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New Year’s resolutions more like riskolutions

Published 2:59pm Friday, January 13, 2012

1 The LORD said to Moses, 
2 “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.” 
3 So at the LORD’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites…

25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land. 
26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 
27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 
28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there…

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 
32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 
33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

Numbers 13 (selected verses)

New Year’s Resolutions- who ever invented them anyway? For most people, they are just another way to make grand promises that will not be kept.

Dear Diary,

This year, I promise that I will:

Journal everyday
Lose weight 
Stop smoking
Get in shape
Read my Bible and pray

Is that because we set our goals too high? Or could it be that we never really wanted to keep those promises in the first place? No matter, the point being that most New Year’s resolutions bite the dust inside a month.

The ancient Israelites had a New Year’s opportunity of sorts. God opened the way for them to take possession of the Promised Land and make His name great in the world. A once in a lifetime opportunity for a new start in a fresh land to grow a godly nation. Unfortunately, Israel made a different resolution:

That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them,

“If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”

And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” (Num 14:1-4)

To them, this “New Year” opportunity was too scary, too risky, and altogether impossible. So they resolved to stay in their little world and miss out on God’s amazing promised land.

Bottom line: God is not asking for resolutions, He wants “riskolutions”. Going into the Promised Land would be difficult and risky, but the results would be well worth the cost. Staying in the desert would be easier and safer, but the results would be zero impact for God’s glory.

I propose that you offer God not a New Year’s resolution, but a “riskolution”. Resolutions fade with time and are forgotten, riskolutions grow with God’s power and make an eternal impact. Take advantage of this New Year’s opportunity to offer your life as a living sacrifice to be used for His glory. Declare unashamedly to Him today that you will serve Him, even if there are giants in the Promised Land.

To play it safe with God is to be sorry in life.

1 The LORD said to Moses, 
2 “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.” 
3 So at the LORD’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites…

25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land. 
26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 
27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 
28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there…

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 
32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 
33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

Numbers 13 (selected verses)

New Year’s Resolutions- who ever invented them anyway? For most people, they are just another way to make grand promises that will not be kept.

Dear Diary,

This year, I promise that I will:

Journal everyday
Lose weight 
Stop smoking
Get in shape
Read my Bible and pray

Is that because we set our goals too high? Or could it be that we never really wanted to keep those promises in the first place? No matter, the point being that most New Year’s resolutions bite the dust inside a month.

The ancient Israelites had a New Year’s opportunity of sorts. God opened the way for them to take possession of the Promised Land and make His name great in the world. A once in a lifetime opportunity for a new start in a fresh land to grow a godly nation. Unfortunately, Israel made a different resolution:

That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them,

“If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”

And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” (Num 14:1-4)

To them, this “New Year” opportunity was too scary, too risky, and altogether impossible. So they resolved to stay in their little world and miss out on God’s amazing promised land.

Bottom line: God is not asking for resolutions, He wants “riskolutions”. Going into the Promised Land would be difficult and risky, but the results would be well worth the cost. Staying in the desert would be easier and safer, but the results would be zero impact for God’s glory.

I propose that you offer God not a New Year’s resolution, but a “riskolution”. Resolutions fade with time and are forgotten, riskolutions grow with God’s power and make an eternal impact. Take advantage of this New Year’s opportunity to offer your life as a living sacrifice to be used for His glory. Declare unashamedly to Him today that you will serve Him, even if there are giants in the Promised Land.

To play it safe with God is to be sorry in life.

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