This time each year, as the old year gives way to the new, we hear so much about people making resolutions or turning over a new leaf. This may concern their desire to stop smoking or to stop drinking or to lose those extra pounds they just put on during the holiday season. Whatever the case, I see this as a good thing. In fact, I see this phenomena as a God thing. After all, Who was it that said it is possible to exchange our old lives for new ones in the first place?
Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NASB
Even before the advent of Christ in our history, we saw God offering mankind the same opportunity to resolve its many issues - mainly those of sin. Three months after the children of Israel were delivered from hundreds of years of captivity in Egypt, Moses asked the Israelites to resolve a few things. In Exodus 19:10 NASB, the Word says, ‘The LORD also said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments…”’
In a sense, the Lord was commanding Moses to lead the children into a place of making a resolution. They had been in captivity for hundreds of years and Moses saw the need to make some resolutions. Think of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 as one form of doing so. But just what is a resolution?
The word resolution is formed by two words. ‘Solution’ - the solving of a problem or the answering of a question and ‘Re’ - again. When we make resolutions we are actually saying ‘here are the things I need to solve or answer again.’ One application of resolution would be repentance…the simple act of agreeing with God. He is God and I am not. He calls it sin. I will call it sin. You get the point.
But Moses, through the command of God, took resolution to a whole new level. God told Moses to go to the people and consecrate them. What does consecration even mean? The word consecrate comes from the Hebrew word ‘qadash’. Qadash literally means ‘to consecrate, sanctify, prepare, dedicate, be hallowed, be holy, be sanctified, be separate, to be set apart.’ And exactly what were they told to sanctify? The entirety of their being!
They were to set boundaries. Boundaries set parameters from within which to operate at ultimate levels of freedom. While a parachute may seem to hinder freedom to a certain extent and to make us feel cramped and uncomfortable, those same boundaries allow us to float safely to the earth. So, too, the bulky weight and binding straps of scuba gear may seem stifling and suffocating, yet it affords us the ability to breathe where man should not be able to breathe and to explore vistas few rarely see.
Consecration also requires cleansing - a washing away of the old. Through faith in Jesus, the old has been washed away…and new has come. Consecration may seem unnecessary to some, since we were consecrated to Christ when we were born again…but who wants that experience to ever end? As long as I live in a physical body, I will need periodic saving, periodic healing and periodic deliverance. I still need Jesus! I still need His presence. I still need to grow…and growth requires change…requires cleansing…just like the old year giving way to the new, we always need to ready ourselves for change - for growth.
Just as the Word of the Lord came to Moses for the children of Israel, we can seek the Lord for a Word of consecration for ourselves for the coming year. After all, we are His sheep and we can hear His voice. My challenge to you is simple: Make your resolutions for the new year to be consecrated to the Lord. And just how do I propose we do that? Seek Him for His Word.
Following is the list of areas I would like to consecrate to the Lord this year with a Word from Him for each area. Consider seeking God to do the same for you. Bear in mind, where there is nothing to look forward to - nothing to live for - there is chaos and death. Why not seek the Word for hope and peace and life for the coming year?
Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained,
But happy is he who keeps the law.
Proverbs 29:18 NASB
Where there is no vision, the people perish:
but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Proverbs 29:18 KJV
Word of the Year - an over-arcing general Word that encapsulates and sharpens my overall vision for the coming year. You might ask the Lord this. “Father, what is Your Word for me this year?” For some that word may be ‘this is the year of healing’. For others that word may be planting, or harvest, or restoration or clarity in a certain area.
Personal Word of the year - this may be a word even more specific to your personal growth. For me, the Word for the coming year in this area might be mental peace or deeper inner healing
Marriage - “Lord, what is the word for the year for my marriage?”
Family - “Lord, what is Your Word to me for my family this year?”
Work - “Father,, what Word would you have for me in my work during the coming year? How can I make my employer even more successful?”
Play/recreation - “Lord, what Word would describe my need for rejoicing this year?”
Rest - “Lord, would you give me a Word that leads to practical solutions to my need for a sabbath each week this year?”
Finances - “Father, what is the Word for me in the area of my finances this year?”
Health - “Father, what is the word for the year in regard to my physical health?”
Dreams/Goals - “Father, in what areas would you have me set personal goals? What are Your dreams for me in the coming year?”
Visions - “Lord, I want to experience visions from you this year? Would you reveal that vision to me in the coming days?”
Remember this Truth from God’s Word :
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 NASB
Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4 NASB
Make the resolution to consecrate your entire being to the Lord this year. Re-dedicate your life - your entire being - to Him. Keep what is good and necessary, but do not be afraid to move on from the old and into the new. It is called growth. Be bold to ask Him for specific Words for each area of your life. Remember - you CAN hear His voice. Delight yourself in Him. Put your hope in Him. Believe when others fall away. Seek Jesus at all costs. The Word of the Lord is life to the human heart. Do you want more life? An abundant life? Receive His Word for you this year…and really live!
Every word of God is tested;
He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
Proverbs 30:5 NASB
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 NASB