CHALLENGE

Written by cycleguy on December 27th, 2012

HEY EVERYBODY!!  LET’S PLAY THE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION GAME!!

DIRECTIONS: Everyone write down some New Year’s Resolutions  that you totally intend on meeting conquering in 2013.

NEXT STEP: Write down when you think you will not make it and give up.

I KNOW.  AWFUL CYNICAL OF ME (and you just aren’t used to that on this blog). 

I’m sorry.  Really I am.  But I am not saying anything new when I say with the start of the new year comes the inevitable “New Year’s Resolutions Game.”  You know how that works.  Make ‘em and break ‘em.  We will make those confounded New Year’s Resolutions and then find that we either set our goal too high or it/they were unreasonable to start with.   I know.  I have been there.  I would make this list of resolutions-spiritual, professional, mental, financial, etc They were laudable resolutions, but a bit much.  Okay, a lot much.  They were so lofty that only ONE person could have fulfilled them.  I now realize that many of those resolutions were based on my “works-oriented” faith.  “If I could do one more thing” or “read through my Bible this year” or “if I could just quit doing such-and-such.”

IT WAS ALL AN EFFORT IN FUTILITY.

Why?  Because so much of it was based on ME.  On my strength. On my will.  On my attitude.  Please don’t get me wrong, I am not against setting goals for the year.  As someone has said, “If you have no target at which to shoot you’re sure to hit it.”   So, setting some goals is not bad.  I set some for 2012.  Some I reached. Some I didn’t.  But I didn’t haven’t beaten myself up over them.  A lot of factors enter into reaching goals-some positive and some negative.  I can’t don’t control my destiny.  Only One does.

That being said…on November 8th I read this passage of Scripture.  Please take a glance at verses 6-7.  Those verses stuck out to me like a beacon on a lighthouse.  My mind flashed back to this song from the 80s. I was not one of her biggest fans, but this song’s message was dynamite back then and still is today.   The message of the song is the message of the Scripture.  It is also the message for this new year:

“NOT BY MIGHT, NOT BY POWER, BUT BY MY SPIRIT,” SAYS THE LORD.

That is my challenge.  That will be my challenge for this Sunday as well.  Along with this Scripture will come some thoughts I gleaned from the book Undaunted by Christine Caine.  I plan to share them here on Monday.

I truly hope and pray that 2013 is a year of Overcoming Challenges for you.  Any thoughts you care to share? 

 

25 Comments so far ↓

  1. Daniel says:

    I play the resolutions game each year. Actually for me, I don’t think of it as a game. My list includes things that I really do my best to work on. I will post mine list (looking both forward and back) on Monday.

  2. Steve Martin says:

    I don’t put any stock in my’ resolutions’, anymore.

    I am glad, though, that I can trust God’s resolve for me.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Jim F. says:

    I am not a big resolutions guy but I am a challenge guy. I am calling 2013 the Year of Wisdom and I am challenging the church I am blessed to pastor to read one chapter of proverbs per day – per month for the entire year. The goal is get them in the Word and growing in Wisdom. I am excited for The Year of Wisdom and what God will do through it in people’s lives.

    Have a great New Year my Friend!

    • cycleguy says:

      Great challenge for 2013 Jim. If every church would do this it would make such a difference. Blessings to you my friend this year. Good to hear from you.

  4. I always shake my head when I hear something that Leslie Phillips did before she changed her name to Sam and married T-Bone Burnett. She just didn’t like that Christian Cyndi Lauper image that CCM wanted her to have back in the day.

    • cycleguy says:

      I wasn’t sure what made her move away from CCM but I was not a big fan of her style anyway. The song though has a powerful message. And yep, we often put expectations on artists.

  5. Susan says:

    I gave up New Year’s resolutions years ago. Now I just try to listen and do as the Spirit leads. It’s actually more effective, for me at any rate. I tend to be more than a little ADD. Short lists, crossing them out. Starting again. :D

  6. floyd says:

    Not a soul alive won’t have challenges this next year, some more than others. The challenge is to trust in our Father and live in Spirit instead of our flesh. That is the challenge every year; to not live by our senses alone.

