How many of us enjoy the tasks of New Year resolutions? Probably not many. So what is it about it that makes us not like to do them? Maybe it is because the improvements are dull. Maybe we don’t want to change, just stay the same. Maybe it requires us to focus on those areas of ourselves that are not like we want.
So how can be we evaluate those things we need improvement, but still keep the eternal perspective? While our earthly improvements are good, God’s biggest desire is to see us grow and improve in the vertical relationship with Him.
We can see the importance of revelation or vision. If we don’t have a vision, we cast off restraint. Imagine what that might look like. We would start to make bad decisions. We begin to live loose lives. Not specifically in a social context, but we start to leave behind the activity and thought processes that keep us tightly connected to God. Maybe skipping those activities such as reading the Bible or prayer. But when we keep a tight lifestyle, we will see the blessing of God’s wisdom in our lives.
In Acts we read of where Paul was given authority to persecute Christians. King Agrippa, who Paul is telling this story, is a Jewish king who would understand why Paul was given his decree. On his journey Paul was accosted by the resurrected Jesus asking why he was persecuting Christians and Jesus himself. Jesus was going to save Paul, and others, from the power of Satan and bring them to God. And forgiveness for sin and the sanctification of people would come by faith in Jesus alone. From this event we then see the amazing life that Paul lead once reclaimed by God.
So while our lives are not exactly like Paul’s life, the result is the same. God is calling out to each of us where we are to tighten our lives toward His vision. So how do we begin to focus on this vision? We have to ask if we are following God’s vision or our own. Because when we see and begin to follow God’s vision, we will find that God will tear up the loose foundation we have built ourselves, and built his vision onto a new solid foundation built on Jesus Christ.
So as we think about our New Year’s resolutions, lets first ask if we are viewing our lives through the vision of God. And while it is good to have a defined starting date like a new year, but also realize that this is a process that needs to happen all the time. Let God change you where needs are identified. That is called transformation. And where he needs to shape you and you cannot see the outcome, trust Him that he will equip you for the moment.
18 Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,
but blessed is he who keeps the law. (ESV)
12 “In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ (ESV)
19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, (ESV)