Devotionals

12 Life-Changing Resolutions for Spirit-Led Believers

Can we make deliberate Bible-inspired decisions that will cause us to experience a higher quality of life? The answer is a resounding yes! That is the message of the book from which this article is excerpted.

This theme is especially designed to equip you with an attitude and an outlook to help you appropriate the fullness of God's provision for you. It will open the way to God's blessings for the rest of your life, beginning with the months that lie just ahead. You see, so much depends on these two factors—your attitude and your outlook—as you move into all God has planned for you.

Why Make Resolutions?

If you think about this from the perspective of beginning a new year—traditionally associated with making resolutions—then you will see what I mean. When I was a boy growing up, making resolutions was a common practice (though it may not be quite so fashionable today). At the end of the old year, most people would decide to make good changes in their lives for the coming new year. At the same time, they would usually be laughing at themselves, knowing all too well that their resolutions would not last very long. Even so, I do believe that on a regular basis (whether in January of each new year or any other time) it is appropriate to make resolutions or to reaffirm those that were previously made.

You see, resolutions determine our attitude. Our attitude, in turn, determines our approach to any situation. And our approach to any situation determines the outcome. Let me restate that sequence:

  • Resolutions determine attitude.
  • Attitude determines approach.
  • Approach determines the outcome.

The way you approach a new year (wherever that falls on the calendar) ultimately will determine the outcome of that year in your life. A wrong approach will lead to an unfavorable outcome. A right approach in response to God will lead to a successful outcome. Your approach is decisive. And your approach depends ultimately on the resolutions you choose to follow.

Twelve "Let Us" Keys

The New Testament book of Hebrews provides us with important statements that can show us the way to successful outcomes, no matter what situations we are facing. They stand out because each is introduced by the phrase "Let us." I have gone carefully through this letter to Hebrew believers in the original language (which is Greek), and I have discovered there are precisely 12 such "Let us" sentences to be found there. These "Let us" sentences constitute 12 good resolutions—or, as I prefer to call them, "Twelve Keys to a Successful Year." We could broaden that to say: "Twelve Keys to a Successful Life."

These keys are listed below in the order in which they occur in the epistle to the Hebrews. This will give you an overall view of the material we will cover in the book. (The first one is surprising. You probably would never have guessed it, and you might be surprised by how we develop it later.)

  • Key #1: Let us fear
  • Key #2: Let us be diligent
  • Key #3: Let us hold fast our confession
  • Key #4: Let us draw near to the throne of grace
  • Key #5: Let us press on to maturity
  • Key #6: Let us draw near to the Most Holy Place
  • Key #7: Let us hold fast our confession without wavering
  • Key #8: Let us consider one another
  • Key #9: Let us run with endurance the race set before us
  • Key #10: Let us show gratitude
  • Key #11: Let us go out to Him
  • Key #12: Let us offer up a sacrifice of praise

There are a couple of interesting points in this list. Two of these keys begin with Let us draw near. The first of those says, "Let us draw near to the throne of grace"; the second says, "Let us draw near to the Most Holy Place." Also, you will notice that "Let us hold fast our confession" occurs twice. But the second time, a significant phrase is added: "Let us hold fast our confession without wavering." We will look at these and many other specific points in the chapters that follow.

"Let Us . . ."

I want to dwell for a moment here on the significance of the phrase used at the beginning of each key: Let us. This phrase gives us two specific concepts. First of all, it denotes a resolution, as I have already stated. Second, we take note that the resolution is in the plural. It is never "Let me" or "I will." It is always "Let us."

This indicates not merely that we need to make certain resolutions, but also that we have the most benefit when believers make them together. I think that the Holy Spirit is emphasizing this in a special way to God's people at this time in world history. We are not independent, autonomous units—each of us making it through life on his or her own, regardless of our fellow believers. To the contrary—in a very real sense, we are dependent on one another. If we are going to make it through to the fulfillment of God's purposes, we are going to have to do it together. We will never do it separately as individuals.

In Ephesians 4, Paul is talking about the ministries that the Lord has set in His church for various basic purposes, such as the building up of the body of Christ, the maturing (or perfecting) of the saints, and so on. In verse 13, Paul sums up the purposes of these ministries: "Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ" (1984).

In the same connection, with reference to Jesus Christ, Paul says in verse 16: "From him [Christ] the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work" (1984).

Please notice that the emphasis in both those verses is on the collective rather than the individual. Speaking about unity, the full knowledge of the Son of God, and maturity, Paul uses the words "we all": "Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God. Until we all become mature. Until we all attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." The implication is clear: We are not going to do this on our own; we are dependent upon our fellow believers. For all of us, the resolutions we make are not just individualistic, self-centered steps concerning what I am going to do this year. Instead, they are decisions that affect our fellow believers: Let us.

We see this principle clearly in the 16th verse, where Paul points out how much we are dependent upon one another. The "whole body" is a unit, joined together by "every supporting ligament." It only "grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."

In the natural human body, if one part malfunctions it almost inevitably affects other parts. If, for instance, the liver fails, other main areas and systems of the human body will fail as well. All those other areas and systems, therefore, are dependent on the liver. In the same way, we as Christians are dependent upon one another.

As we embrace these keys to successful living, all of us as believers can grow into fullness, strengthening ourselves and one another.

Derek Prince (1915-2003) gained worldwide recognition as one of the most gifted Bible teachers of the 20th century and was the author of many books, including Keys to Being Successful (Chosen), from which this article is adapted. His simple yet thorough approach made his teaching equally relevant and helpful to people from all racial and religious backgrounds. Best-selling author Stephen Mansfield included new details from his life in the book Derek Prince, A Biography: Father, Statesman, Teacher, and Leader (Charisma House).

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