I grew up making resolutions. Whenever a new year was fast approaching. I would write down the new habits I wanted to imbibe and all the things I hoped to achieve in the new year. Fresh year fresh start. I didn’t want to miss it this time. I wanted to be more productive and have a checklist to tick at the end of the year that I had attained everything I set my heart to attain.
But by mid January or February, I would be flopping on my resolutions and re-live the same old life again.
Until I realized I was focusing on the wrong things. I was pouring my attention on doing and it kept frustrating me when I messed up.
Perhaps you were like me. You make new year resolutions and feel like a failure when you’re slacking behind early in the year.
Albert Einstein once said,
‘You cannot keep doing the same thing and expect different results.’
And Jesus provides the solution right here:
First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.words of jesus-matthew 23:26
So how can you live a life cultivated from a place of rest? How can you make the new year different from your other years?
Focus on your becoming than doing
As humans, we love doing. It’s the reason why a natural man grows upset when you emphasize knowing God above anything else. But when it comes to God, reverse is the case. Knowing Him triumphs any doing we can ever do. For we must behold until we become.
Besides, if God were assessing us by doing, we’d never meet up.
Why? Because angels will do it better. Far better than we can ever imagine.
In the past, my new year resolutions were based on external traits I wanted to change. But this is impossible if my heart remains the same. This is similar to washing a cup on the outside and leaving coffee stains inside the cup. I would be wasting my time because the cup needs to be clean inside before it can be used.
There is no amount of washing the external you do that would convince me to use a dirty cup.
This applies to us. False religion keeps focusing on the outward man and his actions. Oh preach more, pray more, fast more, DO more while ignoring the Operating system that should be driving those things.
We ignore the motive and the heart that God is more concerned about.-Jeremiah 17:10
Now this post isn’t advocating we shouldn’t preach, fast or pray. These things are good and should be done. Neither am I advocating we should be perfect before doing anything.
But the problem with prioritizing preaching or any other commandment of Jesus over becoming is that you can lose out on the REAL purpose of Man.
Paul showed us how Knowing God was more important than making Him known:-1Corinthians 9:27
But if you focus on becoming, preaching will be thrown in.
Our actions are being produced from within hence it would be of great benefit to prioritise the most important thing.
Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in the Law?”Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the FIRST and GREATEST commandment.Matthew 22:38
As we are becoming Christ within while we fulfill the FIRST, God begins to direct us on how to fulfill the second.
But first things first-Learn to love and know God. As we seek Him more and become cleansed within, our external changes and aligns.
Tend your garden
The soul of man is like a garden. It is where the heart resides. In the past I would boast of how I would have done a better job than Adam if I was tempted. But the Spirit made me understand that I only feel that way because I’m currently living in the aftermath of Adam’s sins.
Perhaps if Adam had seen the consequences of disobeying God, he would have hesitated.
But the ball is now in our court. God has given us a garden. How are we tending it?
You are going to give account to God on how well you tilled the soil, planted and watered His seed.
Satan has his own seeds through media junk, flesh and many other daily temptations. If you’re careless with your garden, it would turn into a garbage heap and stink.
Just like the future consequences of Adam’s sin led us here, if we don’t guard our hearts, we will end up losing out on God’s will, harming ourselves, our children and those around us with an unkempt heart.
I went by the field of the lazy man,proverbs 24:30-34
And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding;
And there it was, all overgrown with thorns;
Its surface was covered with nettles;
Its stone wall was broken down.
When I saw it, I considered it well;
I looked on it and received instruction:
A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest;
So shall your poverty come like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man.
Because when you sleep off spiritually (careless), this happens:
but while men slept, his enemy(Satan) came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.matthew 13:25
If you notice the scripture before this verse talked about the Parable of the Sower from the beginning of Matthew 13. God sows his own seed through his word. Our obedience to his word yields fruit. But when you are careless with sin and are too lazy to guard your heart, Satan strolls in and dumps his garbage inside.
Please, tend your garden. Cut down toxic habits and things that keep polluting your heart. They are not worth it.
Live life at your pace
If there’s one thing God taught me and is still teaching me. It’s to live an unhurried life. A processed life. A life that isn’t striving for the next soul thrill but is content sitting at the feet of Jesus. It’s hard I won’t lie. Taking each day as it comes even when the fear of missing out sneaks in, or the fear of tomorrow threatens my peace, the goal is not to be pressured by social media or anything external.
My desire isn’t to run a rat race but to eagerly submit my ideas at his feet so he can tell me the when, how and the way. The goal isn’t to compete with anyone. I am being reminded of my purpose to have Christ formed in me, and this motivates me to stay in the fire, to maximize my seasons and cultivate a life of rest.
Knowing God is a process. Learning to love him is a life-long lesson. But the beautiful thing is that the more we know him and seek him above all else, everything else falls into place, far better than we imagined.
Bloom with Love. Xx!