Friday, February 8, 2019

Resolve to Resist

Have you resolved to resist anything? Scripture has some great suggestions along those lines, like resist the devil in faith and he will flee from you. Yes, that is important, yet I prefer the positive approach of resolving to do something like resist.  Let’s see what God has to say about that.

Resolve, determine, decide, intend, set or how about hell-bound? To resolve is a mind set that strongly determines to do something. Like Jonah or Gideon you can resolve to go the opposite way that God intends. Does that resonate with you? If you are doing it on your own like the great “John Wayne” theory or independence and strength then you are probably going the opposite way that God desires for you. Some of you may be saying, “I’ll punch you in the face.” Perhaps you learned that in grade school or from Donald Trump, even though I support his presidency. Take your pick, they are both wrong and can cause you to have a miserable life. You see being outside God’s will is a resolution to disaster. Being in God’s will does not make all the problems disappear; it makes them have a positive and life changing purpose.

Daniel was a man who was resolved to do what God wanted. He sought Him continually in prayer, a habit that brought him the Prime Minister position and the wrath of other men as well. Yes, following God is outside the norm. “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself”  (Daniel 1:8). He chose intentionally not to eat and drink the king’s menu, but instead God’s diet and he prospered. The psalmist David also set his mind saying, “Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing. I have resolved that my mouth will not sin”  (Psalm 17:3). David was the only man “after God’s own heart, he will do everything I want him to do” (Acts 13:22). Wow, now there is a king, however we know that he was also a great sinner who confessed to God.  His heart points us to Jesus.

The Apostle Paul was another man who set his mind on things above. “For I have resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). In Romans 8:5 he says, “but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what pleases the Spirit.”  Here was a man who knew that he could only do things through Christ who strengthened him. He also knew that, “His power is made perfect in my weakness”  (2 Corinthians 12:9).

So there are three great examples from the Bible of strongly resolved individuals who followed the Lord. These men in other Scriptures identified “One thing” that they would do and it was always seeking and worshiping the Lord. I think we have great examples or models there, But the greatest is Christ who always did what the Father asked. David and Paul did not always do what the Father wanted. Only Jesus Christ was without sin and was the only model for us to follow. So what must we “resolve” to do and “resist” with God’s help and power through His Holy Spirit?

·      I resolve not to sin by grumbling and complaining (1 Corinthians 10:10, 1 Peter 4:9).
·      I resolve not to sin by comparing myself to others (2 Corinthians 10:12).
·      I resolve not to sin by criticizing others (2 Corinthians 8:20).
·      I resolve to be at peace with others, as much as it depends upon me (Romans 12:18).
·      I resolve to resist the devil (1 Peter 5:8).
·      I resolve to stand firm and be alert (1 Peter 5:8).
·      I resolve to follow Jesus, no turning back (John 12:26, Matthew 4:9).

Well, there is a good start. I resolve today to spend time in God’s Word and prayer so that I will not sin against Him and will have the strength to follow Him. How about you?

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