All around the world people have made New Year’s resolutions, trying to make their lives better in some way. Unfortunately, statistics claim that even a week into the New Year many of those resolutions or goals have already failed. This begs the question, what is the point? My wife and I had this very conversation. We concluded that many of these resolutions are merely a human attempt to do only what God can do in our lives. You may think well Shane, are you saying it’s silly to make them? I believe we over inflate the weight of New Year’s Resolutions. When simply defined a resolution is simply a goal that we attempt to achieve. I would argue that goals do have a place in our lives when used properly and in matters that actually… well, matter. Today we are looking at a passage that I am convinced is really the only goal we ever need in our lives.
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:13-16 (NKJV)
As Christians, the only goal in our life should be to walk in holiness. Looking at passages that state things like “all have sinned”, it is so easy to throw up our arms and say we will never get there so what’s the point. Friends, the point is that God Himself has called us to holiness. I do not think that God would call us to an impossible task, but at the same time this flesh has such a hold on us that we sin daily. My pastor shared a story with me the other day. He said “Shane, I was thinking back over my day and thought to myself, I haven’t sinned today. I was so proud of myself knowing that this would be pleasing to God.” My pastor said, “Then I turned off the alarm clock and got out of bed.” Yes, My pastor openly admits the even he is still a sinner. When asked, the great evangelist Billy Graham admits that he sins daily. But still, I do not believe this gives us permission to sin, primarily because in this passage and so many like it God has called us to holiness. That being clear, how can I suggest that this is the only New Year’s resolution needed? I actually asked my wife this question. I told her, “Well seeking God will not help me get to appointments on time.” (punctuality, one of my REAL problems). Lauren said, “If you live your life to please God, you will do what you say you will do, and be places when you say you’ll be there.” Basically, seek first the Kingdom of God and everything else will fall into its place. The number one resolution every year is lose weight. If we eat our meals in a manner that pleases God we will not over indulge. If spending too much time watching TV, on the Internet, or on Facebook is your problem… well, putting God before those “idols” will keep it in check. So, yes, I know that the only true resolution needed in my life is holiness. God called me to it, and it will balance everything else in my life. Knowing that this is my goal doesn’t make it any easier, when wrestling against the former lusts, however maybe this thought will… GREATER IS HE WHO IS IN ME THAN HE WHO IS IN THE WORLD. Allow the spirit of God inside of you keep you on track with this Year’s resolution.
Dear Heavenly Father, at times I am unsure of what holiness looks like, so allow your spirit to fall upon us to teach us what holiness is. God, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, so grant us the strength to walk in holiness. I invite you into my heart to purge the former lusts so that I can be the person that you have called me to be, a person that walks in your holiness. In the name of our redeemer Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.