they fed in the reeds. And behold. Seven other cows came up after them out of the river, evil in appearance, and lean of flesh. And they stood by the other cows on the riverbank. And the evil-appearing and lean-fleshed cows ate up the seven beautifully formed and fat cows. So Pharaoh awoke.”
Your life is constantly approached by ‘lean and evil-appearing’ and ‘fat and beautiful of form’ moments. Even though these lean, mean moments are present, the presence of the fat and beautiful moments are also present but we ALLOW OUR LEAN, MEAN ACTIONS TO EAT UP OUR FAT AND BEAUTIFUL ACHIEVEMENTS. My days of sloth have ruinously destroyed all that I had achieved in times of zealous activity; my seasons of coldness have frozen all the joyful, cheerful glow of my periods of fervency and enthusiasm; and my fits of religious redundancy have thrown me back from my advances in spiritual life. Beware of lean prayers, lean praises, lean duties and lean experiences, for these will eat up the fat of our comfort and peace.
WHY SHOULD THEY?
I decided that I would use my obedience to punish my disobedience. Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 with me. It is a fact that our obedience is a powerful force. God told King Saul through the prophet Samuel after the King had forced himself to make the sacrifice, that obedience is better than sacrifice, and that God would honor obedience way above sacrifices. We seem to ignore the power of obedience, when in fact, many great men reminded God of their obedience in their prayers. Take the story of Isaiah, the great prophet, who was instructed by God to deliver a word to Hezekiah, the reigning King who was sick. Isaiah informed Hezekiah that he was to get his house in order because he was going to die. The King hears the word and as Isaiah is leaving, Hezekiah turns his face to the wall and prays a very powerful prayer. He doesn’t beg God for mercy or repent but begins to remind God of his obedience and the times of righteousness. He has taught his memory some good manners! In fact, he uses these triumphant memories in his prayer to God and reminds Him in case He’s forgotten.
Hear the prayer of Hezekiah in 2 Kings 20:3: “Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have WALKED BEFORE YOU IN TRUTH AND WITH A LOYAL HEART AND HAVE DONE WHAT WAS GOOD IN YOUR SIGHT.” He reminds God of his times of obedience and even though they may have been far and few between, they were still valuable acts. Do you realize that when things go wrong in your life, that it’s not time to remind yourself or God of your failures and flaws, but to boldly stand up and remind Him of your times of obedience? WHY? Because according to the Apostle Paul’s revelation in 2 Corinthians 10:5-6, “you should be ready to PUNISH disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” This means that if you HAVE been obedient, you have the power to punish everything that is disobedient to the knowledge of God. Let me give you an example.
Something that is disobedient to the knowledge of God is something that challenges your dedicated destiny. Your memory holds many of these challenges in the form of failures, bad choices, dumb things you’ve said and done at times, etc. Let’s say you are called to be a businessman and you suddenly find yourself struggling and non-productive in business. This means that a force of disobedience has risen above the knowledge of God. God had revealed to you that you would be productive and wealthy. The only way that you will get rid of this challenge to your progress is by punishing it and destroying it by your acts and history of obedience. Every time you are obedient to the will of God, you have the power to punish (ward off) every challenge of disobedience (reminders of your failures). Sickness is disobedience to the will of God for health in your life. Poverty is disobedience to the will of God for prosperity in your life. When it presents itself, don’t beg God for mercy and remind Him how wicked you are, but rather rise up and remind Him, and the forces around you, of the great things you have accomplished.
YOUR LEAN FAILURES MUST NOT EAT UP YOUR GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS. DON’T GIVE GOLDEN QUILLS TO THOSE WHO CAN ONLY WRITE MUD. (Selah… pause for a moment and think) GIVE YOUR GOLDEN QUILLS TO THE MEMORIES THAT WRITE GOLD.
When Jehoshaphat was confronted by three nations, fear, unbelief and rebellion (the children of Moab, Ammon and Mount Seir), he simply went to God and reminded Him how they, the Children of Israel, obeyed Him and spared these nations when the Children of Israel came out of Egypt as God had instructed them at the time. Now these nations were coming against God’s possession. He was bold in his prayer and eventually won the battle.
This year, you need to stand upright and be bold in reminding God of the few times that you obeyed Him and then receive the promise of your breakthrough. Watch how effective it will be.
Happy New Year,