Every year as the New Year rolls around, resolutions are made to have better faith in the year to come. People seek to be more faithful to Jesus. They dream of more frequent church attendance. They see themselves reading their Bibles every day. They want to pray more often. All of these, and many others, are fantastic resolutions. People want to be better Christians.
Unfortunately, many people fail. They never reach their resolution. Their dreams, visions, and goals fall by the wayside. Life gets in the way. They forget. Worse, they give up. Their faith resolution proves too difficult.
Don’t beat yourself up if this is you. The failure may quite possibly reveal exactly what you need to do in order to succeed.
Here are 7 reasons people fail in reaching their faith dreams and how to prevent it in 2022. We’ll discuss one a week for the next seven weeks.
You Are Scared of Succeeding
Yes, that’s right. You are scared of succeeding.
Strange as that sounds, you unconsciously know that if you succeed in keeping your resolution your life will change. You will go to church more. You will attend a small group. You will have to get up earlier to read your Bible and pray. You will have to go to bed earlier in order to get up earlier to keep a devotion.
Your comfort area rebels against the thought of not doing pleasurable things. The Apostle Paul might suggest you are experiencing the war between the flesh and the spirit. Your spirit yearns to grow in faith, but the flesh likes what is fun, enjoyable, pleasurable, and entertaining. Your flesh prefers the easy way out and so do you.
Developing a habit of spiritual discipline means you will have to stop doing things that require no discipline. Getting up at 5:30 a.m. means you can’t keep hitting the snooze button. To draw closer to Christ means you will have to move away from sin (which you may enjoy).
It’s spiritual warfare and quite frankly, you don’t know whose side you are really on. You do, but…it’s so hard to let things go and make the changes necessary.
So, you set the goal of growing in your faith, but you really don’t want to succeed. You say you do, but not really. You are like the person who wants to lose weight but can’t quit going to McDonald’s – every day!
How To Fix Being Scared of Succeeding
It's not going to be easy
First, understand this: Having the faith you want will not be easy. That’s right, having the faith of your dreams requires discipline.
Newsflash: Jesus never said being his disciple was easy. Never has been. Never will.
Nowhere did Jesus ever say, “Just come on down the aisle and everything will be alright.” He also never said all you have to do is believe.
Jesus was upfront about the meaning of being his disciple. He taught things like:
- Broad and easy is the path that leads to destruction. Narrow and difficult is the path to eternal life.
- No man who sets his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of Heaven.
- Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me.
Jesus did not sugar coat anything. You want to be his disciple? Pay the price.
So, the first thing to understand is that growing in your faith and having the faith of your dreams means change. You will have to give those things up that are preventing you from being the disciple you want to be.
Second, focus on why you made the resolution in the first place. You must keep your vision at the forefront of your mind.
Jesus taught we were to seek the Kingdom of God first. This is what you have to tell yourself over and over again. Recall why you want to be more faithful. See yourself as being faithful and doing the things of God that you yearn for. Imagine how it will feel to achieve your faith goals. Think about the experience as if you have already accomplished it.
I teach visualizing this experience daily. Some use a practice of active meditation. Active meditation is a series of exercises that lead up to envisioning your goals reached. The point is to make sure you are always thinking about your resolution.
Use a visualization board. Find images and pictures of people doing what you yearn to be and paste them on a poster board. Place the board in a place where you will see it every day.
YouTube it. Bet you didn’t think you would hear that here. Watching others doing what you are trying to carry out can aid your progress. You can find anything on YouTube including people reading scriptures, others guiding a devotion, and even visualization exercises.
Place sticky notes on your car dashboard. Buy a scripture verse tear off calendar for your desk.
Download an app that sends verses through text messaging.
In today’s technological world, the possibilities are limitless.
The key is that you have to decide you want to reach your resolution and then organize your environment and life to reach it.
Faith doesn’t just happen. Don’t leave your faith to chance. If you do, I can assure you the world, or your flesh, will fill your life with distractions.
Decide you want to succeed and are willing to do what it takes to be the person God wants you to be.