I’m overjoyed to have my sweet cousin Sabrina’s first ever guest post on the blog. Here she exhorts us to simplify our vision for the year (and really our life!) with this one biblical resolution. We can quickly become bogged down and burdened by the expectations we make for ourselves or take from others. But I pray this encourages you to keep Him at the center of whatever you pursue.
Today is January 26th, 2021. A few clouds spot the sky here outside my bedroom window, and at 3:33 pm the sun is already beginning to set. Just like that the first month of the new year is almost over.
When I was younger, my aunt used to sit me down at her kitchen table at the beginning of every January. She’d give me a single sheet of paper and some colored pencils, and her only instruction was for me to write up a resolution or two. No matter how inspired I was, eventually the excitement wore off, and I always forgot about my “important” goals after that first month.
It’s a simple idea really, something any person can do, and yet most of us find ourselves struggling to commit to it. I’ve had people come up to me in church, talking about how they stopped going to the gym or fell off of their reading list. Every time I hear the phrase “losing steam”, I picture the defeated look on their face.
But I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way! No longer will you have to painstakingly come up with a list of noble goals every January, just to watch as you gradually float them over to the following year.
Because the thing is, we don’t have to come up with our own yearly resolution – God already has.
Just check out these four scriptures:
1. Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
2. So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
3. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
4. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.
For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Romans 14:6-9
A Timeless Resolution
Did you notice a pattern? “In the name of the Lord Jesus”, “to the glory of God”, “acknowledge Him”, “live to the Lord…die to the Lord”.
If these Scriptures show us anything, it is that our lives are not our own. They belong solely to the One who created us. Anything we do with our lives is not for us, but for Him.
Unlike our resolutions, which often target a specific area of our life, God does not limit His glory to singular acts of ours. Instead, God calls us to glorify Him in everything.
“Whatever you do, in word or deed”, “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do”, “in all your ways acknowledge him”.
How wonderful is it to be given a resolution such as this! Truly, glorifying the God of Heaven and Earth, who formed the entire Universe and who holds us within the palm of His hand, is a better purpose for our lives than anything we could come up with.
But where do we begin? I mean, something that matters this much would naturally take up a lot of our time right? For those who already feel like they have little to spare, my answer would be yes and no.
Reframe Your Life
You see, oftentimes a person’s resolutions will be something extra, something they have to squeeze into their schedule. But this resolution is different.
God is not asking you to find ways to glorify Him with your spare time, He’s calling you to use the time you already have. All of it.
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17
Now I know what you might be thinking – I’m not saying you have to give up hobbies, going out with friends, or plans that work towards your mental and physical health.
But ask yourself: are the things you dedicate your time to backed by a motivation to glorify God with your heart, soul, mind, and strength?
If not, maybe it’s time to come up with new ones. Or not. Maybe all your current plans just need a little reframing – you’d be surprised at how easy it is to start living for Christ in the big and in the little.
For example, if you want to start eating healthier and working out, do it! But not because you’re trying to achieve some level of beauty or because you think people will be impressed by your physique. Instead, eat better and exercise more because 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells you that your body is a temple, and that you are to glorify God with it.
If you want to read more books, go right ahead! The Bible is packed with 66 of them. Hebrews 4:12 calls the word sharper than any double-edged sword, able to discern the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. Is there any other book known to man with that kind of power?
Imagine what just fifteen minutes each morning could do for you, spending time with God, digging into His Word and writing it on your heart.
These are the ways that you show God you treasure all of His gifts, especially those that we tend to take for granted.
His Mercies Are New Every Day
And what’s more, don’t limit yourself to making a resolution only during this time of year. Sure, January is a great month for making plans, for becoming better. But so are the other 11 months that we are given.
I used to draw my motivation from the newness of another year, but that newness is only temporary. Now I’m motivated every single day by a genuine desire to become more like Christ himself, and it is one of the best changes I have ever made.
The joy and peace He gives to those who are genuine in their obedience do not lessen with the passage of time. They are strengthened.
Being faithful to God is not without its fair share of struggles. You may hit some rough patches along the way. You may be tempted to just go through the motions, or to make excuses altogether. I’ve definitely been there.
Here’s one last verse that I find myself coming back to again and again, every time I need to be reminded that my journey is not over yet:
And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
So go! Take your life one day at a time, work towards making choices that will honor God, and be at ease knowing that God is with you every step of the way.
It may not be your traditional New Year’s resolution, but it is something so much better. It’s a plan to live for God and God only, and I know you’ll find Him to be more than worthy of it.
About the Author
Sabrina Muñoz lives in New Jersey and currently is in her first year at college, majoring in Business Management. She would love to be a writer someday, but in the meantime likes watching movies and spending time with her family.