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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh” – for she was afraid.  And He said, “No, but you did laugh.” – Genesis 18:15

– For I know the things that come into your mind … every one of them. – Ezekiel 11:5

Have you ever chuckled quietly to yourself over the remembrance of a funny memory from days past? Perhaps it was a private laugh lifting your spirit for a little while – or an amusing moment which made you smile inside.  Or, it might have been a little more like a silent snicker in your soul.  Maybe one directed at God – one of growing disbelief or doubt about any good thing ever happening to you.

One saying to Him something like, “Yeah, right – like any of Your promises are going to come true for me.” A laugh tinged with, “I am growing tired of waiting, time is passing, and I am not getting any younger.” Sarah did such a thing – and God heard her; even though it was within herself (Genesis 18:12, lead verse).  Even her husband Abraham had pretty much done the same thing previously (Genesis 17:17).

God had already promised Abraham an heir – but He did not say when (Genesis 15:1-4).  So, they soon tried to rush God by having Hagar conceive a child with Abraham.  After all, he was already 86 – and Sarah was barren (Genesis 16:1-16).  How much longer did they have to live?  How much longer would it take for the Lord to follow through on His promise? Would we wait another 14 years like they did?

The second time God spoke to Abraham about this matter, he was 99 (Genesis 17:1), and Sarah was 90 (Genesis 17:17).  This time, the Lord told him exactly when his heir would be born – and the child would be named Isaac (Genesis 17:19-21).  Sarah still had to laugh, saying, “Shall I of a surety bear a child when I am old?”  But, God replied,  “Is there any thing too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:13-14).

All creatures are continually manifest before God – open and naked unto Him (Hebrews 4:13).  Our Father cannot miss things as if He was asleep, busy talking with others, or off on a trip (1 Kings 18:27). Heavenly mistakes cannot be made (Deuteronomy 32:4).  Muted laughs on our lips, silent thoughts in our heads, or quiet questions in our hearts, are all heard by Him above – loud and clear each time.

We have to be very mindful and aware at all times, about things we may think nobody else knows or hears – if we should believe they are tucked away for safe-keeping deep inside our souls (1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Chronicles 28:9, Hebrews 4:12).  We cannot get anything past God.  We cannot hide in a secret place where we may like to get away alone  – where He can’t see or hear us (Jeremiah 23:24).

God makes many promises for us throughout His Word.  We can speak persuasive and motivating words about them to others – but mock Him silently inside ourselves if we have not seen any of them personally come true yet.  Mocking mean teasing or laughing at someone in a contemptuous manner. Even if we are keeping such derision inside, He will know.  God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7).

Abraham and Sarah came close to doing so.  Still, the Lord delivered on His promise – and Isaac was born at the precise time He said it would (Genesis 17:21, Genesis 21:1-3).  However, it was all done exactly in accordance with His eternal purposes – not Abraham and Sarah’s earthly ones.  If we get impatient waiting for any of His promises to come true like they did – we can rush right into trials or trouble.

Despite having doubts, Abraham stayed with God throughout – and did not stagger in unbelief.  Even though the couple tried to rush the process through Hagar – they turned back to God when things did not turn out as expected (Genesis 16:1-16).  The two learned to wait by faith on God.  Against all hope of having a child at their ages, they believed He would perform as promised (Romans 4:18-21).

According to His plan from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).  It is why we wait upon God.  To prove and purify our motives and desires for doing anything in His name.  To show God if we are truly minding Him and His will, regardless of what might be happening (Jeremiah 42:6).  Or, if we’re just doing things of our own will and minds – like some thought Moses had done (Numbers 16:28, Jeremiah 14:14).

When Abraham and Sarah realized God is not rushed – a right thing happened.  When they finally waited for events to unfold according to His eternal plan; nothing went wrong.  The same goes for us.  If we don’t like waiting on God – including for the return of Christ – we might begin to silently laugh or scoff at Him; turning again to our lusts in unbelief (Hebrews 3:12, 2 Peter 3:3-4).  And, He will know when.

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– But beloved, do not be ignorant of this one thing: That one day is with the Lord as a thousand years; and a thousand years as one day. – 2 Peter 3:8

– For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. – 2 Corinthians 4:16

Many years ago, I heard a preacher say, “A Christian who makes New Year’s resolutions isn’t anywhere close to comprehending what being one is all about.” With January 1st just around the corner, it’s important for all believers to understand that becoming a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) doesn’t restart every New Year‘s Day.

Tomorrow will be 1,000 years long in His sight (lead verse).  The year 1013 was yesterday (Psalm 90:4). God exists outside the space-time continuum we’ve created to mark how long it takes to make our trip through space; one orbit around the sun – called a year.  Yet so many seem to make major life decisions or changes by the calendar.

Often believing just by flipping a calendar page to a new month, it’s a golden opportunity to create fresh beginnings.  They rarely last long.  It becomes a yearly process of starts and stops – producing little in the way of inner spiritual change.  Backsliding can often be caused by trying to restart spiritually each January 1st (Jeremiah 3:22).

