Do you make resolutions each New Year? How has that worked for you?
I know for me and others I have spoken with, they don’t usually turn out so well. Although some effort is maintained for awhile, they seem to slowly….or quickly…..fade into nothingness.
The diets, the exercise programs, the promise to be a “better” Christian; the commitment to read Scripture daily, spend time with God; whatever your resolutions have been, I think we all know the truth of Scripture, that while our spirit is willing, our body is weak (Matthew 26:41).
But do you know that that is only a portion of that Scripture verse? This is the entire verse: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Matthew 26:41 (NIV)
“Watch and pray.” The truth to our failures is not surprising, then, is it? “Watch and pray.”
I am not expected, nor am I equipped, to do anything on my own strength. I find my strength through the Lord.
Fifteen years ago, I was finally successful in efforts to quit smoking cigarettes. This followed numerous attempts to quit smoking; I had tried every smoking cessation aid on the market.
As a last desperate cry, I reached out to the Lord one night in prayer. I was a failure; I knew it; I knew I could not quit smoking….I was in need of help.
I had never thought of asking the Lord to help me quit smoking. I was certain he had better things to do than to help me with my petty weakness.
How wrong I was. When I am weak, he is strong. He is always my strength.
All he was waiting for ….. was for me to ask.
I believe it was within the month, I suddenly gained a new strength. I quit smoking that year on December 30th. It will soon be fifteen years; my anniversary is just around the corner. It was not without some withdrawal, but each time I craved, I turned to the Lord instead of a cigarette.
My strength, gained from the Lord; gained from asking, is what I have learned to do on a regular basis now. I do not place expectations on the Lord because that is not for me to do, but I do know he hears and he is at work.
If you have a New Years Resolution this year, might I suggest you share it with the Lord? Do it through His strength; a strength that never fails.
God bless you in 2012!