Over the years, I have made many New Year resolutions. The purpose of a New Year resolution is to improve your new year, get rid of bad habits, and build new ones that will improve your lifestyle. In other words, you are not looking for a happy new year…you want a happy new you.
The Bible talks about resolutions. It isn’t called a “New Year resolution;” the Bible calls it a vow. Vows are commitments made to man or God that are never to be broken. As each of us look at the year ahead of us, surely there are weaknesses and struggles in which we want to gain victory. However, we cannot do it in the strength of our own flesh. The reason these areas have become points of weakness (whether physical or spiritual) is because of our flesh!
Genesis 28 tells the story of a spoiled, rich boy that ran away from home. Jacob had made some foolish choices that resulted in his losing everything to spare his own life. He deceived his father and stole his brother’s birthright which resulted in his brother’s angry vengeance to kill him. When he left home, he left all the comforts and securities of his needs being met. He finally started to come to the end of himself. One night as he slept, God spoke to him in his dream. God promised Jacob prosperity, security, and assurance of His presence.
When Jacob arose from his sleep, he was so changed by God’s words of comfort and promise that he himself made a vow to God. “And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me (if His presence will stay with me), and will keep me (guard and protect me) in this way (path of life) that I go, and will give me bread to eat (provide for my needs), and raiment to put on (all of my sustenance), So that I come again (return) to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God” (Gen. 28:20-21.)
Jacob realized his dependence on God for everything. He made a commitment, or vow, to God that, as long as he could depend on Him, Jacob would make Him God of his life. Perhaps, like Jacob, you have realized your need for God’s help in a particular area of weakness in your life. If you are going to have a happy new you, you must…
BELIEVE THAT GOD CAN CHANGE YOU
People say that they believe in Jesus Christ. But oftentimes they are simply referring to their eternal security. They believe enough to save them. But if we really believed in Jesus, we would believe that He could not only save us, but that He can change us! Matthew 19:26b, “with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” You can’t quit your stubborn habit? You are right, it is impossible for you to quit; but with God all things are possible.
BELIEVE THAT GOD HAS PROVIDED A CHANGE-AGENT
The word “change-agent” is used in the business circles. It is someone who comes in and immediately puts into effect changes to enhance the productivity of an organization. A change-agent is defined as, “an active power or cause; that which has the power to produce an effect.”
God has provided an agent of change within each one of us. The Bible says that this power or change-agent is not only with you, but if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, He is in you. John 14:16-17, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”[quote]You shall receive power (what you need to overcome adversity) and after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you”. The Bible calls Him a Comforter. Do you remember the story in the Bible when Jesus picked His disciples? Do you think those disciples were great men of God who did many great things and were extremely gifted people? They were all a bunch of major league losers! A couple of them had quasi fishing jobs, but for the most part, none of them had done anything. For three years, Jesus personally discipled them. But at the time of his arrest, trial, and crucifixion, they all fled! After his death, resurrection, and ascension to Heaven, you find them in a room, hiding from the Romans. But when the Holy Spirit came upon them (which was promised in the above verse), all the sudden, these previous sissies began boldly proclaiming the gospel and seeing countless throngs of people getting saved! – Acts 1:8[/quote]
Eleven men that had previously scattered at the sight of opposition now stood strong upon their message. God used these men to reach the world. What made the difference in these men? It was the Change-Agent of the Holy Spirit that came upon them. That same Change-Agent lives inside you and holds all the power of God in Him. You can experience victory…through your Change-Agent.
MAKE A VOW TO OBEY, IF GOD DOES HIS PART.
No matter what problem you are trying to overcome, God will never forsake you. He stays with you always in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
To Jacob, God promised, “And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest…for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of” (Gen. 28:15.) Often, when yielding to God’s leading, we won’t see what lies ahead. But God can! King David wrote in Psalm 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Israel was a very rocky terrain. They didn’t have flashlights. So, travelers would put oil burning lamps on their ankles. This lamp would illuminate the next step on the path. Only one step at a time could they see what was before them.
God’s Word is our lamp. But it may only illuminate the next step for you. Don’t expect to see the end of the trail. Don’t tell God that you will be glad to do whatever He wants as long as you see the ending.
It’s about time to start having a happy new you. It gets discouraging year after year making the same New Year resolutions as previous years. If you are unsaved, you need God to live within you. But if you are saved and want to change, you don’t need God in you, you already have that. You need God on you. So I ask you to make the following New Year’s resolution to God: If God will do for you what you cannot do (any change you want to make in your life) then follow the example of Jacob and make God your God. If you do this, then you will find you are not only a new you, but you are living as a “Happy New You”…and many happy new years will follow.