New Year 2018 Message: Don’t Be Deceived! New Year’s Resolutions Work And Here Is How!




Wow, congratulations! Thank God for making it to the new year of 2018 and, yes, some thing, oh no, I mean so many things should change about you. And you know what! That is God’s will as well; seriously, I don’t imagine God willing and wishing you to spend 2018 just as you did 2017 without climbing new heights. Yes, I don’t imagine Him doing that!
 
What have I said? I have said that God will it so you can explore new heights in 2018. But then if God wills so and you and I know that sometimes our new year’s resolutions don’t materialize, what exactly can explain that? I mean, what makes some of our new year’s resolutions fail to work out? And what can we do about it? Well, before I answer these questions, allow me take you back to 2014 when we, at The Complete You Ministry, started publishing the new year’s messages.

Have you visited our book store yet? Do it now here

A review of the past years: What had been our new year’s message?

In 2014, we published our first new year’s message and it was called finding life in bones! In that new year, we confessed the faith that God can actually work out our dry bones, broken relationships, businesses, and hearts and make life, I mean beautiful life out of it all. Centered on the famous chapter 37 of the book of Ezekiel, we were determined to find hope where there was no hope in the year of 2014. 

Yes, we wondered why God would ask Peter to drop the nets again in the same waters he had tried in vain the whole night! Yes, why would God seriously announce to Mary that she will have a child yet she was still virgin at the time? And seriously, how could Jesus expect the disciples to feed 5000 people with only a number of 2 fish and 5 breads only! It couldn’t add up.

And seriously, as I can see and proclaim, indeed that year was so amazing. Read the detailed 2014 new year’s message here.

When God ushered us into 2015, we, at The Complete You Ministry, published an article that was called Turning the new year’s resolutions into real successes! Yes, we believed (and we still do) that if we are to mine gold in hopeless places and see God raise life out of seriously dry bones and areas of our lives, we must have a work plan. That is when we came up with the plan entitled the success process

Yes, for everyone to achieve any objective in a new year like this, then there must be some plan, some strategy of mining the results. Seriously, what happened to me in 2015 was so amazing. Check out the detailed 2015 new year’s message here.

Oh dear, graciously, God allowed to us to see the new year of 2016, and still the complete you ministry released the new year’s message. This one was called Creating heaven in this crazy world; how do you find warmth in coldness? In this article, we begged God to help us see His care, love, and glory even amidst troubles and tribulations. 

We wanted to see how to utilize every situation for God’s glory. We needed to confirm and affirm that, yes, we can find opportunities in places others don’t see them. 

In this 2016 message, we recited the story of Elisha in 2 Kings chapter 6:8-23 where he saw heavenly army guarding and protecting him and his servant and yet the servant had seen nothing but only the army of the enemy surrounding them. Yes, the important question was or is; can you be able to get something good out every situation that life or God throws you in? And the answer is or should be yes. Read the full 2016 new year’s message here.

For 2017, it was still unique. Actually, we even released a video for the 2017 new year’s message; watch the video from here. In that short video, we confirmed and affirmed one motivational quote; in the years to come, we shall regret more the things we didn’t do than the things we did. In that message, we argued that the new year comes for us and it’s always another opportunity to do more and more. And yes, the real message was; go and do more and more, the year is here for you! Can you access the message here right now? Also, remember to watch the video here.

That is how The Complete You Ministry has been there publishing and delivering great new year’s messages for the past 4 years. Hope you will see the trend in our messages. And so the big question pops up; what is our 2018 new year’s message?

New Year’s Resolutions Work

Most writers and bloggers (I suppose you have met them or read them) continuously say that new year’s resolutions don’t work and so you probably don’t have to make some. But some bloggers or writer do more than saying that they don’t work and provide some deep insight into why they don’t and how we can make them work. Yes, Psychology today and Huffington post did that.

In one of their posts, psychology today claims that our new year’s resolutions don’t work because the things we want to do or change are built on our habits and self that possibly need scientific approach in resolving. Read their science of why the new year’s resolutions don’t work here. The same website tries to provide a remedy in their post called making the new year’s resolutions work for you

They are not alone. Huffington post makes a clear stand that the reason the new year’s resolutions don’t work is because we consciously make the resolutions without consulting and making agreement with our unconscious mind which inwardly wants to hold onto the status quo. Read this amazing article here. And yes, I wanna say they are not far from the truth. But still they don’t have the truth!

Here is why the new year’s resolutions don’t work and what to do about it!

