A New Year's Revelation

Earlier this month John told me he was ditching his plans to write a New Year’s resolution.

I couldn’t believe my ears. My man of no-compromise was bowing out of the game. “What’s up with that?” I asked.

“Resolutions only last a month or so,” he sighed. “What I really need is a New Year’s revelation!”

What a powerful thought.

A few days ago while watching the trailer for the movie, New Year’s Eve, a comment in the middle of the preview stunned him: “A resolution can become a revelation.”

What an awesome validation.

The reality is that 100 percent of people who make resolutions intend to keep them, but the facts are that 80 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions will eventually break them. Most won’t even make it until the end of January. So how can we make them stick?

Many of us will resolve to lose weight, eat healthier, get out of debt and spend more time with our families. One of my friends resolved last year to go on a man-ban. No dating for an entire year. She lasted two months. She was serious, but she needed more than her own strength. Another friend resolved to lose 30 pounds. Instead, she gave up after she put on ten more. Like so many do, my friends made New Year’s resolutions, but they ultimately gave up. Why do so many break our resolutions? We have the desire, we have the goal and we’ve even written it down, which is supposedly the magical requirement for obtaining our goals. What are we missing?

Listen to what the book of Proverbs says: Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint (Proverbs 29:18 NIV).

The NLT puts it this way: When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild.

The NASB says this: Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained.

Whether it’s the lack of revelation, divine guidance or vision, here’s the bottom line: In order to achieve a human goal, we need divine direction.

When temptation taunts our own ideas, temptation usually wins. When a vision is God’s idea, however, the revelation empowers us to maintain our focus.

When John and I started dating, we knew nothing about God’s plan for relationships. By the time he had proposed, we were buried in the standards of the world. I knew we weren’t supposed to be sleeping together, but my resolve wasn’t strong enough to overcome the temptation. After all, everyone else was having sex.

But then I had a revelation.

One day the Lord spoke firmly to me. “Christy, I have a gift to give you and John, but the only way you can receive it is through abstinence.”

All of my life, I had heard the “no-sex-until-marriage” rule. But that’s all it was—a rule. A “should not”. A mustn’t. But for the first time, God was adding revelation, divine guidance and vision to strengthen my resolve. And best of all, there was a prize for compliance. I had never heard that before. All of a sudden my human efforts had reinforcements! I had never felt so empowered to practice restraint. Previously, my own willpower had always failed. But with the revelation of heaven, the last eight months of our courtship were spent building and strengthening our spiritual and emotional relationship, not our physical relationship. I wanted that prize!

On January 1, 1999, we got the gift. Now 13 years later, that same revelation continues to empower our resolve. Even though we can have all the sex we want now, the strength we gained from exercising restraint during our courtship strengthened our resolve to follow God’s standards when other types of challenges came after we got married. Just because we’re married doesn’t mean we no longer need to abstain from temptation. It’s just that the temptations are different. After marriage, we need to abstain from the temptation to criticize, blame, argue and take offense.

So what about you? What do you need a revelation for? What things do you hope to achieve this year? As you begin reflecting on your plans for 2012, let me encourage you to pray about them and write them down, but most importantly—ask the Lord for a revelation to strengthen your will power. A resolution that sticks is one that adds divine vision to human strength. Don’t be one of the 80 percent that give up before the month’s end. If you keep the vision of heaven, you will succeed!


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6 Responses to A New Year's Revelation

  1. John Johnson December 30, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    Christy, this is a most profound statement. The revelation will be with us the rest of our life and we will find ourselves not having to repeat the same resolution every year. What a great concept. The cycle does end and we begin to grow as each year passes us by!!

  2. LaVila December 30, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    Another great article. Revelation instead of resolution! How true. If we get revelation from God, it never fails.

  3. Lila Johnson December 30, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    Awesome, Christy! It reminded me of Jentezen Franklin’s church (and many others now) who begin EVERY YEAR with a 21-day fast. Thanks for bringing that to my remembrance because fasting brings revelation each and every time. Blessings to both you and John!

  4. Christy Johnson December 30, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    Wow, Lila…I didn’t even mention fasting! Haha. I think God is reminding me that I was just talking about how I needed to fast again for more revelation the other day. How quickly I forget. Gotta slap that old flesh in place!

  5. kara April 27, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    yhis is so true yhe more i read and confess the Word , the more i keep it in my heart God an I are tight we don’t let go of each other Praise Him i need Him more than He needs me- for sure….i am typing this with one hand because i am recovering fom a stroke from april of 2011 i have already talked to God today an asked for amiracle healing for my left side to work perfectly again

  6. Christy Johnson April 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    praying for your full recovery and healing and wholeness!

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