Here we are at the beginning of another year. It is amazing how the last year closes its pages on 12 months of procrastination, mistakes, bad decisions, calamities, prayerlessness, faithlessness, no productivity, materialism and love for the world system, et cetera. And we believe the very next day somehow begins a different paradigm. Oh, we mean well with those resolutions and all. But we do not stick with any of them. Instead, we creep to the first day of the next year when we can again breathe a collective sigh of relief with the pseudo-certainty that the next 12 months will be different—ad infinitum, ad nauseam.
Somewhere people are reading this and saying with barely contained rancor, “See how this man rains on everyone’s parade.”
That’s not my intent. I just want people to realize that life is not necessarily corrected by flips of the calendar. It takes a conscious and dedicated effort to change what can and needs to be changed in us. A new calendar will not help anyone quit smoking tobacco. It certainly will not help a professing Christian to stop smoking spiritually. Vance Havener once said, “I was born in the fire, and I’m not about to die in the smoke.”
If professing Christians enter this year with great intentions of drawing nearer to God, and they again fizzle out, it might not turn out so well. At what point during January will they roll off into the same old pattern, again waiting on a new calendar before they consider becoming spiritually viable? 2016 is going to be a very dangerous year. People should have already been preparing to face it.
We need to be honest and open about how we have chosen to live our lives. If we will examine our hearts every day, and not wait to repent over our sins and submit to God for correction, we will have 365 days of progress. Even a snail could theoretically crawl 17 to 100 miles in a year, depending on the type of snail. Oh but we’re Americans. We want progress quick and easy. We would like going from being lazy to being energetic and productive to be like hopping in our car and going to the mall. It won’t happen.
I would advise against making a decision or resolution today. Given the track record of those wishes, it might be better to procrastinate until we really mean it. Why break another list of “I’m really going to do it this time”?
Tomorrow, or better yet, Sunday, sit alone somewhere and pray. Consider all the advancements of evil over the last year. It could not have occurred if every professing Christian were a true Christian. If they had all been prayerful, faithful, devout, sanctified, and courageous, Satan would have tucked his tail and slunk off to wait for a better opportunity.
Does that wake us up? Does it make us willing to be what we are supposed to be? Does it inspire us to fully surrender to God? Then, we should get on our knees and settle our affairs with God. Either we do it now and determine to work on progressing the rest of our lives, or we wait for the few moments of relief January 1, 2017—if those moments are available the next time.