Resolutions-A Pattern for Change
Thinking about New Years resolutions, and how often (or always) they are broken, brought me straight back to a chapter of an awesome book called, Pleasing God, by Kay Smith. If you have never read that book, I suggest you do!
The chapter that came to the forefront of my mind is called, you guessed it, A Pattern for Change. Kay brings us to James to find this pattern that we can apply to our lives when we recognize that something needs to change.
As far as new years resolutions go, I would guess most, if not all, of them come from something in our lives we have been convicted of as sin. So this goes perfectly with thinking about a resolution, something we decide needs to change.
James 4:7-10 says: Therefore submit to God, Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands you sinners; and purify your hearts you double minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
This paragraph tells us exactly how to change our ways. So let's look at bullet points and pull out of this an exact 'recipe' on how to change. Isn't it awesome when we can find exact “here's what to do's” in the Bible? I love being told step by step how to change. This I can handle!
Step 1: Humble yourself before God (vs.7), in doing this your sin always becomes apparent! Recognize your sin.
Step 2: Resist the devil (vs. 7b). Ignore the lies from the devil that you shouldn't change, or you can't change, or it really isn't a big deal.
Step 3: Draw near to God. When your close to God you desire to obey Him, and then you can rely on His strength to get you through.
Step 4: Cleans your hands. (vs8) Seek forgiveness for your sin. Here's the part where if you fail, you just go right back to!
Step 5: Mourn over your sin (vs9). Recognize how big of a deal sin is to God and don't shrug if off like it doesn't matter.
Then..... In the last part it says He will lift you up!
So, if you apply these 5 steps, you can have victory!! It may take going through these steps over and over and over some more, don't give up on day 2 of failing!!