I'm up early this Sunday morning, the only one stirring in my quiet house. And during my Bible reading and prayerful contemplations, I've been having some more thoughts about "resolve" and the idea of "resolutions."
It is one of those times of the year, as the world prepares for "back to school," that new habits are being considered and new plans are being made (or not made).
I am becoming more and more convinced that it serves us ill indeed to live life in a willy-nilly, come-as-it-may fashion. I want to be deliberate. I want to set goals. I want to strive, whether I fail 'pretty-much-all-the-time' or only 'just-about-most-of-the-time.' It is in the striving, I think, that we engage our Master, who declares that we "can do all things through Him who gives us strength" (Philippians 4:13).
I came upon a link to a very old post of Brett Harris's (of The Rebelution fame) concerning his New Year's Resolutions from 2005. Bear in mind that he was, I assume, fourteen at the time of this composition. How many fourteen-year-olds do you know who are even thinking like this, let alone purposing with deliberation to try, with God's help and grace, to live this way?! This is not to praise Brett, but to praise the One who calls him - and us - to live boldly for Him in righteousness and faithfulness. We cannot shirk the call just because we know that in our human frailty we will fail. And we certainly mustn't shirk it in the name of "grace," using our desire not-to-attempt-to-earn-God's-favor-through-works as an excuse to keep us from ever doing those good works that were prepared beforehand for us to do...
Ephesians 2: 8-10: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
And, hopefully, it is to praise the idea of thinking through what you hope to do - through Him, in Him, with Him - and setting out with purpose to do it.
Check out what young Jonathan Edwards declared when he was still a teenager concerning what he hoped to do and be as He walked with God.
What good works have You prepared in advance for me to do, Lord? May I embrace them with fervor, diligence, and joy!
(See some previous thoughts about resolutions and striving here and here.)