RESOLUTIONS THAT LEAD TO SOLUTIONS!
This is the time of year that people everywhere begin to make their list of resolutions for the New Year. Usually at the top of everyone’s list is to lose those additional pounds that were gained during the holidays. I have learned from prior experiences that it is not easy to lose the weight I gained. It is even harder to keep it off for good or it would not be showing up on my list of resolutions…Year after Year!
Most of my New Year’s resolutions are basically superficial. I have found that doing so makes it easier to be successful and when I do not see the results that I was hoping for I am not so inclined to feel disappointed about my lack of success. Continually at the top of my list is my desire to lose the weight I gained throughout the year, and as difficult as it is to lose weight, it is far easier than dealing with what ever the problem is behind my gaining the weight in the first place. If we were to really seek out what those problem areas are and do it with the intention of dealing with them it would be a very noble undertaking. I have found that when I try to look honestly into my own life I am only vaguely aware of all the reasons the problem is there in the first place. Often I find the reasons behind my problems to be somewhat noble while the intentions of others are highly suspect. I have found that it is far easier to inspect the lives of others than to hold the magnifying glass up and inspect my own life. When I do look at my own life, it is as if I take binoculars and reverse them so that I appear as a tiny speck, minifying my own imperfections and I might add looking quite skinner than I actually am.
I remember reading of the Pharisee in the temple as he prayed about the sins of his neighbor with no mention of his own sins. I think we are all in danger of finding ourselves in this place. When we are doing well, we bask in our own self-adulation but when we are struggling by making poor decisions we focus on the sins of others so that we mask our own weaknesses. It takes courage to look at your own life and to ask God to reveal those areas that need refining and restoration. There is only one person in the world we are asked to give an account of, and that is ourselves.
Nothing worthwhile is easy to attain and it always seems as if tomorrow is a better time to start than today. If we would look back over our lives, it is hard to be conscious of the opportunities that are before us. Things we struggled in the past to overcome, that seemed difficult and strenuous at the time, now years later seem to be blessings in disguise. Other things that we put off doing anything about have now become even more loathsome and disgusting to us. At the time, they seemed acceptable but as the months and years came and went they led us to places that we never would never have thought possible in the beginning.
In Psalm 51:10 David gives us a very clear and distinct plan that brings us to total dependence on Him as we allow Him to search our hearts and mold us “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit with me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
Creating a pure heart can only occur when we allow God to re-sensitize our hearts to those things that are pure and lovely. When we compromise those things that we know to be right and honorable, we defile our heart. Many want to do what is right but compromise has made the spirit within to be anything but steadfast. A clean heart and a steadfast spirit cannot be found where compromise is allowed. Compromise takes the clean and mixes it with the unclean leaving us defiled, leading us down the slippery slope of deception.
To compromise a pure heart and a steadfast spirit separates us from His presence and removes the Holy Spirit from us. It is an easy thing to do when we leave our heart unguarded and allow the deceiver to deceive us. Satan is the deceiver and deception is so deceiving. To live in the in-between, the almost or the halfway is to open the door to the enemy and to live a life of compromise. To keep our heart undefiled and clean we must guard it and give Him Lordship over every area of our lives.
We consistently have two roads before us, one that is right and the other that is wrong, compromise puts us in the middle. Jesus spoke pointedly about compromise in Rev. 3:15-16, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one of the other! So because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
The Biblical meaning for the number 13 is rebellion and in 2013 the degree of compromise the Church had entered into had reached it’s peak. This caused a moral collapse within the church and the purity of heart that God had created within us that was held in place by His steadfast spirit was now in rebellion to God. Because the degree of compromise was so great it became an all out rebellion against God’s holiness.
Last year, 2014, stood for the double the number 7 or double the measure of spiritual perfection. It is also the number of deliverance because where perfection reigns, those things that are unclean can no longer reside. 2014 was full of turmoil and as we have seen transpire within our country from Bill Cosby’s past being exposed to our own Pennsylvania, governmental leaders involved in pornography being brought into the light, we are aware that things which were hidden are being revealed. Many within the church strove to shake off the attacks of the enemy by being more vigilant to recognize the enemies snares and live in purity. Our Father allowed a double standard of perfection and refining to come upon us so that what was hidden would be exposed bringing about the necessary repentance and change that we need. He has destined us to be overcomers and for that to happen the compromising must come to an end!
The good news is that 2015 is the Biblical number for rest. For those who have struggled and fought the good fight for the past several years we are now entering a season of divine rest. This does not mean that we can let our guard down but it does mean that we are to continue to pursue being transformed more and more by Him as we remain in His presence and pursue His holiness and purity. This is the scripture we sense will be imperative in the year of 2015, Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
May you know and experience His rest and peace in increasing measures. Happy New Year!