New Years Resolutions. Most of us make them, some of us mock them. Either way, chances are on February 1st both groups will be in the same place they were on December 31st.
Every year I feel the cultural pressure of whether to make any resolutions, and this year I am making one.* It’s not to get in shape, although I need to. It’s not to read my bible more and pray more, although I need to do those also. It’s not to read more books, although I would like to do that as well. It’s not to be a better husband, better father, better pastor, better friend, better neighbor, better Christian or better writer. Although I want all those things to be true.
Resolved… To Know Jesus More Fully
I am absolutely convinced by scripture and by my life that the only way for us to truly grow into the fullness of who we are, to experience human flourishing, is to lay hold of knowing Jesus more fully. So that’s my resolution this year, ‘To Know Jesus More Fully’. It’s not a New Years Resolution #JesusJuke where I slyly mock other peoples resolutions. And it’s not an attempt to be the ‘super-spiritual’ guy. It’s actually just an honest longing in my heart that’s been placed there by the Spirit of God who dwells within.**
It’s the same Spirit that works in the Apostle Paul when he writes in Philippians 3 that he ‘counts everything else as loss compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus’. Paul’s desire is that he 1) might know Jesus and 2) the power of His resurrection. Both of those give me great hope.
Resolutions & Resurrection Power
So if my resolution is to know Jesus more fully, shouldn’t my resolution really be to read my bible more? What about all the other things I need to work on? My weight? My blog? My being a better husband, father, pastor, friend, neighbor, Christian and writer?
Nope, none of those will be placed first. This year I am going to join Paul in committing to know Jesus more fully. And I will trust that the Spirit who dwells within me will empower that desire with the same strength that resurrected Jesus from the grave.
And because Jesus has much to teach me about Himself, I will seek to know Him more fully in the scriptures, through prayer, as a husband, a father, a pastor, a friend, a neighbor, a Christian and as a writer. I will seek to know him more fully in how I eat and care for my body. And I trust that the Spirit will find joy as I seek to know Jesus more fully in other areas of my life, and that those areas will begin to flourish as well.
You might say, ‘That’s just semantics Jacob. You’re really gonna work on those things.’ Nope. I’m not. I just want to know Jesus (and the power of His resurrection) more fully this year. I’m gonna let Jesus and the Spirit work on the other things.
Closing Note: This post is not a sideswipe against other resolutions. God draws us to Himself in common ways and in personal ways.
* Technically I started mine early. I figure if you are that compelled to make the resolution, then just start it the moment you come to that conclusion. If you need to make the change, why wait?
** In John 14 Jesus says that he gives us The Helper (the Holy Spirit) who will bring Jesus to remembrance. Jesus says the Spirit loves to remind us of Jesus, how awesome is that.