Every new year marks the time of rethinking our lives, we give ourselves over to a new , brighter and determined future. 2018 must be better than 2017, sure, 11017 was good, but the future should always be better, and why not? In order to see to it, we commit ourselves to doing certain things, we are determined, we make New Year’s resolutions. Our life for the 365 days will be shaped by the very resolution we make.
We write them down, every day go to the page and speak that today will be the day we make it happen. Yet, in a week the resolution gets as cold as a Canadian winter and so it ends, like the winter. What happened? Why did we not stick to that resolution for the year or until it actually took place in our life? There are many and varied reasons that we fail at keeping that resolution, so before we look at them and see how we can be true to ourselves we must look at what we are doing.
First, what is a resolution? In its simplest form: its a firm decision to do or not to do something, or, the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter. It’s to be resolute, so look at the meaning of that word. Resolute: determined in character, action, or ideas, convinced; satisfied; sure.from Latin resolutus ‘loosened, released, paid’
Determined in character, what’s your character, are you determined to fulfill your own word. For making a resolution is to give your word to yourself. You have the idea, you’ve taken the action to fulfill it, you’ve convinced yourself it is possible and you are sure that it will be done therefore you will be satisfied with the result of what you resolved to do. That is what your resolution should be.
Look at James 5:12 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC) 12 But above all [things], my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath; but let your yes be [a simple] yes, and your no be [a simple] no, so that you may not sin and fall under condemnation.
Do you see the resolution here, if you make it, then that should settle it, you are fixed and cannot waver. Your resolution is an, oath, your word must be that you fulfill that oath. What happens if you don’t, well, it says here you fall into “sin” wow, a harsh word, sin of course means “to miss the mark” and when you fail at your resolution you have missed the mark. The result of missing the mark, James, says you fall into condemnation. What can be heavier than you condemning yourself.
Condemnation opens the door to so much more, we believe we have failed, therefore what good is it to try again. Condemnation pronounces us a guilty, therefore deserving the sentence of the condemned, the harshest sentence of a condemned person is the death sentence. Do not be fooled if the enemy can find a way into your heart he will what he can to destroy. That is his resolution and he is very determined to fulfill it. 1 Peter 5:8 King James Version (KJV) 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: John 10:10 King James Version (KJV) 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Your resolution should be to live that life that Christ says He came to give you here. We must define condemnation of self or the enemy which differs from the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Condemnation always leads to feelings of guilt which digs a deeper and ever deeper hole making it difficult to get out of. Conviction on the other hand bring us to repentance and forgiveness so we can be restored to peace and joy and return to God’s favor.
Condemned people become obsessed with the sentence of their failure, they begin to speak the sentence into their lives and of course we know the law of fulfillment, the spoken word will gain the desired result. They allow their ego to get in the way, look however at an acronym for the word EGO.
The guilty always eases God out of their lives believing that the condemnation comes from Him. Yet it is satan that condemns and God who convicts, conviction leads to life, condemnation leads to death.
Seriously,” aren’t you getting a little too heavy, its just a New Year’s resolution?” No, because this shows character, if we learn to speak and keep our word over this part of our life, we will do the same over all parts of our lives. There are stories after stories I could tell of how people fell greatly in their lives by becoming condemned by their own words.
The simple fact in life is that although most never feel that they are winners just having Jesus Christ in their lives as Lord and Savior makes them such. To possess Christ is to possess His knowledge, strength, abilities, compassions and most importantly His love.
It is condemnation, that will not allow us to feel like the winners at times, even when the Word declares us to be. Condemnation calls us a failure so we speak as one, conviction will form is into winners and most winners know they are winners. They rely on the facts and not on their feelings. Usually, when they win is when they’ve pressed themselves to a point where their feelings cannot shape their thoughts. When you rely on your feeling they will speak lies to you and cause your defeat. Feelings or emotions are not a good guide to use when evaluating your situation. They can change within seconds, you can’t pay your bills so you feel down, then a check comes in the mail and you feel excited and relieved, but feelings had no bearing on the result, Just as you felt in gaining the result.
