Do you have “Resolution Power”?
Many people make new years resolutions only to forget or abandon them within days or weeks. Lose weight, stop smoking, save money, manage time better, manage money better. The apostle Paul had a pattern for making and keeping a resolution that lasted a lifetime. How did he do it? To find the answer we go to the third chapter of his letter to the believers at Philippi.
1. Paul surrendered everything to Christ. (vss. 7-9) He kept nothing back, recognizing that everything he was and had belonged to the God who created and saved him. 2. He filled his mind with Christ (vss. 10-11) and blocked out anything and everything that conflicted his thoughts against what God wants for us. He also accepted the suffering and ridicule that would come as a result of being a faithful follower of Christ, knowing that the Holy Spirit gave him the power to persevere.
3. He never thought he had arrived spiritually. (vss. 12-13a) If anyone could be proud of the heritage he came from, and what had been accomplished in his life, spiritually, it was Paul. He knew it was only the cross that he could brag about.
4. He let go of his failures in the past. (Vs. 13b) Recognizing that his sins were covered and paid for by the blood of Jesus, he didn’t offend God by thinking that Christ's sacrifice was insufficient to let him grow and serve the Lord. 5. He pressed on with all his might (vss 13c-14) and refused to let anyone or anything discourage or distract him from what he knew the Lord wanted him to do, regardless of the cost to him personally.
6.He looked for Christ’s return. (vss. 20-21) This is the biggest difference between the Christian belief system and that of the world – this is not all there is! God loves us in spite of our sin. Christ died for us to save us from the penalty of that sin. The Holy Spirit saves us from the power of sin. Then, our future in the presence of the Lord will save us from the very presence of sin!
So then, Paul’s resolution power was
actually resurrection power.
He was able to live up to it
because the power came from God.
“Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults,
with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake;
for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
II Cor. 12:10