To be resolute is to be purposeful, goal-oriented and ambitious- the quality we all attempt this time of year. These next couple of days mark a time where we reflect on the fleeting year and push for a change in some form as you stretch out of bed the morning of the first. For you, maybe you’ve decided that it is time to declutter your abode and rid yourself of the unnecessary treasures you’ve been collecting in boxes over the years. Or if your like my husband, your savouring all your favourite treats because once that clock strikes midnight the diet begins. These are all good things, they drive us to be better versions of ourselves and push us to be healthy, sound members of society. They challenge us to move away from the ordinary and into the extraordinary. For me- I am sitting in my quiet nook of our green couch mulling over what I want to embrace in two-thousand nineteen. I have asked myself too many times if I should write out some year goals, or should I leave resolutions alone yet again because they breed disappointment when not met. I began to think to myself, when I strip it all down to the naked core I want this year to glorify God. So if that is my goal then my resolutions should be shifted from a “what I will accomplish” mindset to a “how can I bring about His one true accomplishment”. Resolutions have always been about bettering ourselves. We set aside time to scribble a list on the back page of a notebook and leave it rather untouched by the third week of January. If this was the year of reaching my goal bikini body or hustling all the side gigs I can, I am setting a precedent that my year is about me and what I want to do for myself. So am I not to be bringing my resolutions before the throne and asking Him what he wants for my year? Perhaps we are to watch what we promise ourselves year after year and let our hearts be tethered to His plan for us.
I frequently become stuck in a place of mind where I am being pulled back and forth between the soul and the mind. I catch myself becoming envious over the novelties that pop up in Instagram ads and my heart twists until I recenter my mind on the Lord. There is no in between for me, but simply His way or my way. It was about four or five years ago that I set a hardy goal that I managed to keep up on for several months. It was the year to be skinny, to focus all my energy on my jean size and work my way down the scale. It consumed me. Morning after morning I would wake up thinking about what I could not eat and when I would workout. I would pull up my shirt in my dirty bedroom mirror to constantly check the progress on my midriff only to be defeated day in day out. I was serving my body and destroying my mind. My whole purpose had deteriorated into giving myself worthless adoration rather than pursuing the one who adores me for who I am. I continued to surrender my mind to seek myself and what would benefit only me. I allowed myself to be selfish because that’s what the world says I can do. I saw this mindset take over friendships and breathe toxicity into my relationship with the Lord because I only had room to be with myself as number one- the one who was set to self-implode at any given moment.
I think that ultimately those are the two choices in life, to live centered around my own life or become enthralled with the one who breathes life. I sometimes crawl back into those cold months of virulency when I tether myself to what I believe the world thinks of me. In those moments I lose sight of my purpose, God as my resolution and the only resolution I will ever need. The one who walks in purpose and sets the example of our purpose each day. So when it comes to my resolution, I see two choices- to choose my desires or to set my year aside for His doing.
This is beginning to sound a lot harder than shedding ten pounds, but it starts with an obedient surrender. Jesus gave us the example of how to live in sync with the Father, unbridled by the world and resolute from birth. He was born for purpose with promise, as are we. If we could only grasp the larger idea that this is all temporary, and the world will not give us the fulfillment we seek each new year. A resolute goal that breeds purpose could be centered around the one who creates purpose within us.
Imagine taking up your cross everyday, to wake up every morning seeking God with unbashful joy. To overflow onto others with your God-given purpose to live for Him and not yourself. Could we so easily forgo what is ours on Earth to walk selflessly with the Lord? If we understand that our goal is eternity and not this place alone, I think that the response spills out a little easier and each time we take up that cross it becomes more organic in the way that God moves with us. A bond so unbreakable and that it becomes unnatural to respond in earthly manner. Perhaps to walk with God in ambitious action is to listen to that still voice who calls you to seek forgiveness in broken relationships- one’s you could not imagine repairing because the pain flowing through your body is thicker than your blood. Maybe God is pressing for you to let go of those material items or desires that are keeping you from Him; the new phone, the self image, the most established career. For me- I feel convicted that it will be a year of giving- giving over my broken worries, giving out my blessings to others and giving up my time to be still in the Lord. This year’s resolution is to be resolute in the Lord; to let Him carve away at my heart and allow Him to break and repair what he desires. I look on with eager eyes to a year of generous giving, even when I am unsure in how it will all work out. I am pursuing a goal that won’t extract disappointment because that is not from above. I am claiming two-thousand nineteen as a year that God gets my all- the glory and the hurt. I am pushing into a year where purpose floods out and ultimately I am pressing into what God has prepared for me because I know with my whole self that it is far better than any goal or achievement I could do on my own.
If you have not already decided on how you want to start this 2019, I urge you to join me in walking in pursuit of God-given purpose. Let God be your mission this year as you allow Him to turn your heart each morning and delight in His goodness and reward. As I believe he has the best yet to come for me, I trust that he has the best yet for you too.