Research done at the University of Scranton suggests that just 8 percent of people achieve their New Year's goals. I choose to do something much more effective than a New Year's resolution.
For many years, on Jan. 1, my practice has been to simply journal and ask the Lord what He wants me to focus on and master over the coming year. He tells me, and I focus on it, letting His Spirit guide and empower me as I master the area in the following months. Since I am a teacher with a passion to pass on to others practical steps to achieve spiritual realities, a how-to book will usually be the result of the year's growth.
4 Keys to Making New Year's Resolutions Successful
- It is the Lord who gives the topic to explore for the year, not myself. He says, "My rhemas are spirit and life; the flesh accomplishes nothing" (John 6:63). This helps us understand why a New Year's resolution made in the flesh will fail.
- I stay tuned to the flow of the Holy Spirit as I pursue mastery in the area (John 5:30; 7:37-39). This allows me to receive words of wisdom and words of knowledge which focus my activities.
- I have challenges, not problems. I refuse problems, which are effort coupled with negative thinking which says, "This problem blocks me so I cannot succeed." Instead I have challenges that have only one possible result: They are overcome. In Christ, this battle is already won (1 Cor. 15:57). This victory is assured!
- I speak life over myself. God's rhema is spoken as my present tense, current reality (Mark 11:22-24). I am not trying to become something. By His stripes I am healed (Isa. 53:5). God has given me to power to create wealth (Deut. 8:18).
Some Examples of Covenant Promises Being Realized
God's covenant blessings touch every area of our lives (Deut. 28:1-14). Here is a listing of 12 divine exchanges Jesus provided for all of us. Review the list and see if He gives you a focus of one of these 12 for the next year. Tune to flow and journal out what He is speaking to you.
Health: I just finished two years of focus on maximizing my health, and once again I am experiencing wonderfully improved health.
Finances: During the last two months, God has led my son and me to a couple of conferences which have re-awakened in us the dream He gave us over 30 years ago to achieve personal financial abundance through two different activities.
Sticking with it: We stay with a challenge until mastery is achieved. Normally it is 12 months. We stay with it until we are living the reality. A truth is mine when I am walking in it. That is when I know the truth. If it takes two years, that is fine. No need to rush. Head knowledge is not knowing truth. Knowing truth is a transformed life that is manifesting His Kingdom promises.
Edison did 6000 experiments with the light bulb before perfecting it. He won! I choose to also win. I am not going to try three things, and say, "It doesn't work for me." I am pressing in until I have the victory.
I will seek out counsel from proven trainers who are living in victory in the area I am pursuing. They must be living models of the lifestyle and able to teach the necessary steps to achieving that lifestyle. If they are not living it, they cannot teach me how to live it.
I also invest in the best tools available to speed me along the way. I am willing to spend money for both great coaches and great tools. It is an investment into the victory that lies before me.
I live daily tuned to flow, honoring the counsel and guidance of God through my nightly dreams and my daily journaling. I know that whatever I go to sleep meditating on, my heart will work on all night, providing wise solutions through my dreams and my journaling the following morning when I awaken. So I purpose to fill my mind at the close of the day with ideas and questions concerning the issue I am seeking wisdom and mastery on. I often will awaken in the middle of the night with revelation. I get up and record it on my computer so I can explore it later in greater depth. Nighttime dreams and morning journaling are wonderful times of revelation helping me master an area God has placed before me. This makes my morning devotional exciting, life-giving, constantly changing encounters with the Lord. Journaling about health or finances is as spiritual as journaling through a book of the Bible.
One of the ways Edison tapped into the creativity of his heart was to hold marbles in his hand as he rested and meditated. As he drifted off into a nap, the marbles would fall from his hands, and he would awaken with new insights which he would try out.
I love tapping into God's creative flow from my heart. Through it, I access words of knowledge and words of wisdom which spur me on to success. You can do this, too. Keep it easy. Put a smile on your face so you don't start grunting and disrupting His creative flow within you.
Let the church be the most creative entity in the world, as we release the creativity of God which solves mankind's problems and serves them effectively.
Mark Virkler, Ph.D., has authored more than 50 books in the areas of hearing God's voice and spiritual growth. He is the founder of Communion With God Ministries and Christian Leadership University (cluonline.com), where the voice of God is at the center of every learning experience. Mark has taught on developing intimacy with God and spiritual healing for 30-plus years on six continents. The message has been translated into over 40 languages, and he has helped to establish more than 250 church-centered Bible schools around the world.
This article originally appeared at cwgministries.org.
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