However, spiritual growth can’t be conditional to arbitrary numbers on calendars made by mortal men. God knows how we measure time – but it’s not the same way as He does (lead verse).  Giving in to any consideration that we can become better believers – just by starting on a random date; is giving in to the world; and denying the Word.

Renewal can only start for us when we are born again of the Holy Spirit.  Whatever day that is – God chooses.  It’s not random.  It’s a day when He knows He has convicted us with His sorrow – to the point we will repent of sin unto salvation – and not be sorry for a season (2 Corinthians 7:8-10).  It could be tomorrow for some; June 14th for others.

A resolution is a firm decision to do – or not do something.  God didn’t make us to be firm beings – He made us flesh – and frail (Psalm 39:4).  There is no good thing which dwells in our flesh (Romans 7:18).  So, how can we possibly ever know what’s good for us?  The world’s message continually changes in this regard.  God does not (Malachi 3:6).

How can we make any firm decision to start doing – or stop doing something anymore, and follow through on it – simply by following numbers on a calendar? How can we trust any resolution as being the right one – when we are not to trust in our hearts – or ourselves anymore as Christians (Proverbs 28:26, 2 Corinthians 1:9)?

Unless, of course, we’re still devising our own way through life in the world – trying to direct God’s steps accordingly.  Using His Word in hopes He will make most everything turn out the way we want (Proverbs 16:9).  Still leaning on our own understanding – and only acknowledging Him when His ways are going according to ours (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Or, still proclaiming our own goodness (Proverbs 20:6, 1 John 1:8-10) … often making God an easy target (Mark 10:18) to blame when they don’t (Jeremiah 8:6).  Claiming to be completely clean of all sin as Christians, or incapable of committing any more – makes God a liar, and His truth is not in us (Proverbs 16:2, Proverbs 20:9, 1 John 1:8-10).

Being a Christian takes becoming one first.  It’s not a label – it’s a lifestyle.  It starts when one is first born again of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-5) – and it doesn’t stop until God calls us home.  It takes daily abidance in God – as He abides in us by faith; with Jesus residing in our hearts through the power of the Holy Ghost (John 15:1-7, Ephesians 3:16-17).

We’re no longer resolute – we can’t produce the spiritual fruit God requires by ourselves (John 15:1-7, Galatians 5:22-23).  It doesn’t stop on December 31st – and restart on January 1st.  It’s a day-and-night renewal of our inner man (second lead verse); as the Holy Spirit washes us clean through continual regeneration (Titus 3:5).

God is continually cleansing the clutter within – as the very same blood Christ shed being sprinkled on our hearts as a salve for sin (Hebrews 10:22). Without daily repentance and remission – we’re bound to repeat our old sins.  We can’t see the change happening, but all others should.  They should see it in our eyes first (Luke 11:34).

Our whole being should be lit up in them – reflecting the love God shed abroad in our hearts, when He first gave us the gift of the Holy Ghost (Romans 5:5). It takes time.  As Billy Graham once said, “It’s not an overnight conversion – but a continual process of renewal – becoming more like Christ each day (Ephesians 4:20-32).”

But – it does have to happen; not according to the world’s idea of change – but the Word’s.  Our faith can’t follow a calendar – our worship can’t be set by a watch.  Wanting – or waiting for Him to work according to our worldly concept of time is a recipe for trying to rush God, and eventual discouragement; maybe even departure from Him (Philippians 1:23).

We are to serve God in newness of Spirit – for He has put His Spirit in us (Romans 7:6).  However, one cannot put new wine into old bottles – or the bottles will break.  The wine will spill and perish (Luke 5:37). God will make all things new and beautiful in His time (Revelation 21:5, Ecclesiastes 3:11) – not in ours; and certainly not just on New Year’s Day.

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(NKJV and KJV Scripture)

– Declaring the end from the beginning – and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand – and I shall do all My pleasure.” – Isaiah 46:10

– That which has been – is now; and that which is to be – has already been … and God requires that which is past. – Ecclesiastes 3:15

God declared the end of this earth from the very beginning (lead verse).  There is never anything new under His sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). The Lord has seen it all before; and has already seen what is coming down the road.  Known to God are all His works from the beginning – they were finished by Him before He started – before He formed the foundation of this planet (Acts 15:18, Hebrews 4:3).

Whatever has happened in this world, or to us in the past – good, bad, or in-between – was required by Him (second lead verse).  What is coming in the future requires faith (Hebrews 11:1).  If we ever definitively decide we know before He does – that is prejudging and presumption (Proverbs 27:1, James 4:14).  All things must pass per His judgement, including us (Hebrews 9:27) – His way; not ours.

Everything past, present, or future – has to have purpose – or how else would He be qualified to judge us daily (Zephaniah 3:5) – or this world when the time comes (Romans 3:5-6)?  Would we want a Creator to make peace – then create war, without any cause to do so (Isaiah 45:7)?  As if our just God did such “just because” – without any justification. Don’t some people still seem to believe this?

Everything that happens to us or this planet each day – or doesn’t happen, is going perfectly and precisely according to His plan from the beginning of the world.  Just because life isn’t going perfectly and precisely according to our own personal plans, in our own little worlds; even within the church – doesn’t make us right – and God wrong (1 Chronicles 13:4, Proverbs 21:2).

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