“Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.”
Well, there you have it: 2017 is finished. We are approaching the dawn of a new day.
This is another new year filled with new opportunities. (Is this sounding cliché yet?)
Every year, people celebrate and make promises that they don’t keep for the year ahead. Lose 20 pounds, run a marathon, quit smoking, bring world peace… Some of these resolutions are seen through, but most are forgotten before we even get to February.
I don’t know about you, but I’m personally tired of meaningless promises and empty words. I don’t want another New Year’s Resolution. I want to resolve today, and every day, to know Jesus more. Call it a new life resolution instead.
In Philippians 3:10, the apostle Paul (that super saint who wrote much of the New Testament, traveled throughout the known world as a missionary, and eventually died for Christ), said these amazing words: “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” Wait. This is Paul, the super saint, right? Yet he openly and loudly (I’m imagining) proclaimed that he wanted to know Jesus. He had not yet KNOWN him fully. Because, of course, Paul was a person just like us, and Jesus can’t be fully known. He’s bigger than our brains can fathom, more amazing than our biggest dreams.
But what if we, like Paul, spend our lives pursuing Him?
What will our lives look like if we spend them chasing after knowing Jesus? What if this was our one aim, our one life resolution? What would this world look like in 2018 if every true Christian stepped up and followed this beautiful mission?
Fast-forward to Philippians 3, just 2 verses later, and Paul says: “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead” (Phil 3:12-13). Here, our brother admits that he hadn’t yet attained the fullness of Christianity, but that he continued to press on. History shows us that he indeed pressed on until his last breath when he reached the finish line, and saw the one His heart chased face to face.
I want that in my life. No other goal compares to knowing Him. No other pursuit means anything unless that is first and foremost. It’s not bad to be motivated to have a better year or to set practical goals, but let it not be the main focus. It’s also not wrong to take an inventory of the last year. In fact, I think it is very profitable. Find out what worked and what didn’t. What were the expectations and how did things actually turn out? But after looking, I urge you not to stay stuck there. Look forward. Look to Jesus.
The truth is that none of us are promised a minute in the future. We don’t know when our clock will run out and it will all be gone.
God has given us another day, another door, and more opportunities to know who He is and who we are in light of that. Let’s not waste these precious moments.
Let this be your fresh start. Know Jesus. Press on. It will all be worth it in the end.
Happy New Year!