Would you be surprised to find that New Year’s resolutions date back as far as the ancient Babylonians? Their celebration of the onset of a new year was a twelve-day festival, at which time they would choose a new king and make promises to their gods to insure favor during the coming year. Julius Caesar would establish January 1st as the beginning of the year, and the Romans would make promises to the two-faced god Janus, who looked backward over the past year and forward to the year to come. In 1740, John Wesley would hold a Covenant Renewal Service, also known as a watch night service, to devote time for Scripture reading, prayer, singing, and renewal, all as preparation for the year ahead. We have all made those resolutions, eating healthier, exercising faithfully, being financially frugal, or setting aside a nasty habit. But let’s imagine for a moment a list of resolutions that no one would want.
Lot, Abraham’s nephew, was off to a sterling start. He would accompany his uncle on a pilgrimage to Canaan, the Promised Land, the place of God’s blessings. But imagine for a moment, Lot, sitting at a desk, compiling a list, jotting down a few Goals for My Life. What did he want to accomplish in this exciting new chapter before him? Let’s see, first of all, I would like to lose all sense of a moral compass; secondly, I would love to forfeit all spiritual authority in my home, abandon any impact for good upon my children’s lives; thirdly, I want to be an integral part of a new, ungodly community, all while exerting absolutely no influence for good in that community; and most of all, I want to lose everyone and everything that holds true value in my heart. Not much of a resolution list now is it? But sadly, Lot accomplished everything on that list.
When Lot “lifted his eyes” and took a good look around, he saw beyond the Promised Land to the fertile Jordan Valley. He imagined his prospects of residing there much akin to living in Paradise, a place well-watered, a city full of opportunities to prosper, but that one decision would bring him closer to the depths of Hell instead. One decision, one moment of time, one flesh-driven lapse, that would forever stain his testimony and impact his life and those he held dear for generations to come.
When a new year approaches, make those resolutions deliberately and prayerfully. An excellent place to start would be the admonition of the apostle Paul, “That I may know him.” Let’s know Him better each year!
Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Lord, help me daily to be more resolved to walk closer to You, leaning on Your wisdom, not only when making those crucial decisions in my life, but also in the mundane, daily routine.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-2418-6393ebafbc332' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=2418&origin=wp.blog.blog.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-2418-6393ebafbc332' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-2418-6393ebafbc332' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>