Brand new year brings out the best in everyone.  Something about having a clean slate makes us ready to fill it up with life improvements.  You may have heard the technical term for this being tossed around throughout the month of January.  Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something.  Resolutions are a great thing.  I actually asked my children to write out 5 of them the other day.  I called them goals, just because I cringe at the term resolution, but they knew exactly what they were and had broken half of them before the end of the day.  I heard them say things like “I need to go run around the culdesac before it gets dark. It’s my resolution.”  The running never happened, but a lot of talking about it sure did.

Why don’t resolutions work?  Why do many of us spend the month of January determined to change our actions, our reactions, and our decisions and the month of February beating ourselves over the head because we failed to complete our list for even a month.  Maybe because it is very easy to make a resolution, but not so easy to be resolute.  Resolute: admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering.  Sounds a little less popular, doesn’t it? 

You really have to know a thing or two about being resolute before you will ever make a successful resolution.  Does admirably purposeful describe you?  Because before that resolution must come a purpose for it and the purpose is gonna have to be admirable.  You have about a 5% chance of losing all that weight so you can fit back into your wedding dress…why? because you are already married and there is little chance your husband is gonna want to renew the vows any time soon.  So it seems like a great idea, but there will be little motivation when that cupcake is set before you at the next birthday party.  Now if you are trying to lose all that weight so that you have the energy to run around with your kids again, you have found a much better resolution.  Those babies stare you in the face every day begging you to get off the couch and come play with them.  You have a increased your odds a whole lot more that you will follow through.

Are you determined?  You have come up with an admirable purpose, but now you are hitting a brick wall.  Determination requires sacrifice. What are you willing to give up to see this to the end result?  Recently I started to watch the series “Lost”.  I started on Season 1, Episode 1 and thought I would go through the whole 6 seasons and keep myself busy for a while.  Almost immediately I was convicted.  I kept fighting it, but I knew that I needed to sacrifice here.  By episode 10, I couldn’t ignore the Holy Spirit any longer.  I needed to stop watching.  “Why?”  I kept asking.  Plenty of people that I know faithfully watch 2 or 3 ongoing shows a week.  Why was the Lord picking on me?  And then He spoke…straight to my heart…”Candace, you can waste time watching all 6 seasons of that show, but that’s exactly what it will be…a waste of time that you could be spending moving forward in the call that I have for you.”  I am determined not to consciously waste another moment of time that God could be working through me for His Kingdom.  I get easily caught up in and addicted to things like this show and can easily neglect other things while I am.  It was not a good choice for me, and God was gracious enough to bring conviction to help move me toward my goal.

It’s time to be unwavering.  We see so much wavering around us under the peer pressure.  We believe and live out something until it becomes unpopular, and then suddenly we are questioning everything we have ever known in the name of tolerance.  Of course, we would be more comfortable going WITH the flow… of course, we would get more accollades, have more “friends”, and avoid confrontations.  Compromise is the word of the day. That is why resolute is a character trait. It is not built in a day like a resolution is. It is not the dream, it is the running after the dream. It is not the goal, it is the daily fight toward that goal. Resolute has flown out the window as resolution has become increasingly popular. Yet a resolution is only great imagination without resoluteness. It is the difference between thinking and doing…between talk and walk…between becoming a idealistic couch potato and allowing your ideas to get you off the couch.

I imagine Jesus being resolute.  I don’t think He ever woke up and wrote down the top 10 things He wanted to change about Himself or even about the world.  I think He was simply resolute in doing the Father’s Will.  He stuck to the plan.  He is only looked at as a “rebel” because He went against the flow of this world to follow EXACTLY His Father’s plan.  He was admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering to the end.  “Not my will, but Your’s be done.” a resolute prayer that saved the world.  So as you are reviewing your resolutions now that January is coming to a close, why not add this prayer as a tag to your dreams.  After all, isn’t your will really just a resolution anyway?