    Our flesh is puny, frail, and failing. It is only God’s supremacy demonstrated in His creation that is the miracle. Our might is immeasurable next to the power behind the sun and all life. When we live in Him we have His power as we grasp our weakness. That’s the way to resolve to live this year and every year He grants us.

    • cycleguy says:

      You are so right Floyd. To expect to live without challenges is ludicrous. What we do with them makes the difference. I want to live in the power of His might.

  7. This is just something I was thinking about this morning as I was reading through Proverbs. Wisdom is something we’re supposed to cry out for – something that God will give us if we ask. It made me think about how much I try to do everything in my own power instead of relying on the strength of the Lord.

    • cycleguy says:

      You would certainly like Jim’s challenge for his church then Loren. he is challenging his church to read through Proverbs each month. Wisdom is so much better than knowledge.

  8. Mike says:

    Hey Bill! I made a resolution a few years ago not to make any more resolutions. You are right, we have great intentions then we go wild with all the things WE want to change. You are right goals are good to have, but “Not by Might…..”. I invite to LORD into all my goals and things I want to change these days. I’ve learned I’m weak but He is strong.

    • cycleguy says:

      it is important to invite God into all our goals and things we want to change. We are unable to do those things on our own. Well said Mike.

  9. Debbie says:

    :) Smiling at you saying we’re not used to you being cynical here. I have trouble with goals, so will take the good advice here, and ask Him to come into anything I need to be taking steps towards getting done this year! God bless you and your message this Sunday!

    • cycleguy says:

      had to add that Deb. Hate people to think I am normally cynical. :) i think what you state is good: ask him to come into anything you need to be doing. Thanks for your prayers.

  10. Ed says:

    I have just one resolution: to draw closer to God everyday in the new year. :)

  11. Jan says:

    I pray you will have a healthy & great 2013 Bill & Jo! I don’t make resolutions, just never have….but I know I have challenges, and will continue to be challenged daily as the enemy tries to take me down…my challenge will be to hang on tight to God and overcome the junk that satan throws my way, not easy, but with God, all things are possible. AND, I am going to be blessed with another grandchild in August, so I will be challenged to entertain Jonah & his brother/sister and I will be challenged to want to work & not go over to Carol’s everyday! ; Happy New Year! :)

    • cycleguy says:

      Thanks for your prayers Jan. no doubt fighting the enemy off is a high challenge. Jonah and his brother/sister will either make you stay young or feel very old. :) Blessings to you and Michael in 2013.

  12. Betty Draper says:

    This year I want to live this quote more and when I fail, His forgivness will pick me to try again.

    “I don’t want to try to change God’s mind— His thoughts are perfect. I want to think His thoughts. I don’t want to change God’s timing— His timing is perfect. I want the grace to accept His timing. I don’t want to change God’s plan— His plan is perfect. I want to embrace His plan and see how He is glorified through it. I want to submit.” (Nancy Guthrie)

  13. Tami Grandi says:

    I do make resolutions- but I look at them as goals to strive for. If I don’t make them- well, at least I worked for them…

  14. Zee says:

    I don’t make new year resolutions because plainly said, I find them rather dumb… I guess I have some kind of internal disagreement with calendar stuff so I don’t mind celebrating Christmas in summer or enjoying the Easter in winter. *Shrug* There are things that should be outside of the calendar year.

    Same with New Year’s resolutions. It’s like saying “I’ll be better starting Monday.” Monday comes, and you’re thinking “Well, I meant, next Monday.” And so it goes…

    I don’t have any resolutions. I have ideas of what I’d love to do this year. If they work out – great. If not, well, obviously it wasn’t in His plan.

    With so many changes like last year – changes that were OUT of my power to avert… *Shrug* I am glad I did not have any set-in-stone plans. Less to be depressed about by the end of the year.