In the book of Exodus chapter 33, a story is told about God’s anger and His people. God was tired of the stubbornness of the people and He threatened not to go with them to the promised land. Hear Him; tell the Israelites, you are stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you (Exodus 33:5). In other words, not to destroy you, I won’t go with you!

Moses (actually, all the people) understood the seriousness of God and the implications of such and so he (Moses) did the best thing; he beseeched God to go with them. Moses told God that the only thing that differentiates Israelites from others is the presence of God. Listen to him;

If your presence does not go with us, don’t send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all other people on the face of earth?” (Exodus 33:15-16).

It’s not Moses alone who realized that without God there is no conquering; it’s all men of God. Yes, the only reason things don’t work out is because we don’t invite God to participate with us in the new year’s resolutions. That is the only reason. From Adam to the present, God has always requested us to invite Him into our businesses and have His support in our plans. And throughout history, God’s people have succeeded or failed depending on how they played with this rule; God’s presence in our lives.

Inviting God’s presence and participation in your new year’s resolutions

We have learned that the sole reason our new year’s resolutions don’t work out is because we don’t invite God to participate with us in our plans. And so the immediate questions are; is this true? How about hard working, planning, and strategizing? How about having few or one resolution at a time? How about commitment and investing in the required time? And, lastly, how can I invite God and really have Him participate and make my new year’s resolutions possible?

First, we know that God is Almighty and Lord of everything. In other words, what He wants us to have, yes, we can have. The hard work, time, knowledge, investment, strategizing, and all sorts of our inputs are all provisions of grace. And therefore we should be able to proclaim with Paul; not I but Christ in me. 

That you work hard or implement the plans as we described in our 2015 new year’s message does not remove the gracious hand of God, it’s a confirmation of presence of God’s grace and favors for indeed there are so many more who do more and don’t achieve anything or fail to do anything at all no matter how much they would love too. In other words, being able to plan and implement such a plan is also a gracious provision from God.

The Position and value of God’s word and prayer in inviting God to participate in your new year’s resolutions

The bible is full of God’s command and advice; pray! Yes, Jesus clearly told us; ask, seek, and knock for whoever asks shall receive, seeks shall find, and knocks shall have the door opened for him (Matthew 7:7). Apostle Paul emphasizes; pray all times in the spirit, with all prayers and submissions (Ephesians 6:18). He again says; don’t be anxious about anything, but pray with thanksgiving and let your requests be known to God (Philippians 4:6). Yes, pray and make your requests known to God. That is the rule, the command.

How do prayers work?

Few days ago, I asked this same question to my Facebook friends, and their answers were so amazing! Some said that prayers work in the same way I predict Arsenal winning against Manchester. In other words, prayers are predictions; they work in our favor or not! Another one said that there is no way we can explain how prayers work; it’s God’s secret. And yet another confessed that prayers of righteous men work though he couldn’t tell how and why. He thus deducted saying; “I am (him) confused”. But then, how do prayers work, according to you?

Prayers work by means of God’s will!

The Bible says in 1 John 5:14 that “this is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us”. You may say; hearing us does not mean answering us or giving us what we asked for! And so I insist you go on and read the next verse; and if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him (1 John 5:16). Do you need any better explanation? Prayers, all prayers work by means of God’s will.

In other words, God is ready to provide for us, to answer all our requests as long as they fall into his will. In one of our earlier articles, we had said that prayers and disciplines of faith or Christianity don’t move God (He is already there) but move us towards Him. Listen to how our pastor put it on this December 31st 2017 overnight (at Kampala Baptist Church);

God does not change, we do. Praying in Spirit simply changes us to align ourselves with God’s already designed plan or provisions. God was there in 2016, 2017, and, He will definitely be there in 2018. He is not limited by time and years. But the question is; how prepared are you to walk with God in 2018? Actually, 2017 could have been hard for you, but, yes, 2018 could even be harder! The only difference is your walking with God.” (Paraphrased). 

Have you got the point? The point is that God answers our prayers if they are according to His will. We cannot make God provide and do things He wouldn’t do in the first place, but indeed we can have favors, blessings, and answers that God had determined or willed to bestow upon us through faithful prayers. And so we say; prayers work! They indeed work for through prayers we are positioned for God’s blessings. Listen to John Piper expound on this;

“The key to praying with power is to become the kind of persons who do not use God for our ends but are utterly devoted to being used for his ends” (When I don’t desire God, page 109).

