I love the start of a new year. A blank slate. A blank calendar. A year of hope ahead. Redemption.
Then there is the pressure of forming New Year’s Resolutions. As January 2017 approached, I desired for this year to be different. Why are resolutions so hard to keep?
According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 36 percent of resolution-makers give up by the end of January. Ouch.
Webster’s Dictionary defines “resolution” as the act or process of resolving: a : the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones b : the act of answering : solving c : the act of determining.
I propose a bolder approach.
Instead of forming resolutions, let’s consider life revelations. What’s the difference?
A revelation comes from God. A resolution comes straight from us. No wonder my resolutions often fail because they come from my flesh, not necessarily from listening to God.
Let’s start a revolution for the new year.
The minor prophet Habakkuk was in tuned to listening to God. Let’s look at how we can relate Habakkuk with our New Year’s revelations today. We can change our resolutions to revelations.
In Habakkuk 1 he cried out to God. I love his authenticity, his raw emotion with the Lord.
“’How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?…Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong?’”
The Lord listens and answers Habakkuk with a wonderful response.
“Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.”
Habakkuk continues to complain and ends it with a declaration:
“I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. “ Habakkuk 2:1
‘Then the Lord replied: ‘Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. Habakkuk 2:2
That’s one of my favorite leadership verses in the Bible.
The main revelation revolution lessons we can learn from Habakkuk are to:
1)Humble ourselves, pray and cry out to God. Even it seemed like complaining, Habakkuk was totally real when he told God exactly how he felt and asked God questions. God has big shoulders and can handle our big problems, our dreams, our desires. God listens and answers in His way, in His timing.
2) Strategize and write your revelation and plans on paper. Make them succinct enough that you (or anyone else) can understand them. I would encourage you to post them in your home so that you can refer to them often.
3) Be patient, work, and wait as God continues to work in your life on you and making your revelations come to fruition. God’s timing is perfect. He is never too early and never too late.
May Habakkuk’s story inspire us to start a revolution of New Year’s Revelations.
Happy New Year, friend. The best is yet to come.
What revelation is God revealing to you?
Reprinted from the Charleston Mercury “Carolina Compass” Paperzine, January 2017 edition.