INTERNET BIBLE STUDIES
Why New Years Resolutions Normally Fail
by David Parham
Lots of folks make resolutions at the end of each year. Some may desire to lose weight, others to save more money, perhaps do more Christian Work in the New Year or read your Bible more often. I was listening to David Jeremiah the other morning on the way to work, and he said that there are 4 things that are crucial to remember if we want to be able to make resolutions stick.
The first thing we always need to do before we even make a resolution is to remember that the "main thing" is the main thing we need to do. Without stopping to review what we are doing, sometimes we will lose sight of what is important. So before making the resolution, be sure that you are on track. Always remember that the "main thing" that is important has not been lost in this day of hustle and hurry up and do things. Being busy is no sign of accomplishment.
#1. Be prepared to change.
Brother Jeremiah said the reason that many fail to accomplish their resolution is that the desire never gets beyond the page it is written on. We may think it in our minds, but we don't move it into the heart. Without a serious committment, I promise you, the resolution will soon be forgotten. By the second week of January, if your committment was to lose weight, most likely the extra slice of pie can be justified if we only committed our resolution to the mind. But if we really mean it, we will be serious. Paul was one that even at the end of his life, he desired to walk closer to the Lord. He told the Phillipians that he still had a desire to advance further still.
Phil 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, Phil 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
#2. Be prepared for the Devil's attack to stop you.
If you make up your mind to do something worthwhile in this upcoming year, you had best be prepared for all sorts of disruptions. Satan does not want you to be about worthwhile endeavors. Let's say you decide that you will read two chapters in the Bible each day in the new year. You'll be surprised how many times the phone willring or how you'll see something out of the window that you need to do. You may just gaze out and see that the hinge on the front door needs repairing, and you think, I'll just rush over there and nail that up. And you do, and you have full intentions of returning to accomplish the reading. But on the way back, something else comes up and you never get past verse 1. I know, I've been there, and I live this daily. We have to be so wary of Satan... know how he thinks and how he will battle for our mind.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
1 Pet 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 1 Pet 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 1 Pet 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Pet 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
2 Cor 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
We had best realize who the enemy is, and what all he has at his disposal to defeat us. And his best weapon is to fill our day where we do not partake of God's Word. The Word is greater, so that is where he will fight the most. Any way, any means possible to keep us away from the true Words that God has for His children.
#3 Determine the important from the urgent.
If we sat down and took two pieces of paper, and wrote down the important things on one page, and the urgent things on the other, I believe we'd find that the two are never on the same page. Paying the bills, taking care of the fires, they are all on the urgent list. Doing what the world dictates appears to be important. But the truly important things, our families, serving God, helping the poor, encouraging the down trodden and the sick, they are not on the urgent list. And there is a battle for the mind everyday. Unless you and I force the important on the list, we will never accomplish the truly important things of life. When we die, no one will remember 50 years from today what kind of car we drove or what kind of house we live in, but we will be remembered for the important things that we did. Keep the focus. What is the main thing?
#4 Journal the results
If no one ever keeps up with the losses and the victories, who is going to keep on trying to accomplish the resolutions. No one. This is new to me. I just started doing it. And I promise you, I am much more focused. If I fail to read my two chapters in the bible for the day, I have to write it down. And that bothers me. If I failed to do good in this day, I write it down. It makes me stop and think. Am I just doing the urgent things, or are the important things being handled. Do it everyday. Take the time and it will be the most eye opening experience of your life.
A friend of Brother Jeremiah's attended a Stephen Covey seminar where he placed rocks and wide mouth jar on the top of a table. Stephen Covey is the highly acclaimed writer of the book "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". Each person was to guess how many rocks that he could put into the jar. He placed several big rocks in the jar, and then asked, is that all that it would hold. Most people agreed that it was all that would fit. But there were many gaps in between the rocks. He reached under the table and pulled out some gravel, and poured it over the rocks. When it reached the top, he asked, "Is this as full as it can get?" Some agreed. He then shookthe jar, and many rocks settled to the bottom and around the edges of the big rocks. He then asked if that was as full as possible. Again, some said it was. He then got some sand, poured it in... shook it some more, and then filled it again. The question was asked again. He then took water, and poured nearly a quart of water in what appeared to be totally full jar. After the demonstration, Mr. Covey asked what had they learned from this. One lady said "It just proves that no matter how packed your schedule is, there is always room for one more thing to do." Stephen smiled and said "No. It means that if we hadn't put the big rocks in first, they would never have fit." What a great reality. If we fill our lives full of the pebbles and sand, the big important things will never make it into the bowl of life. Let's keep checking ourselves, and lets get the big rocks in the bowl first. Then we will have plenty of time for the small stuff.
So if you want to make your resolutions stick this year, remember the four points.
1. Be prepared to change. Commit to the heart to do the things.
2. Be prepared for Satan's counter attack.
3. Determine the Important from the urgent.
4. Journal your results. Make yourself accountable.
Do these things, and your resolutions will be more than thoughts, they will be changes that you will be proud that you made.
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