New Year’s Resolutions

Posted on: January 3, 2015, by :

Last year I had one resolution.  I resolved that I would read through the Bible in 2014 without trying to apply it to a lesson for my students.  I wanted to invest myself as a believer into the scriptures.  I wanted to make scripture a larger part of my life without trying to make it apply to a lesson for work. 

I failed to accomplish it.

I think my failure came as a result of the fact that I set a large goal, without setting smaller goals to help me get there.  Also, I tried to make a spiritual act worldly. Every time I would sit down to read, I found myself thinking about how to get more pages read, rather than investing myself into the words that could give me life.

I made the process of reading the Bible a task on top of another task.  Several times I would read and think about how to apply it to my students and would feel as though the time and the pages didn’t count.  I know it sounds stupid now, but over the past year, I have struggled to accept that when I read the Bible, I naturally apply what I read to my students, my family, and my future. 

Why was I resisting a spiritual gift, for the sake of reading more pages?

I think the answer is that the spiritual battles that go on every day are not limited to sinful acts.  It is important to note that the life we live in Christ is not devoid of struggle, and that struggle between the flesh and the spirit is one of life and death.  The dead has been put off for the life that is given by the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus.  However, it is imperative that we know that it is only in Glory that we will be rid of the fight against sin, and the fight to grow the Kingdom.

I longed for the life that was offered through the pages of the Bible, but was being held down by the death that clung to my desire to limit the impact of those pages.  I wanted to know what it said for me, not for anyone else.  Such a misguided and selfish desire was never my intent when I made the resolution, but when I reflect on that decision, I can see how the flesh warred against my spirit. 

I pursued the scripture for selfish gain. 

So my resolution for 2015 is different.  I am resolving to accomplish 3 things this year:
1. I resolve to read the Bible to my family.
The purpose of this activity is to encourage my wife in her spiritual gifting, invigorate her passion for the Lord and for his church, and to begin to surround my son’s heart with the truth of the Gospel. 

2. I resolve to pray for my family aloud.
My wife and my son should know that I am willing to go to spiritual battle for them regularly, if not daily, for their growth and maturity.  I must help my wife know that I am willing to engage in the most important activity of spiritual battle for her protection and provision.  I must teach my son that men pray.  Men pray aloud.  Men do spiritual battle for those they love most.  Men are not ashamed to set a spiritual climate in their home. 

3. I resolve to go to bed tired.
I want to wake before my family does, lay the groundwork for my own spiritual growth, and serve my family before they can even greet the day.  I want to end my day in the same way.  I want to pursue my son’s heart and engage him in spiritual conversations.  (I know that he’s only 1YO but this isn’t really a one-year kind of resolution) I want to pursue my wife’s heart and encourage her to grow in her gifting.  I want to end the day knowing that I have done all I can possibly do to fight against the evil of the world by fighting for my family. 

I will fail.
I will at times be overcome with selfishness.
I will not be able to repress the siren song of sin completely. 

So what must I do when I fail? What must I do when my own selfishness rises up and soils my efforts to pursue my wife or son?

I must confess my sins to my wife and son, in the presence of a merciful God, repent from my actions, and continue to walk in the grace provided by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.