New Year’s Resolutions
Wednesday January 14th 2009, 6:34 pm
Filed under: Devotional,Teaching

Saints of the most High God; the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the Church of our Lord and King Jesus Christ, there is so much being said concerning the new year.  Resolutions, prophecies, and best wishes abound in the world and in the Church.  Everyone is hoping for a better new year with prosperity for all.  I have found that for me, instead of resolutions and soulish declarations, that repentance from dead works should be my basic foundation.  Everyone wants to move forward, but the key for us as believers is repentance from dead works.

Paul says in Hebrews 6:1, “Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundations of repentance from acts leading to death.”  The Word of the Lord is so simple and uncomplicated, yet so contrary to our thinking and flesh.  He says that if we are to move on, we must leave the elementary teachings.  The question is: have we ever really got the basics?  

Repentance was the first declaration of the coming of Jesus on the scene by John.  “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.”  Israel had piled up a lot of dead works that had produced wickedness in the land.  The call was to repent!  We see repentance in light of moral acts and ignore our dead works and excuse them as mistakes.  We cannot continue to approach the new year hoping God will somehow bless the same empty confessions of past years.  We must repent and bring these dead works before him in utmost truth.  This will free us into the new year and change our direction.  So many times we pray for new direction, but we are going the wrong way.   Repentance is the key to changing direction and perspective.  It is deception and humanistic reasoning that justifies these dead works and efforts.  Meaningful moves of God always start with the seeking of Him and the repentance of people who see their hearts in the light of our Glorious Lord.  

Lately, because of the condition of our country, we hear ministers once again calling on the people of God saying, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  (2 Chronicles 7:14)  Resolutions are not the answer for our condition.  Pundits and advisers admit that the greatest majority of resolutions fail in the month of January.  I heard a very influential person say the other day that she no longer makes them — she was tired of failure upon failure.  We in the Body of Christ continue to pile up these resolutions doomed to failure, which result in a mountain of discouragement and condemnation. Such a graphic picture of a continual admission of mistakes, rather than calling it what it is: sin.  Paul calls these “dead works leading to death.” Many of our dead works seemed right and justified in the beginning, but did not lead to the end we hoped for.  Paul says in Hebrews 6 — therefore let us leave.  If we are going to move on, the way to move on is to repent.  

Consequently, we continue to prop up these works that have no life in them.  Self help, more counsel, and even encouraging words will not bring these works into fruition.  The word “IF” signifies probability and potential of the promise.  If we do not go beyond it and meet the conditions we are doomed to failure and not resolve.  If who?  My people.  What people?  Who are called by My name.  Will what? Humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn (repent) from their wicked ways.  Here is how God sees dead works:  these are not mistakes or misjudgments, this is missing the mark, or sin.  Repent from the bad shots as the flesh reasons, “at least I took a shot or tried.”  The flesh can be so noble in its reasoning.  Remember Paul writes about the works of the flesh.  Notice these are the same words he uses in Hebrews — dead works.  We cannot will away these dead works that so easily beset us.  We are setting ourselves up for constant defeat and self-examination that brings no life to us.  The continual voice of the prince of darkness will bring us to despair and hopelessness but the power of God, the Holy Spirit, wants to bring life and liberty.   

Resolutions are on the wrong side of “if” and do not give real steps to get results.  Repentance is a gift from God and this gift only comes from Him.  Not our will but His will.  Humility is the action that causes the gift of repentance to be released in our lives.  The acts of humility come through a process of praying and seeking the face of our God.  This is where we will receive the power, or the gift of repentance, to turn and go the other way.  Turning from the dead work moves us towards Him who brings us life.  Resolutions are full of I will, I can do it, and more I, I, I, that keeps us on the wrong side of the “if.”  Let us repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. He will hear from heaven and will forgive our sins of resolutions and heal us and our land.  May it be so according to His Word.