-a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
-the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
-the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.
Okay, if that doesn't work for me, then what do I do instead... set goals?
Goal -the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.
The reason I hesitate to make resolutions, or even set certain goals for myself is because immediately my mind is inundated with past failures and I feel condemnation. As I enter a new year, I am choosing to say "no" to such condemnation, since the source is NOT my Heavenly Father. As I've been "meditating" upon my goals, and even my resolutions for 2007 I believe the Lord has lead me to the overarching goal, the key to any success I will experience in any God-given goals or even [gasp!] resolutions I may make this year: self-control.
Calvin Miller says, "To control the self it to offer Christ a soul free of any other master. To control the self is to stand beyond the soft life and to offer God the studied life. It is to say no to our appetites because we have "food to eat that [those who don't know Christ] know nothing about." (John 4:32) It is to pour out the wine of our addictions because the water of life in Christ is better nectar."
That's it for me in 2007. Self-control. There are many other goals, but they will all be the fruit of self control. But I believe God has shown me through His Word how to boil it down even more, because "self control" itself is a broad goal. As I've been praying through Scripture in the past week, no matter what my readings have been, I have ended up in one place: James 3. The key to self control, I firmly believe, lies in taking control of what I say.
James 3:2 says, "We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check." That blew me away last week when I meditated on it. There is a direct link between keeping your mouth in check and your whole body being disciplined. Verse 3 goes on to say"When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal." I have got to "turn the whole animal" this year. I've got to make some changes. I believe that it hinges on self control but begins with the tongue. By God's grace in 2007, He will transform my speech and my words into something that is glorifying to Him and edifying to others, benefitting "those who listen." (Eph. 4:29) Unless this happens, my goals and resolutions will have been made in vain.
My specific goals and yes, even resolutions, are still taking shape. So I'm sure I'll blog about them more specifically in the weeks and months to come. God has put in my heart to believe Him for some BIG things this year. My husband and I have had some exciting discussions lately about our 2007, some that have still got my mind spinning. God is up to something huge in our family, I'm sure of it! But the journey from "soft life" to "studied life" must begin with self-control and will be evident in my words.
Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Eph. 3:20
For more New Year's Meditations, follow the links over at Laurel's. Thanks, Laurel!