As I pen my thoughts to paper today, I’m reminded that here we are, with January already in our “rear-view mirror”—the end of that first month of the year. It’s not the end of time, just the end of the first month and a half of a new year. Yet for many, especially those who made New Years’ resolutions, this is a serious moment of feeling failure and defeat.
I’ve often been asked my opinion on making resolutions and personally I believe it’s a good choice. Before we can become better, we must resolve to do so. However, as so often in the past, time flies by, and somehow, we’ve missed the mark of all our good intentions. If you’re like me, you’re scratching your head wondering where in the world the past month has gone. We started the year encouraged, with a clean slate, fresh start, and renewed commitment. And now, almost 49 days into the new year, we find that our clean slate has been tarnished by our lack of focus and determination, or life situations that have caused us to lose sight of our goals. Our good intentions to move forward with positive purpose have been swallowed up by the busyness of life, unexpected challenges, and the feeling of defeat.
Things to Remember this Year:
As for me, I must dig a little deeper. Possibly, these couple of thoughts will help you as well.
First, we need to recognize the enemy. He’s not the cute little devil in a red suit standing with a pitchfork in his hand. The Bible says he is an angel of light.
“And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14 (NKJV)
Sometimes we may not even recognize his divisive distractions. He’s a thief and robber of time, whose purpose is to cause distractions and derail our desires to be better and give our all to God.
Satan is sneaky and roaming around like a lion, looking for those whom he can trip up and bring confusion and chaos to their lives. Can you imagine a lion loose in your neighborhood? There is. Every day. And he’s looking for you. And for your loved ones.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” (I Peter 5:8-9 NKJV)
How to combat the wicked one lurking to pull us into his trap:
The Two-Step Process:
One of my favorite Bible verses contains a two-step process: Submit to God and Resist Satan. The result? Satan will flee.
“Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7(NKJV)
Secondly, we need to recognize that God has a plan. He is our Refuge, and He’s always with us.
We were created with purpose—His purpose. And His plan for our lives is always perfect because He makes no mistakes. We can trust Him.
. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)
In these verses we find protection from the enemy—a Shelter in times of despair and defeat:
He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.” Psalm 62:6-7 (NKJV)
“…lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b. (NKJV)
He never leaves us. What great comfort!
If I may ask, where are you today in your resolve? Where am I? Have you fallen off the wagon? Thrown in the towel? Given up? I challenge you today to be steadfast and unmovable. Begin again. Renew your resolve. Start over. Stay focused. As you make these choices, be encouraged as each step forward brings about a stronger purpose/focus on God’s plan.
The plan He has for you. Faltering isn’t failure. Stop living life looking in the rear-view mirror and remember that every day is a new beginning. For an article on God preparing you for your calling you may like this one: Feeling Unremembered? Divine Preparation for Your Calling
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)
I encourage you today to be thankful for the struggles; sometimes they cause us to stumble across our strengths.
And while you’re at it check out our latest podcast!
This is From My Heart~
Bonnie Lovelace is a resident writer for The Hallelujah House. She’s happily married to her husband Hub, and has two children. She is passionate about sharing the love of Jesus Christ and encouraging others in their faith. If you’d like to read more about Bonnie, you can find her full bio under the “About Us” tab on the Homepage.