Thursday, January 9, 2014

Be Prepared_Part 2

Twice within the first week of this New Year, I was challenged not to focus on making New Year resolutions this year, but to focus on something else and that is, RESOLVE.

According to Jeff Goins (Author and Blogger), “While the words are similar, the difference in meaning is significant: A resolution is something you make; resolve is something you have.” Resolve is about making a definite and serious decision to do something. It is not wishing to do but taking concrete steps to do. My Pastor in his sermon on the first Sunday of 2014 said that often New Year resolutions are made on trivial issues, which we try to accomplish by willpower, but willpower does not last. 

Resolve is what will help us to standout and demonstrate our uniqueness and to pursue God's unique purpose for our lives.

We will be able to accomplish the dreams and desires of our hearts based on God’s promises to us and the change we so earnestly desire, if we will firmly purpose in our minds to do something concrete and definite that will lead us to the fulfillment of God’s plans for us. This will require determination and discipline, and the conviction that we can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us.

Our next line of action must therefore be to prepare to receive the answers to the requests and petitions we have made to Him. I believe we all have great expectations for 2014, not only at personal level, but also for our families, our friends, our churches, our communities and nations. I certainly do. As I indicated in my blog post last week, Be Prepared, in anticipation of the fulfillment of these great expectations, we have a part to play which is predicated on what we resolve to do.

Resolve to trust in God Who sees and hears:

As God’s servants, we are to trust His Word and to wait for its fulfillment, enduring patiently to the end. Anyone who owes his existence to divine election ought to live by faith and trust in God Who elected him. We are assured as God’s people that we have a living and covenant-keeping God Who sees and hears us (Gen 16:13, 21:17, Ps. 118:21).

Twice Hagar cried to God when she was abandoned and rejected. God heard her cry of misery and saw her plight. Twice, He answered her and produced miracles for her. If He can do that for Hagar, the bond woman, on the basis of His covenant with Abraham, how much more would He gladly do for us who are redeemed by the precious blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.

When God gives us a promise, let us wait patiently for its fulfillment no matter how long it may seem to take to come to pass. He will always do as He promised. So we must resolve this year that we will guard our faith and trust in God. He will not leave us alone or abandon us.

Resolve to enquire from the Lord:

David frequently sought God’s instruction, counsel and direction before making big decisions. Nine times in the Bible, David enquired of the Lord, “Shall I….?” At each time, God answered and graciously gave him clear and definite answers/instructions. Many of these are recorded in 1Samuel chapter 23. David, even clarified the instructions in 2Sam 2:1, “By which way shall I go?” It was not enough for him to know that he can go ahead with his plan but he wanted to know exactly how he should go about it. 

In 2Sam 5:23, God’s instruction to him was very specific. He said, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the balsam trees" (NIV). "You shall not go up: circle around behind them and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees." - 2Sam 5:23 (KJV). Please pay attention to the details in this instruction. He was told exactly what, how and where to do. With such definite guidance, David was certainly on course to victory.

If we are going to do great exploits for God and His Kingdom in 2014, if we are going to see our expectations fulfilled and our dreams come true, we will have to be prepared to seek God’s face for direction. We will have to be willing to wait in His presence for instructions. Even more importantly, we must resolve to obediently follow God’s instructions to the letter. David resolved to depend on God for victory and for providence. He disciplined himself to seek for God’s instructions. We must resolve this year not to take any action without first seeking God’s counsel. It is a foolish thing to present God with a fait accompli —a finished plan.

Resolve not to be paralyzed by fear and opposition:

Not everyone you share your dreams and great expectations with, will cheer you on. There are those who will oppose you and there will be those who will discourage you. If you focus on your current circumstances and the limitations looming before you, the fear of “how can this be?” will also cripple you into inaction. In the name of the Lord, we are enabled to push back every opposition and push through every limitation. Though the giants may be on our way to hinder, but God has surely given us victory.

I pray that at each time you are faced with opposition and you feel discouraged, God will raise up for you, friends who would say to you, “fear not” and strengthen your resolve to wait and hold on to God, just as Jonathan did for David.

Resolve to cast your all cares on God:

Do not put your confidence in man, either for them to be loyal to your cause or support you in your quest to fulfill destiny. But trust only in the Lord for help and counsel. The arms of flesh will fail. The things I am looking up to God and trusting Him for in 2014, are too big to depend on men to help me. I have to totally rely and depend on God for them to be accomplished, and trust Him to work in mysterious ways His wonders to perform in my life. He will send me help for Zion and aid from His holy place. He is able to connect each of us to the helpers He has raised up for us ahead of this time.

Also, we cannot afford to trust on our own understanding but in all our ways acknowledge Him and He will prosper all that concerns. Even when it comes to claiming our rights and what is rightfully ours, it is instructive to first of all seek God’s counsel and trust in His ability to help us (1Sam 30:8, 2Sam 2;1-2).

The Lord is with us. He is our Helper. He hears us when we cry out to Him. He gives us victory on all sides, indeed over every work of unrighteousness arisen against us. So, dear friends, resolve right from the onset to give all the glory to God for every victory, for every promised fulfilled, for every prayer answered and for every desire accomplished. David gave glory to God for every victory God gave him.

I know that God miraculously cares for the dependent and faithful believer. So, I want to encourage you not to let anything or anyone prevent you from fulfilling God’s purpose for your life this year. Resolve to depend on Him every step of the way.

Dear Friends, what are your expectations, desires and dreams for 2014? What would you resolve to do as you prepare to receive them? Share with us in the comment box and let us uphold one another in prayers.

May the Lord God in Whose presence we walk habitually, send His Angel with you and make your way prosperous and successful in 2014.

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