“I resolve this year to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.” (I saw this posted on a church sign and loved it!) What else have we resolved to do this year? Have we resolved to de-stress? Lose weight? Quit smoking? Stop procrastinating? Get a new job? Clean the garage? Be kind? Eat healthy? Not respond with anger? Get out of debt?
Is this the first year you have made this resolution? Do you think you will keep it? Did you keep it last year? What would it take to help you keep it? Can it be done? All good questions.
Why is it that we can’t do what we want to do? Why do we try again and again and more importantly why do we fail again and again? If we do overcome, we have to work continually not to go back to where we were. What is the solution? How can our resolutions actually work?
Paul, the apostle understood how we feel. He said ” I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. . . So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.”
Yikes! Sin lives in me? I don’t want anything living in me that I can’t control. Do you? If sin lives in me, then it actually controls a lot of what I do. I can make resolution after resolution or go through rehab or diet but sin takes over and I do what I don’t want to do! That stinks! How can I break this cycle?
Paul continued, “Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. . .”
So, there it is. Jesus is the answer. We have heard that often, but so much that it just seems like another religious idea. Can He really make a difference? When you ask Him into your heart, then as hard as it may be to understand, His Spirit comes to live it you and it really is helpful. Paul goes on, “The power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death!”
So when we have Jesus in our hearts, the only power that sin has in our lives, is what we give it. When we let the Spirit of God lead us, we can overcome the challenges that we face.
It is easy to do. The Bible says that those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved. Read John 3:16, 17. Find out how much He loves you and that He is just waiting for you to call out to Him.
Each of us comes to the realization of who He is in a different way. For me, I was driving down the road, listening to the radio preacher when God took over his voice and I knew for sure that He was real. I just began to say, “I’m sorry Jesus. I just didn’t know. I didn’t know.” So it isn’t a formula, it is a heart thing. Ask Him to make Himself real and I promise that He will.
Is that it? Jesus comes in and then it is all easy? For years, my favorite Scripture has been, ” It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” I could never figure it out. How is it when I had asked Jesus in that I was still not free. The problem was that I was still making resolutions. I was still trying to do them without Him. So this year, I resolve to get out-of-the-way and rest in Him. He knows me and when I get closer to Him and know Him better, He takes the issues and clears them up.