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Seasonal Reflections

New Year, Fresh Start: Intentional Resolutions

intentional resolutions

“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, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians‬ ‭3:13-14‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Happy New Year! Feliz año nuevo! bonne année! We’ve stepped into the year 2024, and I pray the new year has been good to you thus far.

The Challenge of Intentionality

As the calendar turns, it’s customary to reflect on the past year, assess where we stand, and set resolutions for the future. These resolutions often start off with great zeal but tend to wane by the second or third month and we end up right back where we started. The challenge lies not in the act of setting resolutions but in their intentionality. Are you setting intentional resolutions?

The Way of Good Intentions

There’s something about one year ending and another beginning that makes us uncomfortable and question things. Whether it be our status in life, spirituality, health and wellness, financial goals, or for singles – our marital status. This discomfort drags us out of our comfort zone, often for the wrong reasons, leading to the failure of our resolutions.

A Shift in Perspective

In past years, I too fell into the trap of making short-lived resolutions. While I adhered to some, the majority faded into the closet of forgetfulness due to a lack of commitment. The crucial question we must ask ourselves as we embark on this new year is, why are we setting these resolutions?

For Show or To Grow?

The key question as we embark on this new year is: What is the motive behind the resolutions we’re setting? Am I being intentional? Often, it’s after we’ve compared ourselves to some external standard – in most cases, our peers, social media etc, that we come up with resolutions. There is a saying that goes “comparison is the thief of all joy,” and we can all relate to how true this is. If the reason to complete or change anything is to compete and not to grow, develop, or be transformed, then we’re working in vain.

As believers, our daily goal is to press towards the high calling God has placed on our lives. We are constantly called to a higher standard, out of our comfort zone and into the divine bliss that God has in mind for us. Competing, comparison, and insincere resolutions will not get us there.

Behold, A New Thing!

Isaiah 43 shows the Lord speaking to Israel about an impending battle. In this chapter, He reminds Israel that He is their champion – going before them and guaranteeing their eventual victory. In Isaiah 43:19, He says, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

I’d like to think of the new year as a battle of wills; to overcome our old selves, to walk in the newness, stepping out of our comfort zones and stepping into the discomfort of growth and transformation that have rightfully seemed necessary in our bid for ‘new year, new me.’

I say to you then, God is about to do a new thing in you – do you not see it?

He is about to create rivers in the dry wasteland of our lives! Commit to Him your plans, your resolutions, your desires to change for the year, and He will establish them. As the Psalmist says, “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” – ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Seeking God’s Will and Setting Intentional Resolutions

Finally, my challenge to you for this year before you make those resolutions is to go to God in prayer. Seek His counsel: “Lord, where do you want me to go for this untried year? What is my purpose? Am I walking in it? What do I need to put off/put on to attain to the higher calling you desire for me?”

As you seek His will, I pray you’ll find the clarity and the strength to go where He directs and make intentional resolutions.

Prayer for Guidance

Heavenly Father, thank You for making all things new! As this new year begins, help me to live each day for You. Your mercies are new every day, and because of your great love, I can face whatever lies ahead. Guide me, Lord, in my plans and resolutions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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