This is a good time of year for change. January offers a clean slate and a fresh start. But eventually , we all come to realize, even with our best intentions, there are some things time alone cannot change. In fact for those of us grappling with the subtle and sometimes awfully blatant effects of aging, time is only making things worse!
So what is a “resolution maker” to do, to avoid becoming a cliche? Or worse, genuinely giving up on something God gave them to do?
What we need is more than a change in the calendar. e need some perspective. We need a cheering section.
I’m not talking about Jesus in Heaven with pom poms, although He is our head cheerleader. Hebrews 12:1 says “.. we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses… .” We know from Hebrews 11 that the great cloud of witnesses contains the heroes of faith throughout the Old Testament, and early Church. I would venture there are more than faith heros in our cheer squad. In the same chapter in Hebrews the scripture says:
“You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel” (Hebrews 12:22b-24)
Imagine that bunch shouting your name! Add to that the Holy Spirit, and the entire WORD of God, and you have quite a posse at your back. I imagine them like the ghost council appearing to Luke at the end of Return of the Jedi.
But we haven’t even gotten to the most incredible part. Hebrews 12:1 tells us “therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.”
This great and enormous cloud of witnesses is not there for ego-tripping. They are testifying to you, about you, and for you, that whatever is hindering, delaying, obstructing, opposing, resisting, and is unnecessary for forward progress can be THROWN OFF. The sin that “easily besets” or entangles us – throw it off. That is a different perspective. Resolutions give us an idea of ourselves standing firmly, dare I say resolutely, in the face of those very hindrances and sins and conquering them. Hebrews says “just throw them away and keep going.” Like the marathon runner tossing aside an empty paper cup. There is no showdown, at least not one we need be apart of. Jesus died on the cross, and shouted “finished” and that I think covered it. Then, in what might be considered a divine, eternal, and cosmic “mic drop,” he rose from the dead defeating death itself.
If we want 2016 to be different than 2015, 2014, 2013, etc., we cannot approach it “mano a mano.” We have to roll deep. In fact the scriptures encourage us “run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Let’s listen for the cheers of this great crowd of witnesses this year! We don’t need keep dragging those things with you. Throw them off, and run!