Summary: The ideal New Year Resolution
New Year resolutions
This is the time of the year when the air is abuzz with New Year resolutions. A closer scrutiny of the NY resolutions would reveal that they are of 2 kinds. The NEGATIVELY positively ones’ and the POSITIVELY positive ones’! While the former NYRs’ would begin with something like this… I WILL NOT indulge in… the latter would sound like… From now on, I WILL DO GOOD…. While both types’ of resolutions are good in themselves, I would recommend an ideal blend of the two (read till the last, remember in God’s realm the best is always reserved for the last –John 2:10)!
At this stage, before taking even a proverbial step forward let me turn your attention to a Biblical verse which best sums up the entire God-man relationship…the way it was designed to be right from the very beginning “So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ’Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty” (Zech 4:6).
Firstly, the historical background to this verse. At a time leadership of the Nation of Israel and the Nation of Israel as a whole were going through a period of great discouragement (Ezra 4-6) with seemingly mountain-like obstacles hindering their precious temple reconstruction project, come these reassuring, reenergizing words of the Lord spoken through Zechariah the Prophet, which doubtless would have reinvigorated their sunken spirits. History bears witness to the fact that these words had the desired effect on the demoralized lot, for the temple reconstruction project which had hit some roadblocks till then was not only re-started with redoubled vigor but also completed in due time with joyous singing (Ezra 6:15)!
Jewish history aside…was not man made to depend on the Almighty God at all times? Consider a few verses beginning with the Book of Genesis (we need to get “back to basics” to understand some truths) and the truth would become clear as a crystal.
“And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food…” – Genesis 2:9
And now examine this verse in the light of supplication portion of the prayer (that has come to be hallowed as the Lord’s Prayer) which Christ our Lord taught His disciples
“Give us day by day our daily bread.” –Luke 11:3 (KJV)
Omnipotent God could have easily created man (without stomach) or for that matter even the entire Botanical and the Zoological kingdom without need for food but in His sovereign wisdom, God has so fashioned His creation that it cannot survive for long without food, which He (Jehovah Jireh-God the provider- in Hebrew language) so graciously provides. Now if we were to pose a question at this stage …”Which is greater, food which gives strength to man or MIGHTY GOD WHO ACTUALLY CREATES AND MAKES IT AVAILABLE”…the answer would be obvious!
Also now, let us focus at yet another key verse from the Book of Genesis
“And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." –Genesis 2:16-17
and we would see the dos’ and the DON’T spelled out to our great grandparents in oh-so-clear terms. By abstaining from the forbidden fruit, what would Adam and Eve demonstrate? Their humble dependence on their Creator’s power to say NO to whatever urges that would come to partake of the forbidden. Sadly our first parents were outwitted by a clever adversary who engaged them in a conversation in such a crafty way that it BROUGHT THEM OUT OF REALM OF GOD-DEPENDANCE. Throughout the temptation scene as it unfolds in Genesis 3:1-7, we see them using their OWN INTELLECT (read their own strength) in trying to ward off the temptation with tragic effect.
While first Adam fell tragically, what about FINAL ADAM our Lord (Romans 5:12-21…Boy, the first temptation he faced was also FOOD-RELATED)? After 40 days of fasting in the wilderness (Matt 4:1-4), with mortal flesh craving for a morsel of food, when Satan tempted Him, he used GOD’S WORD (Deuteronomy 8:3) to counter Satan and not his own intellect. Permit me to shout OUT A TRUTH from roof tops nay MOUNTAINTOPS at this stage, which those with Tiger Wood’s like woes’ would do well to pay heed “GREATER ISSUE THAN THE TEMPTATION ITSELF, IS THE ISSUE OF WHETHER YOU ARE FACING IT WITH YOUR OWN FALLIBLE STRENGTH OR WITH THE INEXHAUSTIBLE STRENTH OF THE ALMIGHTY GOD”! Our crafty foe whose subtle moves, we need to be aware of (2 Cor 2:11) would want us to face the temptations in our own strength, because it inevitably guarantees a fall! What would he not do to maneuver the entire temptation process in such a way that we step out of our God-dependence “solid ground” into a “quicksand” of our self-suffiency!