What are we saying? We are saying that the surest way to have your new year’s resolutions work is inviting God to participate with you and enable every plan and action to materialize or come to pass. And the best way of carrying out this invitation is through prayer. But the question was; how do prayers work? The answer has come saying ‘prayers work by means of God’s will’. The next powerful and, probably, the last question is; how can we tell or know God’s will so that our prayers are actually in line with it?

Knowing God’s will

At The Complete You Ministry, we promised that we shall have a detailed article covering what God’s will is, knowing it, and how to do God’s will in our every day’s life choices and actions, but before we can accomplish that, let’s briefly look at how we can know God’s will.

Theologians agree that by the fact that God is infinite we cannot understand or know His will with our finite minds and understanding. However, still as agreed by theologians, God has (still according to His will) decided to reveal Himself to us. The Bible clearly says that whatever is beneficial or is relevant to our being and perfect relationship with God has been revealed except the unnecessary (to us) secrets of God (Deuteronomy 29:29).

The Bible confesses that God has revealed Himself to us through nature (the creation), prophets, history (and Providences in the day to day life), and even through the internal make up of man (especially the moral and rational aspect of human beings) [See Psalm 19 and Romans 1; Genesis 1:26).

The book of Hebrews chapter 1 emphasizes that God speaks to us today through His son, Jesus Christ. Indeed, Jesus was or is Immanuel which means or meant that God is with us. Whatever Jesus was and did was God’s way of speaking and revealing His plan or will to us.

But as we all know Jesus went back to heaven and left us with His Spirit who will explain to us His word. In other words, God speaks to us today through His son by use of the Holy Spirit through His word (the Bible).

The Bible is a living word, God speaking to us through His word. The Bible in Hebrews chapter 3:7 says; “So as the Holy Spirit says (not ‘said’ but ‘says’).....” Wait! Says what? Can you imagine the words quoted there had been spoken long time ago (see Psalm 95:7-11) and yet the writer of Hebrews emphasizes that actually the Spirit is speaking (present tense) by the same words? In other words, God (or the Spirit) speaks today through the word. Period. Yes, the only channel through which we can tell of God’s will for our lives is through His word (the Bible).

Let’s see what Jesus says about it; “If you abide in me (in his word), and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). 

Seriously, this is literal. Jesus is saying that we can have our requests met only if we abide in Him first (take care of his word first). Put another way; delight in the Lord and He will gratify your desires! (Psalm 37:4). Can you imagine that? God is saying; take delight in me (make me the whole purpose of your life, the center of your joy and pleasures, the only joy and pleasure for you) and I will take care of your desires!

And what is the logic behind? What desires!

The logic is simple; when we drown our lives in God’s word and allow the Spirit of God to communicate with us, we get familiar with God’s will (His tastes and preferences) and this later shapes our lives and prayers. Yes, we finally pray in line with God’s will. And that is the true secret of answered prayers. 

The Bible says; we are new in Christ Jesus, the past is gone and we have started afresh. Don’t you think the newness includes our tastes and preferences? (I mean, the things that we regard precious and meaningful in life also change and even the means of acquiring them). We are trying to be like Jesus both in mind (thoughts) and actions-sanctification. Maybe you still don’t get it, and so let John Piper help us again;

Delighting in the Lord—in the hallowing of his name and the seeking of his kingdom and the doing of his will—transforms all natural desires into God-related desires. That is what happens when the Word of Christ abides in us”.  

He continues; “Prayer is not for gratifying our natural desires. It is for gratifying our desires when those desires have been so purified and so saturated with Christ and his Word that they coincide with his plans. This happens more and more as the Word of Christ abides in us” (When I don’t desire God, page 109)

And he (John Piper) winds up with a great advice: If you ever longed for a life of deep and fruitful prayer, give yourself to the Word of God. Read it. Think about it. Memorize it. Be shaped by it.John Piper

Conclusion

There is so much that we can do to make our new year’s resolutions work and many of these tips have been covered in our other articles, but the only surest to achieve any of your new year’s resolutions is if God wills so. And you have already discovered how to unlock this secret; read and study God’s word and pray in Spirit.
God Bless You and Happy New Year 2018

The Complete You Ministry

Comments

My photo

Born from Uganda, Nemeyimana Vicent (Nemvicx) has become what people call, "coming from nothing to something". Professionally, he is both a nurse and public health officer and currently works with Mulago National Referral Hospital. In 2016, he wedded his wife and great sweetheart, Amulen Winfred (also a professional Midwife and counsellor). Besides their professions, Nemvicx is an inspirational writer, singer, motivational speaker, author of several digital books. He a theologian and blogger at www.nemvicx.com (The Complete You Ministry).

Contact them at thecompletey@gmail.com