How Are Those New Years Resolutions Working Out?

This blog does not start out with a Bible verse. The other night, I was eating Chinese food and the Holy Spirit told me He had a message for me in the fortune cookie. I know it sounds weird!  But after reading it, it meant a lot to me and I began to meditate on this and how this ministry has gone the past several years.  Here is what the fortune cookie said:

“A mighty oak in the forest is nothing more than a “nut” who held its ground”

It is New Years and it is the time everyone is making New Year’s resolutions.  They are looking for new ways to make a new start to a new year.  There is nothing wrong with that, except I have noticed that many do not keep their resolutions.  In three months they have lost interest and they quit the gym, or their diet or whatever else their resolution may have been.

Unfortunately, I see this same mentality affecting the church.  Many of us are looking for a new church, a new ministry that will change our lives with a “fresh new move of God.”  So many are thinking of leaving their spouses and families in hopes of an exciting new lease on life.  This list can go on and on!

The Answer

 For many of us, looking for the next new thing is not the answer! God often tells us to go to this church, work in this ministry, give and be a partner to a ministry or even to work on our marriage, our character or on our jobs etc.
I have found when God calls us to something, we believe that because God said it, it will be an easy task.  I have learned the hard way that it is often the furthest thing from the truth.  God is also interested in our personal growth as a child of God.  He is for us, assisting us to accomplish the task He assigned.  So the assignment is not always meant to be easy.

The problem is this, and I am referring back to the fortune cookie. We are living in a microwave-minded society.  If it does not work out in our specific time frame or it becomes extremely difficult or challenging, we completely lose interest and con ourselves into thinking, “this is not of God.” 

Many of us do not have a “stick-to-it” attitude.  We have a tendency to quit when it does not go as we planned and move on to the next great idea.  We then develop a habit of repeating this cycle again and again. This is where so many of our problems begin.  While we are searching for the next new thing, we believe God changed His mind or forgot what He told us to do.  God is not like us!  God does not change His mind.  If He calls you to do it, He means for you to accomplish it, no matter how difficult it may become or how long it takes.

Let Move On To The Bible

The scriptures, especially in the Old Testament, give us examples of lives of people whom God called to do a specific task or perform a specific purpose for God.  We will find that these people, who are called by God, will go through many difficult and very trying times.

Joseph is a wonderful example of this.  After He had his dream, which happened to be his call in life, his brothers hated him even more than they already did, to the extent they wanted to kill him.  He later was sold as a slave, then was accused of rape and then sentenced to prison.  Then many years later, he achieved what God had destined him to do.  In today’s Christian Church, no one would ever look at a man going through all that Joseph did (including being charged as a sexual offender) and believe this was God’s call and/or will for his life.  Many would believe that this man totally missed God or was completely deceived!
Then there was Moses.  He was born then saved and raised in Pharaoh’s household.  He then tried to achieve his call through his own effort, he murdered a man and was then exiled into the desert for 40 years.  After that, he was called again by God to rescue his people.  He succeeds in doing this, but only to spend the next 40 years in the desert with a  bunch of rebellious and stiff-necked people.  These Israelites were so stubborn, they lost their opportunity to enter into the promise-land.  After all this, God also refuses to let Moses enter into the promise-land because of his own disobedience.  Joshua then takes a new generation of Israelites into the promise-land only to find a new set of problems and challenges in his own calling to take this land.
These examples go on throughout the Scriptures.  When God calls us to a task or to a certain life, He does not change His mind, ever.  I personally learned this in my own life and in the ministry.  God called me to Guatemala and to start DSI Ministries and Hands in Action. For the past 9 years, it has been a very steep mountain to climb.  It has been the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.  For the most part, I feel as though I have seen more failure and disappointment, just as Joseph must have felt in his own calling.
However, there is one thing, I have done right during this long and arduous process: “I am a nut who holds his ground:”  I do not quit on God.  The one thing that keeps me going is God’s complete faithfulness to me and His ministry.  He called and He is also faithful to help me and encourage me to stay the course.
Philippians 1:6: being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

I heard so many times in Bible College and from other great ministers who completed their course:

“There is only one thing that can defeat you:  “If You choose to Quit!”

As many of us make plans to make New Year resolutions, I encourage you to look back on your life and see if you have completed what God called you to do.  Did you, or did you walk away from His call?  Remember, God does not change His mind and if He called you to do it, it means He called you to finish it.  He does not change His mind!   Get alone with God and let him speak to you.  If you need to repent, do it!  Then ask him; “How can I finish what You called me to do?”   He will answer if you are truly serious in your repentance.  Written by Dennis Stauffer


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