So let’s examine the life cycle of being a winner and not living in condemnation. Joshua 1:6-9, King James Version (KJV) “6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. 7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.“
Here God is giving Joshua the keys to being a winner in Christ. First He tells Joshua to be strong. But where was he to gather strength from. Well verse 7 gives us the answer “the book of the law”. To be strong requires one to stay in the Word of God, to develop what they have been born with, born again that is. When you were born again, you were given the strength of Christ, to never use that strength is tantamount to living a weakly life. To be strong, is to be powerful, healthy, more than competent, abundantly supplied with something, solid, easy to defend, capable of exerting influence, tenacious, convincing, moving with a great force, it is to see the complete work of God protruding from you. However, there has never been a strong Christian who has never spent a great deal of time in the Word of God and in prayer. For this is where the power comes from. This is the strength of the winner.
The next thing God says to Joshua is to be ”very courageous.” That is not the same as being strong. To be courageous is to disregard what we may fear and to follow through on the direction given to us. Some time what may be required of us is not what we like or want to do, yet we listen and do it anyway. The courageous person knows regardless of how they feel it is the right thing to do. It is the quality of mind and spirit that enables one to meet the danger or opposition with fearlessness, calmness, and firmness. To be steadfastly minded, established and fortified in a direction of life.
Winners, must be strong, yet they also must be constant, that is why God says to be “very courageous”. We must set our course, and head only in that direction. The courageous are the ones who know that in the end they will win. Therefore, they think, talk and act as if they already have won. Here is when and why they make their resolution, for here they know that regardless of an attack, they will come through it as the winner.
“Be not afraid”. Fear will steal all ground gained and place the possessor in a position of lost instead of winning. Fear is Satans death trap, his strongest desire is to see you dead. If he can’t, then he wants to see you sick, defeated and fearful. Fear steals faith, paralyses courage and destroys strength.
For all these reasons Gods say, “be not afraid.” The Lord gives us great assurances.
- A) He is with us wherever we go.
- B) His Word is a suit of armor protecting from all the wiles of the devil.
- C) His Holy Spirit lives within and causes all fear to flee in terror from us.
Next, God says, “to be not dismayed.” To be dismayed is to; live in alarm, have anxiety, to have apprehension, to live in dread and trepidation, to disappoint, have discouragement, disillusionment, to dishearten, to dispirit, to intimidate. There can be no victory in such a life. In order to live upon this we must take comfort in the fact that everything that God says is so. Notice that all these are the opposite of the meaning of being resolute.
The key to prevent any form of dismay coming upon us is that we must be obedient to God, His leading, and His Word. Never has God brought disappointment to any of His children who truly followed after Him.
The next key to the life of victory or being a winner is to know that you cannot do it alone. Those who are loners can not see what surrounds them in all directions. You need the support of like minded persons. Not those who will tell you it can’t be done, you already know that. God only uses those who know they are limited. So if the victory is going to come it will have to be through the power of God. When we surround ourselves with others who do not agree with us, their constant negative chiding will place us in a position of weakness. Weaknesses are what Satan looks for to capitalize upon so that his weapons of destruction may work they’re worse. Judges 20:22. King James Version (KJV) “And the people the men of Israel encouraged themselves, and set their battle again in array in the place where they put themselves in array the first day.” Like minded people, encourage one another, they will not give up holding the place they begin from, on the first day.
Winners, must always exercise patience, without patience, no victory will ever will be possible. Psalms 27:14, King James Version (KJV) “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. “ Psalms 38:15 King James Version (KJV) “For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.” The victor knows that winning comes only through hope, not hope in the desired result but hope in God. Psalms 39:7 King James Version (KJV) “And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee. “
The victor knows to win, he or she must get familiar with the name of God, for it is through His name that all power and authority is given. Psalms 44:5 King James Version (KJV) “Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us. “
Know that once you are on the side of God that you are not your own any longer, you’re God’s and if you’re His he’ll look after His own. Psalms 100:3 King James Version (KJV) “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.“ When you are on God’s side, know that He is on yours, no need to worry or fear anything. Psalm 118:6 King James Version (KJV) “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?”
Finally believe. Every person who ever won anything believed that he could do it. Mark 9:23-24 King James Version (KJV) “ Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
Have The Winning Attitude
Before one could have a winning attitude one, one has to understand what is an attitude. An attitude is: an opinion, an outlook, your perspective, any stance taken, a viewpoint. It is what one uses to formulate a resolution. It is what you think based on the available facts, senses, emotions, and imaginations. In order to have a winning attitude, it would be necessary to control these attributes.
