Now that 1994 has arrived, most folks we know will be thinking about their resolutions for the new year. Perhaps some are determined to be more efficient at their job; others, to show more kindness and tolerance at home. There are some who want to sharpen up their parenting skills or make a real effort to be friendly to the neighbors. Many will begin exercise programs this January, and almost all are really going to stick to a diet.
Christians are not exempt from this kind of self–help trap. This year they may be resolved to read their Bibles more, improve their prayer life, join a fellowship group, or get more involved at church–all these in an attempt to "improve their conscious contact with God" as step eleven of the 12 Steps says.
But, we born–again believers live by grace, not works. It is wonderful to know, as Norman Grubb has titled a chapter in Who Am I?, that the self cannot be improved! And as Christ said, "apart from me you can do nothing." What folly to try to get better when we don’t have a self that can do anything at all aside from contain the One who is what we have longed to be. Then by faith–believing–we know it is He living through and as us–doing what He wants to do and going where He wants to go. Anything less is sin, because anything not of faith (believing who we are) is sin.
So, making resolutions sounds foolish to our ears, rather like trying to convince ourselves that our names are who we are. We just are who we are — Mary, John, or Sam. And we just are Christ living in our particular forms. God has given us only one job–to believe it.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 10 No 1
- Romans Six to Eight, Part Three
- Editor’s Note
- Autumn England Conference
- Our Mission and Identity
- Moments with Meryl
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- A Look at a Book
- Questions & Answers
- The Working of Soul and Spirit–Temptation and Sin
- The Nuts and Bolts of Living
- My Story
- To Think About
- Powerless Over Alcohol and Life: Step 12
- The Mailbox
- The Real Thing
- Words to Live By