Last year I closed out the year with an article on resolving to forgive in 2021. I’d be curious how we did with the resolution to forgive. For me, I continued to wrestle with hurt from someone that I said would never, ever betray me. It’s been a hurt that continued for several years, but God reminds me of what Jesus said as He was being crucified: “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
I was also reminded of the verse, “All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). In hindsight, I’m able to see that my hurt was used to move me back to Fort Lauderdale and serve Him through the mission of Live the Life South Florida. Had I not experienced it, I’d be living on the west coast of Florida today. Although the pain still surfaces occasionally, I no longer have any bitterness; sadness for the loss, but unforgiveness doesn’t hold me hostage.
I pray the same is true for you and the hurts you’ve encountered. If you continue to struggle with hurt and unforgiveness, I encourage you to read The Bait of Satan. It’s profound.
This year I want to encourage us to resolve to obey what we’re told and asked to do on behalf of serving Jesus. Many years ago, I decided to experiment to see if I could live one day without sinning. I looked ok on the outside but only made it through the morning before my thoughts revealed my sinfulness. I needed to embrace Jesus as my Lord and Saviour to be forgiven of sins. It wasn’t possible on my own. For 2022 I’m asking you to join in resolving to obey Jesus every day, with every activity, with every word, every encounter. For me, it’s another herculean lift, and I’ll need to abide in Jesus every moment.
1.Keep my quiet time with Jesus early in the morning before doing anything else, and no checking my emails or text, no dressing and getting ready for the day. My quiet time is getting ready for the day.
- Give Him thanks and praise for our blessings; name them.
- Read your Bible and ask Him what He wants you to glean from that Scripture for today. What’s the application for today? Choose a book and read a chapter a day.
- Tell Him about your schedule for the day and ask for His guidance and wisdom.
- Ask Him what he wants you to do today.
- Write it down in a journal.
Recognize God’s prompting
Begin your day; write the God instructions on your “to-do” list just like you would any other task. Ask Him to remind you to listen, look, and recognize promptings and opportunities to obey Him in word and deed daily.
I’ll share an example of a moment that I felt God prompting me to do something. I was having lunch with some friends in a restaurant over the holiday season. Of course, it was packed, and people were waiting to be seated. Our waitress was rude and grumpy in her responses. When I ordered, I asked that I have a separate check; there were six of us. Her manner, facial expression were sour throughout the lunch. Even the men at the table noticed how rude she behaved. When the check arrived, she didn’t divide it. When asked to separate the checks, her response was, “I’ll be back in 30 minutes.” We were all taken aback by her behavior, but I was reminded that something had probably happened in her day to make her so sour, and I felt prompted to leave her a larger gratuity. When she returned to the table, she looked at me, said my name, and said thank you. I nodded and smiled. I share that only for the purposes of an example. It was totally out of character for me. Many of you have probably done that and more on many occasions, but I had never done it. I just felt like God wanted me to do it, so I did. I was more blessed than she was.
- At the day’s end, write down your events, outcomes, and experiences for the day in the journal.
- Give thanks and sleep well.
This is a doing that comes before being disciplined. In the book, Lead Like Jesus, the authors state that the “doing” of abiding with Jesus allows us to better understand and know Him. The “doing” transforms us, thus enabling our “being” to develop and obey — the transformation of our being impacts every activity, every word, every encounter, every moment.
Resolve to Obey in 2022
Just like my need for Jesus to render me sinless, the same is true for obedience. We can’t keep our hearts fully obedient by sheer determination and will. It is only through time and commitment to Jesus that our will is transformed into willful obedience.
Will join me and share your stories along the way in 2022?
Live the Life South Florida exists to strengthen marriages and families through healthy relationship education, beginning in middle school through senior adults. We are educators, coaches, and pastoral counselors. If you’re looking for a clinical counselor or therapist, we are blessed to have many in the South Florida community. We’d be honored to provide you a list of highly qualified and reputable individuals. Visit livethelifesoflo.org