Look at these closer, remember we said they are facts, senses, emotions and imaginations or fiction. Fiction or imaginations are just what they say they are, an untruth or lie. Of these there is nothing that we can settle upon. They are ever changing according to the whims and wishes of the holder and his thoughts. Believable fiction is a lie, so attractive, that anyone would have faith in it. Yet it does not change the fact that it is still a lie.
Should one base their attitude upon their imagination or what is fiction? No, for if they do, they will develop a wrong or poor or even bad attitude toward our own opinion. If one makes a resolution based on this criteria it is sure to fail.
Emotions? Can our emotions be depended upon so that we may develop a right and true attitude? Again, the answer would have to be an unchangeable, no. Why not, because your emotions cannot be trusted by themselves. They are situational, therefore subject to change according to the circumstance that one would find themselves in. Emotions such as anger, envy, hate and sorrow will warp our viewpoint, and cause us to think only upon them. All emotions will blind us to what is beyond and restrict us to only what they want us to see.
Therefore, most if not all, emotions are lies from the point of view that they are restricted to only their way. If the emotion is temporal and consequently subject to change, could not an attitude developed by it, also, be subject to fluctuations. Should our attitude fluctuate it becomes evident that it cannot be depended upon.
Senses? We can readily accept that our senses are not scrutinized to assist us in our opinion formation. When is a rose not a rose? When it is in a can of deodorizer. We smell roses, yet they do not exist. We may only see a limited amount of persons in a room, therefore our senses say that the world is limited to what we can see, yet, we know that to be completely erroneous. We may hear music from a compact disc, but that does not mean that the band is near by. We may taste a peach in the center of a dessert, however, in reading the package ingredients, we find it say artificial flavoring and no peach was within. Our senses cannot be relied upon to help us develop our attitudes.
This leaves us with only one area that requires examination in developing the winning attitude. That area is, fact. What is a fact? It is an actuality, certainty, reality, or truth. It is exactly this that we need to use to develop our attitude upon. It is these that will cause us to ever have the winning attitude. We need but ask ourselves such questions as;
Is the situation I find myself in actuality what is happening or is there something beyond this that I cannot yet see?
A certainty is an absolute, is this circumstance absolutely without change?
What is the reality of what I am about to say, do, or think?
Is what I see, feel, think and hear the truth, and should I be examining something beyond this to know what the truth truly is?
Once we get a clear and definite answer then and only then can we develop an opinion on that situation and then we will have a winning attitude toward the circumstance. James 1:2-22 God always works from the inside out, Satan always works from the outside in.
James 1:2-22 King James Version (KJV) “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. 9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: 10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. 11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. 12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. 13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. 19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. “
Therefore our attitude is dependant upon the forces used to change you, but from inside, within the soul and spirit. Use the forces of Satan and your inside will be corrupt and twisted, so too, will be your attitude. Use the forces of the Word of God, and your inside will be right and true, so too, will your attitude. You are able to say “I can afford to have a closed mind, because I’m right.
James 1:2 King James Version (KJV) “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;” Joy then cannot be an emotion it must be something greater. It is a force called, blessedness which is “God’s divine favor on us”. We know that if God’s favor is upon us then our attitude toward our situation will be the same as what would God declare it to be. That should be a part of your resolution.
Temptations, testings and trials, all these will come to attack your attitude. When we lose our attitude, or lose the truth of the desired outcome, then it is at this time we either stand or fall into them. Notice that the verse says “when” you fall, so there is a possibility that we may not fall, and if we do then there is a way out.
“The trying of your faith”, not the destruction or downfall of your faith, just the trying of it. It may burdensome, demanding, exacting, arduous, difficult, strenuous, taxing or an uphill climb, but to be tried by something is not to be defeated and destroyed by it. The trying of your faith is the keeping of your attitude.
This why the verse says works patience, the word comes from the Greek word “hupomonê” which means to abide under. Under what? Under the joy of the Lord. In English patience means composure, forbearance, tolerance, diligence, persistence and stamina. Get the meaning, for to abide in something is to live in it. If we are to live in God’s divine favor then the trial, test or temptation cannot live there as well.
Notice too, that is not you that is on trial, it is your faith. Your faith in what, in what you are abiding in. If you are abiding in God then your life in God in on trial. God cannot fail so therefore neither can your faith. Your attitude is protected by your life in Christ and His Word. Is your resolution based on this life style?
