Welcome to 2022! It is that curious time, once again, when people make all sorts of resolutions to do and not do a whole myriad of things. I am not sure what percentage of people actually succeed in their New Year’s resolutions, but the percentage seems awfully low (it is rare to hear someone boasting about their success come the following holiday season!).

One reason for this low success rate may be that this cultural oddity is grounded in self-sufficiency. So often, New Year’s resolutions start with the word “I” (I will lose weight, I will spend more time with my kids, I will stop drinking, etc.). The Bible teaches us that self-sufficiency is folly. Proverbs 19:21 says:

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”

If that were not clear enough, Jesus removes all doubt in John 15:5 when he says:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Becoming like Jesus and joining Him on mission does not start with I but with ABIDE. Submitting to the sovereign hand of God opens the door for His presence and power to work through us. From here, authentic transformation can take place.

Engaging your heart in prayer is a wonderful opportunity to practice this truth. Prayer, as God intended, is an act of submission that expresses our complete dependency on Him. The power of prayer comes, not from our clever words or personal strength but God alone. And one of the ways He chooses to express His power is through the prayers of those who abide in Him. So, as we enter this new year, let us not resolve to achieve anything through our own strength. Rather, out of a dependent heart, let us respond to the invitation to abide in the One who called us. Let us abide in Him and seek His power to accomplish His will in His Way.

Jeff Baxter

✍️ Credit :: Joel MacFarland
Care Pastor

Matt Rhodes

🎨 Credit :: Colin McFarland
Digital Marketing Manager