The Dancing Puritan

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Time to be Resolute



My wife and I have often lamented the rarity of young men who are focused, purposeful, and manly. Where are the manly men? Jonathan Edwards was manly, not because he could bench-press 300 pounds, but because he, as a young man, was resolute.

Are you resolute? Do you make resolutions?

When Edwards was 19 years old he penned 70 resolutions. He reviewed them throughout his life. However, the resolutions would have been without strength, if it were not for his preface.
Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake. 
Jonathan Edwards, in his preface, gives three keys to making resolutions. Follow these three principles and you will be on your way to becoming resolute.

1.  A sense of helplessness.  If you have made resolutions before, then you have also broken those resolutions The first key to keeping resolutions is to recognize that you have no independent power to keep resolutions.

2. Humility and prayer. Since have no independent ability to keep resolutions, then humble yourself and pray. Your inability should not be a point of ultimate discouragement, if it leads you to rely on God for help. Remember, God is omnipotent!

3. God's will. As you make your plans for 2014, submit yourself to God's will. It is good to humbly make plans. It is bad to make plans presumptuously.

Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit'--yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.' As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. James 4:13-17 

Now you have a simple way to make resolutions for 2014. When you fail to keep your resolutions, don't give up! Look to Christ, receive his grace, and start again. You are not trying to keep resolutions in order to gain God's favor. You are trying to be resolute because you are already loved by God (if you are a Christian).

Nourished in the Word Ministries (NITW) is the teaching and writing ministry of Ray Rhodes, Jr. The ministry of NITW is supported through the financial gifts of friends like you.  There are two ways to give.

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