Verse 4, To paraphrase “Let what you are abiding in have, complete and full control of your life so that you may become fully mature, growing in a life of prosperity, health, deliverance, that you become preserved for the work of the kingdom of God”.
Psalms 51:12, King James Version (KJV) “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit”. With joy and salvation restored in our heart, the gift of salvation would only naturally lead us to the right attitude.
The next area to examine in obtaining the winning attitude we find in verse 5 of James 1. Here it simply says that “if any lack wisdom “coming from the Greek word sophia” which means, the insight into the true nature of things. When we can’t see the full intent of the circumstance we are in, we lack wisdom. Then all we do is go to God, when asking for the full picture, we will be able to comprehend what is about to take place. We must “ask”, if we don’t, how then is the answer to come. If you live with someone, you will ask them to do something or ask them for something, what do they do? They give it to you or perform your request, well, the same holds true for those who live with Christ, He will do it for you, just ask. John 15:7 King James Version (KJV) “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
After we have asked we receive the instruction, then we must be obedient to the instruction. Many people do not obtain winning attitude because they disobey the instructions they were given to carry out, or they simply do not act upon those instructions. To be obedient is to stay focused on the instructions given. To be of one mind, heart and action. Romans 8:5-6 King James Version (KJV)” For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
We readily see that the disobedient are in no position to receive from God. In James1: 8 it says a double minded man is unstable in all his ways. What’s a double-minded man? A man two minds, the conscious mind and the subconscious. The conscious mind is what makes us aware of what is happening around us it makes use of the five senses, then derives or forms an attitude and an action based on what it assimilates. As we have already seen this may not be the correct action.
The subconscious mind is the mind of the spirit. It is what causes us to act without thought for has been proven to be factual and therefore something that is trustworthy. Being called by your name causes you to respond without thought. You don’t check to see if you are really you when someone speaks your name, you know it as fact. It’s within your spirit, it is correct, and that is just the way it is. It is unchangeable.
The double minded person is the person who attempts to place the things the senses show him in his spirit as fact. They are not proven, nor will they work, yet he depends completely upon them for the results that he needs. He wishes for the provision of both the world of the senses and the world of the spirit, when only one will bring the desired result.
Hebrews 10:35-39 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
If our resolution is to work and fulfill what we have spoken then we must have confidence. Confidence: trusting reliance, an assurance of the mind or firm belief in the integrity or stability of another, or in the truth and reality of a fact. Belief in ones owns competency. He or that which supports. Safety or assurance: security. Boldness, courage.
We learn the lesson given us in Hebrews 11:6 King James Version (KJV) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Here there is no option, here we find six things we must do.
- A) We must have faith.
- B) We must please God.
- C) We must come to God.
- D) We must believe that He is.
- E) We must believe in His reward system.
- F) We must diligently seek Him, (this means after the answer comes just as much as before).
We also harden our hearts by not taking up our residence in Him. c/f John 15:1-16 Phillips version. 500 people saw Jesus ascend into heaven, only 120 were left to experience the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. What happened, they cast away their confidence, they left from having fellowship with the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:1-6 King James Version (KJV) “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.”
So with a winning attitude we can go forth and formulate our resolution, we have sought God, heard from Him and given serious thought and contemplation to what that resolution will be, so we;
Write it down, then place the definition of resolute behind it. Habakkuk 2:2 King James Version (KJV) “And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” Isn’t a resolution nothing more than a vision, it absolutely is, so, write it down.
Make it easy, anything in faith is acquired by growth, take small step they will becomes large and many. Same with your resolution, apply faith to it keeping it easy to stay in faith.
Show self-compassion, compassion is defined as, to experience what another undergoes and having the power to change it. When he struggle comes have compassion upon yourself, turn the struggle over to God (you live with Him) because He has the power to change.
Stick with it, one study says it takes 21 days to form a habit, once it’s a habit it is easier to keep at it.
Keep track, then you know your victories, even small ones (which is what you’ll have mostly) help to keep you going in the correct direction. Faith keeps score, for we live from faith to faith. Proverbs 28:20A King James Version (KJV) “A faithful man shall abound with blessings:”
Accept no loopholes or short cuts, these lead to a weakening of faith and missing the goal of the resolution.
Remember why you made your resolution, the battles you have had, which were the reasons you made the resolution, read again and again the vision. Hebrews 10:32 King James Version (KJV) “But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;” And won!