New Year’s Day… Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. —Mark Twain
The big problem with New Year’s resolutions is that they begin with the two words, “I will…” Mustering all of the sincerity and dedication that we’re capable of, we determine that we’ll become something we aren’t and achieve something we’ve yet to do. “I will…” Fill in the blank with anything you want:
- I will lose the weight!
- I will read the Bible every day!
- I will be courageous!
- I will pay off the credit cards!
- I will fireproof my marriage!
All the good intentions in the world aren’t going to get you anywhere when you start with those two words, “I will…” In fact, when we make any plan according to our will, and then try to do it through our will power, it’s destined to fail. That’s not the way we were designed to live, and that’s not the way we were designed to pray.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. (1 John 5:13-15)
No, our prayers and plans need to begin with, “If You will, Lord…” and any action must begin with the resolution to allow Christ to live through us, rather than attempting it in our own strength!
Jesus, I am done with “I will.” In all the details of my life, I want Your will. My willpower is so limited. Yours is never-ending. Whatever it is that You have planned to do through me this next year, I place my trust in Your power working through me. Amen.