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Refreshing water droplet flowing from a healthy green leaf and dropping into blue green water. Text: 1 Peter 1:13 English Standard Version.

A recent Forbes Health survey found that the average New Year's resolution lasts just over 3 and a half months. Only 8% usually stick with their goals for one month, while 22% last two months, 22% last three months and 13% last four months. (cite)

I feel like it seems to be a mixture of two things that factor in on whether or not someone actually follows through with making the difference they desire to make or not:

Determination and Preparation

  • Benjamin Franklin said, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."

  • Abraham Lincoln said, "“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "When preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."

  • Colin Powell said, "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."

  • Muhammad Ali said, "I run on the road long before I dance under the lights."

  • Arthur Ashe said, "One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation."

We know from reading God's Word that there is certain preparation we are responsible to do on our own - and then we are to allow God room to perform the follow-through after our preparation, willingness to faith-action and obedience.

2 Timothy 4:2, "Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching."

1 Peter 3:15-16, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander."

Ephesians 6:10-18, " Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand..."

And we also know that, while we are called to be prepared, there is really nothing we can do in our own strength.

While that seems like opposing concepts, it is more like a mixture of strength and faithfulness complimented with humility and holy reverence.

Proverbs 21:31, "The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord."

Psalm 5:3, "In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly."

2 Timothy 4:17, "The Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed."

Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight."

As we step into the New Year, let's remember what we are purposed for. Let's acknowledge and remember what we are responsible for and what we are to trust for. Let us remember the mix of strength and humbleness, truth and grace, action and stillness.

Every day that we wake up is a chance to do things right, fix mistakes we've made, commit our steps to God's path, and dedicate ourselves to living out God's Word.

May God bless your determination to live for Him and may you feel and see Him tangibly preparing a path in your wilderness, supplying water in your desert areas, and guiding you in wisdom.


Sarah Jane

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