The first two weeks of 2019 have officially passed. Have you quit on your resolution yet?
Chances are that when you read that question, one of a number of emotions welled up inside of you. Maybe the guilt of having only lasted a day or two before abandoning the “new year - new you.” Perhaps indifference due to not setting a resolution in the first place. Or it could be pride not only from setting a resolution this year, but also for going strong 16 days into the new calendar. Whatever your resolution (or lack of one) and whatever your first response to the question above, there is one glaring truth that none of us can escape. That truth?
December 31st is coming.
December 31st of 2019, that is. Yes, 349 days from now (if the Lord tarries) we will be preparing to step into yet another year. I am as unable to predict what you will be doing on that day as I am to state what your reaction to my first question was. But here’s what I know for sure. You have the power to decide what that day will look like for you. Whether you will be looking back at 2019 with fulfillment or regret, looking forward to 2020 with the highest of expectations or avoiding the thought of a new year and what changes it could bring - the choice is yours. And here’s the most important part: you can decide what that day will look like today. Right now. This very moment. You may be doubting that you have the ability to decide what the next 349 days will hold, let alone the result of those thousands of minutes and seconds and moments and decisions. You may be saying, “I’ve heard this all before, and it’s never quite worked out that way for me.” But the fact is, deciding today what December 31st will be like is the only way to guarantee that it will actually be that way. It all begins with VISION.
When there’s no vision, the people get out of control (Proverbs 29:18, CEB)
Take a moment and think. What do you want to happen in 2019? At the culmination of this year that we are just now embarking on, there are countless possibilities of where you could end up. Which outcome looks the best? If you’re thinking like I was just a few short years ago, your “best case scenario” probably has a lot to do with things you’d like to accomplish, places you’d like to go, relationships you’d like to start or end, goals you’d like to achieve. If that is the case, I have some sobering news for you. Those things, people, places and accomplishments are all secondary. Now, do not misunderstand me. I am by no means saying that it is not important to set goals, make plans and execute them. What I am saying is that, if your resolutions revolve around things you would like to DO, you are missing an incredibly crucial step. So crucial in fact, that if you skip this step, you may as well chalk up 2019 to another year of underachievements and unmet expectations. “So what is this step?” you ask. Great question. Let’s look to A.W. Tozer for an answer:
“The most important quality of a person is what comes to mind when they think of God. Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, ‘What comes to mind when you think about God?’ we might predict with certainty the spiritual future of that man.”
I would add that we could also predict the mental, emotional, physical, relational and financial future of that man. Pastor Mark Batterson continues on this thought in his book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. “How you think about God will determine who you become.” We must understand that the BEING comes before the DOING. The greatest difference between where you are right now and where you hope to be is not found in your circumstances, but in you. And the greatest hope we have of realizing who we need to be is going to the One who created us.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. (Proverbs 23:7, KJV)
Hands down, the most important part of the vision God has for you is who you will BE at the fulfillment of the vision. Jim Rohn put it wonderfully, “Set a goal for what it will make of you to achieve it.” It’s not about losing a certain amount of weight. It’s about becoming the person who will discipline themself to create the habits that will result in losing the weight. It’s not about making more money. It’s about becoming the person who has developed a wealth mentality, thinks in abundance and consistently makes decisions that add value to people and attract wealth. It’s not about eating less junk food. It’s about becoming the person who understands the value of putting healthy things into your body. It’s not about leading your unsaved family and friends to Jesus. It’s about becoming the person who is so driven by eternity that salvations, miracles and the supernatural become your “normal,” and the idea of hiding your light under a basket for one more second is utterly unthinkable.
A resolution is not meant to be a line drawn in the sand. Lines in sand wash away as soon as the tide comes in. A real resolution happens when you recognize an area of your life that is out of alignment with who God says you are, draw a line in some concrete and decide that follow-through is a character trait that you are destined to possess. When you become the person you were created to be, the things that you desire to have and do will no longer be just dreams - they will become the natural expectations birthed out of your true identity. Anything less than their total completion would have to be considered falling short of your God-given potential.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run [their very best to win], but only one receives the prize? Run [your race] in such a way that you may seize the prize and make it yours! (1 Corinthians 9:24, AMP)
So, my friend, grab a mirror and ask yourself, “On December 31st, who do I want to see when I look in the mirror?” Better yet, grab the word of God written to you and for you, and ask God to show you who you are by showing you who He is. And remember, God wants you to be who you want to be even more than you want to be who God wants you to be.
Photo Credit: Angie Torres, Flickr