by Pastor Tim Burt
Question: Have you been thinking about any New Years resolutions? Are you mentally anticipating the kick-off of the new year with hopes and expectations of a new and fresh start? If so, bravo! Fresh starts are important and we all need them. But, don’t approach that fresh start without knowing that you will face spiritual warfare trying to interrupt your success from the start! Understanding and praying about this is a critical step toward greater success. The enemy of your soul whose sole purpose is to blow up your life, wants you to succeed at nothing that improves your quality of life—especially if it draws you closer to God. He has plenty of wrenches to mess up your carefully laid plans.
So, expect opposition in the preparation of good intentions. Spiritual warfare is real. Satan worked to stop Jesus and he’ll work to stop you. You are God’s creation—God’s most intimate love! You represent everything that Satan hates. So, he’s against you—seriously! This is real!
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV) reveals: “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Pages could be and have been written on this subject but let me give you something to help you get started.
First, expect interruptions and obstacles! Anytime you want to develop a godlier lifestyle and draw closer to God—it’s a good thing! God is for you! It is a good intention. Go for it! But, know this! Know that you will be opposed! Just knowing that helps you grit your teeth, see the opposition so your not taken by surprise, and helps you take a more serious stance and strengthen your conviction about good change.
Secondly, make the reason for your success about a higher cause other than your desired personal improvement. That has driven my life and everything I have ever succeeded at! I was never doing it for me. My goals were for the cause of serving God well by helping others in everything I did! I purposed to never made my success or influence about me! It has a higher cause! It is about reaching others in every way possible with the message, love, and support of God’s Word. I’ve always done that in the work place. Not by preaching all day, but by being the love of Jesus to those around me. Care, kindness, friendliness, empathy, and compassion—it changes lives. The more ways I succeed in life, the greater equipping and influence it allows me and the more I can do for God. So my desire to succeed in every part of my life is not about me. It has a higher cause. God’s love in me for you is a higher cause than just doing it for myself (which gets old and boring.) It’s about touching lives with the love and message of God!
Thirdly, know you can’t do any of it without God! So Pray! Don’t kid yourself into thinking you can do it without God’s help. Jesus said, “Without me you can do nothing!” He lived by that Himself always seeking God’s strength! That’s why He was always praying! Because of it, Jesus never failed. That’s a power-thought to meditate on! His conviction was rooted in knowing He needed His Father’s help every step of the way! Prayer was the source of His strength while living in human flesh. His communion with His Father filled His tank, strengthened Him, and renewed His wisdom and power again and again. Prayer has to be our source of strength also. If you think you can get your good intentions established on willpower alone, you are sorely deceived! Oh, I know there are some that get some things done on willpower alone, but they have their life of secret failures they aren’t talking about.
Pray for the unmovable conviction and intention in the authority of the name of Jesus and rebuke ever attempt of the enemy to get you to quit and cave. If you stumble, get back up! Ask God to help you again. You’ve got weapons to shut down your foe! Purpose to be like the Lord—”…stand firm forever; Your intentions can never be shaken.” Fulfill those resolutions in His strength and praise God as you do!
Psalm 33:11 (NLT) “But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; His intentions can never be shaken.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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