It's that time of year again. Just about everyone has some resolutions for the new year, some things that they've previously tried to get into the habit of doing but have never been able to conquer. We try and take advantage of the fresh start of January and decide to lose weight, to start exercising, to save more, to spend less time at work and more time with the kids.
A resolution (re-solve) is an intention, a pledge, a commitment to do better. While aspirations of investment programs and work out routines are certainly important, we need to set some spiritual goals as well that will help us be more devoted and dedicated Christians in 2010 than we were in 2009.
Set your house in order. So said Isaiah to King Hezekiah when the Lord was about to require his life (2 Kings 20:1). This was not just a plea to arrange his will and estate, but to prepare himself for his inevitable meeting with his God. You need to set your house in order and make ready your affairs for such an appointment. You cannot cancel it, postpone it, or be late for it —"it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes the judgment" (Heb 9:27). We just need to be ready for it.
Burn your bridges. In Acts 19, the people in Ephesus responded to Paul's preaching and many who had been practicing magic and sorcery brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of all. Upon their conviction and conversion, they realized that their former sinful practices were a hindrance to their spiritual growth, and they disposed of them. They did not pack all the books in a box and place them in the attic so they could return to them during a moment of weakness, they burned them. We need to burn our bridges in the new year. This involves completely cutting ourselves off from the things of the world that entice us and lure us into Satan's traps. If we don't, there is a greater temptation to return to them.
Keep your faith. Some of our people dropped out of the race this last year because they decided that the temporary pleasures of sin were greater than the eternal rewards of righteousness. Paul, who could have given up several times, said "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness" (2 Tim 4:7-8). Make a resolution to keep pressing forward, no matter what obstacles are thrown in your path, no matter who tries to stand in your way. It's worth it.