Resolutions that Matter

” So Solomon finished the Lord’s temple and the royal palace. Everything that had entered Solomon’s heart to do for the Lord’s temple and for his own palace. succeeded.”  – 2 Chronicle 7:11

It’s a new year, and with that comes a flood of resolutions that we make with utmost sincerity (hopefully) but which usually melt away like the snow in Michigan in April. We mean well but most of our resolutions are more wishful thinking without a plan. Old habits are very difficult to break.

Elsewhere I put forth my resolutions for this year, which are exactly the same as last year: 1) Study the Bible; 2) Do what it says. An admirable goal which was less than well executed. I did manage to be a little more consistent in my Bible reading and study than previously but without much discernible improvement in the doing what it says department. Still, any improvement is growth and there is always room for growth.

The above verse was part of my daily reading this morning. It’s a verse that’s easy to read over quickly, but should be slowly digested to get the meat from it. And there is a whole lot of meat to be had here because it speaks to why so many of our “resolutions” fail. So let’s see if we can pick it apart and find some meaning for our own lives.

We see that Solomon’s plans for the temple and his palace came from somewhere other than his own heart/mind. They came from a divine source because of his relationship with God. As a result, his efforts accomplished all that he desired. Solomon’s relationship to God is revealed in the first chapter of Second Chronicles when he is crowned king and is approached by God in a dream that night asking what Solomon would like God to give him. Solomon recognizes that his being king is a result of God’s promise to his father David and requests wisdom and knowledge to reign over God’s chosen nation. Solomon recognized his need for God’s guidance and received exactly what he needed and much more.

How many times do we decide to do something for God but fail to wait on God to give us direction about what He desires from us? We think we’ve figured out what needs to be done and try to accomplish it on our own timetable. But God has His own plans and schedule, and unless ours is in synch they will not and cannot succeed to accomplish God’s purpose.

It’s much like my situation with prostate cancer. It was first discovered to have returned back in August of last year. Human reasoning would dictate the need to get with the program and swing into action to get this resolved as quickly as possible. The reality is that things don’t work that way; the modern healthcare system isn’t that responsive. So now it’s January; the tests have been done, the treatment fairly well determined, and now we wait on getting insurance approval and information exchanged to confirm that the treatment can get started. When that might be I don’t yet know, although it should be pretty soon.

That’s the way it works with God’s plans. His timetable is incomprehensible to us, it seems like nothing will ever get done, we fret and worry that the window of opportunity will slam shut and then what will we do. If we would simply sit down, patiently wait, and listen to what God is trying to tell us we would find things work themselves out amazingly well.

It’s fine to make resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, read more books (a personal favorite), or whatever other temporal goals you may choose. But I would encourage you to think bigger and more thoughtfully. Resolutions to spend more time in Bible reading, meditation and prayer are important, certainly. But also resolve to allow God to show you what He wants. Resolve to become an empty vessel before the Lord, empty of any claims to yourself, so that He can fill you with his Spirit and accomplish His purposes through your life. Like Solomon, you will find success with the thoughts that will enter your heart.