When Resolutions Fizzle


“Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” —Matthew 9:17 NKJV

Starting a new diet, stopping a bad habit, going for that dream job, reaching that goal … just a few of the things people resolve to do on January 1st. New Year’s resolutions—out with the old and in with the new. Most of the time we get off to a great start, but rarely do we follow through to the finish line. By February 1st, most of us have fizzled out. Why is that? We’re tired or bored. We grow impatient when we don’t see immediate results and discouraged when we fail or make a mistake. We lose interest or allow ourselves to be distracted by other things. Sometimes we just simply don’t have it in us.

When it comes to spiritual things, how many times do we think, I need to measure up, I need to make the grade, I need to stop doing all the stuff, or start doing all the stuff? If only I could be a better Christian, a better this, a better that, be more this, do more that, more, more, more, better, better, better!

One little letter in the above paragraph stands out … “I.” That’s the problem.

Maria, a dear friend in Christ, who is now home with the Lord, had a quiet, steady faith. Her first words every morning were, “Good morning, Lord, what would You like me to do for You today?” Her prayer so wonderfully offsets the “I” syndrome. It puts the focus back on the One who does the work.

When Jesus spoke the words of today’s verse, He was talking about a new life in Him—the old had to be done away for the new to come. The Spirit would not fill the old man. The old man had to die and the new one born, and that could only come from the work of and the surrender to the Holy Spirit.

It’s the same with our lives when we become believers. We live in this new life that He has custom fitted for us, and yet we still struggle, trying to do things in our own efforts, by our own power just so that we can “measure up.” Real and lasting change comes when we fully yield to the Spirit who is already living and working inside of us.
But we have to be patient. That work He (not us) has started in us and has promised to continue until the Day of Jesus Christ is just that, a continuing of His work. In that working, we have a role to play. Oh, not things we “have” to do, but things we “get” to do now because of our relationship with Christ. It takes time and learning and growing.

I love the way the Scriptures talk about the maturing Christian faith. We start out as babies needing milk, and then we grow, able to eat solid food. Our first steps start out slow and tottering, but in the end, as the Psalmist tells us, God will give us feet like the feet of deer and will set us on our high places, those places we long to go with God that seem impossible in the present.

The wonderful thing about our relationship with God is that when we fail in our resolutions on February 1st, then right on February 1st we can come to Him for help to pick us back up … just where we left off. Especially in those resolutions that center around Him. What a comfort it is to know that by the power of the Holy Spirit, because He has made us brand new in Him, we can and will become all that we long to be for Christ. It means that in the midst of our learning and doing for Him, in our successes and in our failures, in our starts and our stops, we can rest in His goodness, trust in His grace, and be reassured that He is growing us, and His mercies are new every morning.

Father, thank You for the work that You do in my life. Help me to daily release the reins over to You. Help me to quickly relinquish the old stuff in my life and readily welcome the new that You bring into my life. Thank You for the promise that You will never stop working in me until that wonderful Day of Christ’s Return. I love You, Lord!

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light
And the burden of my heart rolled away
It was there by Faith, I received my sight
And now I am happy all the day.
                  —Isaac Watts/Ralph E. Hudson


Safe in His care,
Donna Perkins




Sweet Selah Ministries

To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

If you’ve been blessed, keep the blessing going!
Click over to our Donation page … and thanks.





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