“Incline your ear to my sayings…for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:20-23, KJV)
So, what is/are your resolution(s) for the New Year? According to the experts, most resolutions are broken within the first week of the New Year, yet despite the futility, some of us start the year committing to changes we hope to carry out during the year. I would guess that most of the desired changes are behavioral and are perhaps things that we have struggled with from time to time, and in some cases, perhaps for a very long time. It could be that we have made the same resolution before and failed despite our best efforts, so we start this year with a new resolve.
For individuals desiring lasting change, our reference text seems rather appropriate for the start of 2007. What better resolution to make than to incline our ears to the sayings of our God? The Holy Spirit directed Solomon to record that these sayings are “life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.” and seeing all of our actions, thoughts, and all the issues of life springs from our heart, we are also admonished to keep our heart “with all diligence”. Two great resolutions, 1) Incline your ear to my sayings, and 2) Keep your heart with all diligence! I would imagine that if we can do both things, most of the times, if not all of the times, we would be in good shape towards becoming the kind of persons we were intended to be.
In my own experience, my resolutions are made daily as I strive with each passing day to be as God intended. I find daily is necessary given all the various challenges we experience in our individual lives. I find it absolutely necessary to remind myself of the Lord’s sayings as in a somewhat cold and unforgiving world they provide me with the inner peace that so many people are looking for. They cause me not to worry but to think of God’s sovereignty over all things, while reminding me that regardless of my outside circumstances, as long as I remain under His care, I am in good hands.
So my New Year starts the same way the old ended, and that is with the resolve to incline my ears unto even more of His sayings. Most of us who have tried to walk in our own way from time to time can profess to the fact that at the end of the day we are sometimes rudely reminded that there really is no other way but His way. That His way is best, and if we hope to rest in the comfort of His care, we have to surrender our own desires, plans, and methods under the Lordship of Christ and allow Him to have His own way.
There are some sayings that I have found extremely helpful in keeping not only my heart with diligence, but also my mind, and I share these below with readers in the hope that these verses will serve as the foundation for a very successful 2007. I have framed these sayings and put them in a spot where I can see and be reminded of them all the time. Please feel free to do likewise.
* Be (anxious) for nothing; but by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your request be made known unto God, And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
* If ye abide in me and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
* And it shall come to pass, that before (you) call I will answer, and while (you) are yet speaking, I will hear.
* …. For verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as small as a mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
* Is anything too hard for the Lord?
* …. As truly as I live saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you.
* …. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
(Philippians 4: 6,7, John 15:7, Isaiah 65:24, Matthew. 17:20, Genesis 18:14a, Numbers 14:28, 1 Corinthians 2:9)
To you and yours, God’s very best for a wonderful 2007.