Resolutions are strategic reminders for our repentant hearts. As Christians, they should be set in place to progress of the will of God in our lives. Before compiling a new list of goals, celebrate each step of progress that was made in the last year. Pay homage to the work God has done in our lives, before surging onto the next stage of growth. Giving God glory in worship for the accomplishments we achieve is a necessary element in the Christian attribute of fostering a grateful heart. Taking our failures into account, as well, shines light into the areas of our lives where prayer for clarity is needed.
Through it all, God is guiding us. Jesus is walking with us, promising never to leave us. Prayerful consideration of the counsel of our good Father prevents needless brain-wracking and unreasonable goal-setting. His will is always in our best interest. The Voice paraphrase of Ephesians 3:20 reminds us that He promises to do more than we can ask or imagine in our lives. He can not only help us with our resolutions, but holds the key to the progress that will usher His peace into our lives.
“Now to the God who can do so many awe-inspiring things, immeasurable things, things greater than we ever could ask or imagine through the power at work in us, to Him be all glory…” (Ephesians 3:20-21).
1. Who Were We?
When entertaining the thoughts and dreams of who we want to be, it’s helpful to remember who we were. Our past paths are littered with the Father’s love, His helping hand, and His guiding light. In looking back, we can recognize the path that we’re on much better than straining forward to see the road through the fog ahead. God has been where we are going. He permeates time. We can take comfort in His care for us, and listen steadily through the trials and triumphs of the last year, allowing them illuminate our next surge forward.
A complete hand-off of our lives into Christ’s capable hands leads to reasonable resolution. We can goal-set our way to success, riches, fame, mansions, vacations, promotions, and retirement investments without consulting Him. But no vast accumulation of wealth or experience this side of heaven can equate to the soul resting peace of His will for our lives. Prayerfully seek God’s request, before laying prayers for plans at His feet. Be careful not to disqualify stirrings and nudges due to feelings of unqualification or unpreparedness, for He will equip and prepare us for the achievements that await us.
2. How Do We Ask God for Guidance?
Praying over our lives in daily chair time with God is not only to seek direction, but to ask that our territory be expanded! We were each purposed with distinction, layered with talents and gifts.
Jabez, who’s very name sounds like the Hebrew word for pain, is mentioned amidst a genealogical list in the Old Testament. “Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain’” (1 Chronicles 4:10). One verse is given to this whole mans’s life, putting the fragment of time we’re gifted on this earth into godly perspective. “But despite his hard-luck beginning, he was honored because of his relationship with God. This was a valuable lesson for a people struggling with their own identity“ (NIV Quest Study Bible Notes).
The path of God’s will for our lives is illumined by our quest for wisdom in His Word, and relational knowledge of Him through our prayer life. The joy of the Lord is that He seeks a relationship with us. Jesus was born on earth in human skin, driven by His compassion for us. The glory we give back to God shines through the accomplished path of His will in our lives. Through the obedient work we foster through His gifts and blessings, we get to work in tandem with an our almighty God. “And God did just that” (1 Chronicles 4:10). The last phrase of this verse about Jabez provides a peak inside the joy that it brings God, to bless us with fulfilled prayer requests when according to His great will. His heart is moved by faithful prayer.
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