New Year’s Resolutions are motivated, no doubt, by a strong desire we have not to stay stuck…to make things happen that we know we want.
Even so, jokes abound this time of year about New Year’s resolutions. I have made my own jokes about it in past years, flippantly “resolving” to make only one resolution…that of not making ANY resolutions.
This year, I decided to look into God’s Word to see what it says about resolving or resolution. In the English Standard Version there are only 4 uses of the word “resolve.” The New International Version is not different:
- In 2 Chronicles 20:3, King Jehoshaphat resolves to inquire of the Lord when a large army marches on his people.
- Daniel 1:8 tells us that Daniel resolved not to forsake the dietary laws of the Jews when he was taken captive.
- In 1 Corinthians 2:2, Paul states that he resolved not to know anything except Jesus and Him crucified.
Other than those three uses of the word, “Resolve” in the NIV, there is this reference:
If you do not listen, and if you do not resolve to honor my name,” says the Lord Almighty,
“I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings.
Yes, I have already cursed them,
because you have not resolved to honor me.
~ Malachi 2:2
If you have come to this blog for any length of time, if you have participated in any Thin Within groups, bible studies, or read the material yourself, you know that we speak a great deal of grace.
But I am remiss if I don’t point out that a twin truth with God pouring immeasurable grace on us is the fact that He desires our complete surrender to His will. I can’t read this passage in Malachi (or the other references in the bible) and feel ok with a New Year’s Resolution of “To walk the dog four times or more each week.” Or “Save $1000 for a vacation.” Or any of the other more typical things that I might include if I were to ever jump on the “Make New Year’s Resolutions” Bandwagon.
This passage screams sobering truths to me, instead.
What does God want me to be resolved to do?
He wants me resolved to Honor His Name.
There are consequences if I do not resolve to honor His Name. The New Covenant changes many things, but there is nevertheless a principle here: If I don’t resolve to honor the Name of the Lord, my experience will be that even blessings will be as though cursed. Perhaps this is what happens when I experience fear relative to food and my body. Food was intended by God to be a blessing. My body was intended by God to be a blessing. When I don’t resolve to honor Him with my life—especially, in this case, with my eating and drinking and how I treat my body—then even the blessings of food and my body seem to me as if “cursed.” They become so much less than He intended. They are a burden, a trial, a difficulty…a curse.
Will I take time this New Years Day to generate some New Years Resolutions? I haven’t in the past years, so I probably won’t this year…especially now that I have seen this passage. It seems a much better use of my time and investment of my energy to fulfill an intention that I know is called for in His Word.
I resolve afresh to honor the Name of the Lord.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
do all to the glory of God.
~ 1 Corinthians 10:31
What will this look like? I will pursue renewing my mind with His truth. NO more settling for the lies that are contrary to His Word. Not even one lie! No matter how “little!” Like the lie that says “I deserve to eat something sweet every day or multiple times each day.”
No more apathy or “sloppiness” with my godly, God-given boundaries of eating only enough food to nourish me. “Eating this won’t matter.” IT DOES. No more of that lie either!
God lays claim to my body.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you,
whom you have from God?
You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.
So glorify God in your body.
~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
So, I will be proactive and move my body in a healthy way, for the joy and benefit of doing so! AND to honor the Name of the Lord!
I resolve to honor the Name of my God.
It means making some difficult choices.
How About You?
What would it look like for you to resolve to honor the Name of the Lord? What blessings do you have that feel more like they are cursed these days? Is it possible that God invites you to resolve to honor His Name more than any other resolution this year?