There was a time in my life when I celebrated the blessing of a new year with a long list of resolutions. Why did I put all that pressure on myself? I missed so much of the joy of newness by overwhelming my efforts with unreasonable expectations. Things like getting back into the gym, traveling more, and learning a new language were just a few things on my list. They were admirable goals and aspirations, but by the end of the year, many of my resolutions had not materialized in the way I expected. This felt like failure to me, and that’s not a helpful outlook. The truth will always come to us when we demonstrate that we are ready to hear it. So, after years of doing resolutions with minimal results, I sat down with pen and paper in hand, and prepared to ask myself some brutally honest questions. I didn’t have all the answers, but I knew they would come. When they did, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Baby steps was the way to go, and I needed to pray and ask the Father for guidance about which ones to take.
One of my friends shared her New Year’s Resolutions List with me and preparing to meet her future husband was in the number one spot. I could be wrong, but I don’t think baby steps are anywhere on her radar. She wants to take a deep dive plunge, and my hunch is that many single women are right there with her. They are looking to meet their future husbands, but like my friend, they probably haven’t given a whole lot of thought to exactly what it will take to make this a reality. Our approach to resolutions is typically about what we can do externally. We rarely think about the mental, emotional, and most importantly, the spiritual practices required for change. There’s an old saying that you can’t get different results by doing the same things you’ve always done. No doubt most of us have heard this statement, but God says it best. He tells us in Ephesians 4:23(NIV), “be made new in the attitude of your minds.”
When it comes to preparing for newness of any kind, our minds are key. Before there can be a change in our hearts, there must be a change in our minds. We must always remember this because everyone that we encounter will either respond or not respond to us based on what’s in our hearts. In other words, if we haven’t changed the way we think, then we haven’t changed what’s operating in our hearts. Many women may have already crossed the path of their future husbands, but because the woman’s heart hasn’t changed, he does not respond to her in the way that he could. So, we have to address the condition of our hearts, and we need to do it through God’s guidance and direction.
In truth, the first place to prepare to receive a blessing from the Lord begins in our hearts. This is where resolutions take root. It’s where our blessings begin their journey to manifestation. Baby steps are the ones we take to find our best course of action to build our faith, so that our confessed desires can become a reality. These steps begin within, they start with our willingness to be guided by the Spirit.
Jesus Christ said in John 16:13(NLT), “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.” The Holy Spirit lives inside every born-again believer, and his occupation is to comfort, guide, and teach us the truth. He is going to give us information that is from Jesus Christ, and this information is beneficial for the purpose for which we were created. When it comes to your desires, hypothetically, it is possible that you wanted to be a Rocket Scientist. You may have held this desire throughout your youth, but after you finished nursing school, as an adult, you realized that being a Rocket Scientist was not your destiny. God’s Will for your life was to become a nurse, so that you could help those He ordained you to minister to. This is His call upon your life being fulfilled. As admirable as the profession maybe, you were led by the Spirit to become a nurse, not a Rocket Scientist. The Spirit led you according to the Will of God for your life, and you humbled yourself to be led. Resolution should work the very same way.
Resolutions represent ambitions and aspirations that are not yet realized. They are unrealized because we have surmised that they will require a more focused and consistent effort to transform from an idea to a reality. They will require more from us, Jesus Christ tells us this in Luke 12:48, where he said, “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” So, if we’re asking more of life, we should also be asking ourselves how to prepare for it, because it will require more from us. We will have to give and do more than we have in the past, and we must get our minds and hearts on board.
Some of us try to make our minds do things they are not designed to do. We try to make them change and expand without the spiritual mechanisms God designed to accomplish this. Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes from hearing and perceiving the Word of God. A spiritual transaction occurs when we hear God’s Word and believe it. Our minds change and our hearts swell. This is the way to spiritually make room for newness, and there is no other way to increase our faith.
Jesus Christ told us in Matthew 6:8 that God knows what we need before we ask for it. He knew our need before we even had a hint that we would desire it. Likewise, God knows our resolutions and the desires of our hearts, and He is calling us to attention. We are not to place all our focus on the resolution. Instead, our focus must be on God alone. He will guide you to the Word you need to hear to build your faith, so that you have great success.
There’s spiritual work that God has called us to. Reading our Bibles, praying and meditating, and talking often to Heavenly Father are essential to staying spiritually strong so we can be and do what He’s called us to become and get done. Our Lord and Savior tells us in Luke 16:10(MSG), “If you’re honest in small things, you’ll be honest in big things; If you’re a crook in small things, you’ll be a crook in big things. If you’re not honest in small jobs, who will put you in charge of the store?” From the words of Jesus Christ, we can confidently know that making baby steps can be a successful approach to sharpen our spiritual strength and increase our relationship with God.
Heavenly Father said in Isaiah 43:18-19(NLT), “But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” You are not in this thing alone. God is with you all the way. You don’t have to take big steps to achieve big results. God takes care of the big steps. So, this year, resolve to be as humble before Heavenly Father as you possibly can. Submit to Him, and if you follow wherever the Spirit leads, there’s no pressure and you will not be disappointed. ■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“Baby Steps Will Yield Big Results”, written for findchristianman.wordpress.com. Copyright©2022. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.