Fulfilling Good Intentions for Your New Year

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I am in pretty good physical shape for a guy almost 60. I work out doing core exercises about five days a week. That and eating healthy has kept me in decent shape. That is until about five months ago while in some very strenuous exercise, I strained both of my arms. Within a couple of days, they were in throbbing pain and I lost most of the strength in my arms. It hurt just to shake someone’s hand.  I did what I always do when any form of sickness and or injury comes against me. I prayed and asked Renee to pray for me according to Mark 16:17-18  “These signs should follow those who believe…They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.” I knew that I needed to let them rest and heal so I had to back off of my exercise routine for most of four months.

About two weeks ago my arms started feeling stronger. My good intention was to jump back into my exercise routine and eat minimally to lose weight. Thinking about getting all this back together is not the same as doing it. I had good intentions. I had pre-planned that I would not touch sweets over the holidays. I had done that in years past and felt I could do it again. But, something happens when you fall out of your disciplines. Your will-power and personal resolve to live in your goals also lose strength. Over the past few months, I gained ten pounds and my weight shifted. I had a gut that had previously not been there. My eating disciplines had also become a little lax and over the holidays and I ate sweets I haven’t eaten in years. This was almost worse to me than the injury.

In my prayer time, the Lord begin to speak to me about all this. It is about that time that I always return to an anchor scripture to mediate on from 1 Corinthians 9:27 (NLT) “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”

Being disciplined does not happen out of good intentions alone. For me, the power and strength to remember who I am and how important this part of my life is comes from seeking God’s grace. I don’t want to have started and lived strong only to finish disqualified after preaching to others. Becoming slothful in one area always leads to slothfulness in another. Good intentions alone never get you to your goals. Each of us need the grace of God – His supernatural strength and equipping to strengthen our personal resolve. The inward strength we need at times like this, which is a product of God’s grace to push us beyond good intentions, is fueled by God’s Word speaking directly to your heart. When you know God is speaking to you, a sense of purpose and strength comes. You need to seek Him and pray for that to happen.

We are all important to the plan of God. We all want to live strong and finish strong. I am not any different. I was going to wait until after the holidays to begin my workout program until the Lord dealt with me to start immediately. God lives in the now! Although New Years is a great time and offers great motivation to start fresh and anew, it’s not about good intentions at New Years. It’s about God reminding you how important it is that you thrive and thrive now and whatever He has given you to put your hand to. It’s that or slowly let slothfulness creep in, undermine good intentions, and watch yourself back off and walk away from things you know God wants you to do.

So, although my flesh probably would have loved to with another week to move forward, the desire and grace of God was dealing with me now. I began my weigh down and work out and although it’s almost always a struggle to get moving forward again, it feels good. It’s funny how immediately great it feels to do the right thing and obey God. My prayer for each of you for 2013 is that your good intentions become the fulfilled will of God for your life!

Hebrews 4:16 (NLT) “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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