Last night found me a little stressed out that I hadn’t taken the time to thoughtfully come up with any New Years resolutions. Usually I love this sort of thing, and have a list with different levels of bullet points and everything for the anticipated year (before you say anything, yes, I know I’m a little extreme). I went to bed hoping that if I slept on it, I would have some ideas by the first morning of 2017.
By this morning the answer was clear – don’t make any resolutions. I know this is not a big or new idea at all; many people realize the futility of having one day a year where you’re allowed to reflect and schedule ideal changes in your life.
But as I thought about the idea of resolutions, I thought about how tempted I usually am to rely on myself and my power to make my life what I want it to be. That I could resolve to be, on my own, the person I was created to be. Lately though, God has been pushing me out of my self-reliance and showing me just how tired and confused and incapable I truly am without His strength.
So instead of resolving, I am choosing to abide. I am choosing to dwell on a promise.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:5-11)
I am not going to make any resolutions, or promises, to myself. After all, God’s a lot better at sticking to His promises than I am sticking to mine. I’m just going to sink deeper and deeper into Jesus, looking to Him and trusting His promises that whatever I am destined to do, He will do through me when I am abiding in Him. This year (and henceforth) I want to keep my trust in Jesus and live in faith that any life living in Him will be infinitely better than a life lived by my own abilities.