Every New Year brings with it a chance for a new beginning, new achievements and new living.
2014 is no exception and as many people all over the world recount last years disappointments we start making promises and setting new standards – some of us have a list of new resolutions while others of us subconsciously jot down new aims in our minds where they can be tucked away from the scrutiny of other humans. No one ever really enjoys losing – especially when the aim is to win or achieve, but in order to be a winner there is one special decision that must be made and implemented.
That special decision that must be made and implemented is that I must make: “No Provision For The Flesh” – in everyday language I must “make no opportunity for my failure.” Some of the goals that have been set over the years by many are in the areas of Education, Health, Family, Personal Development and Spiritual Improvement.
To apply the “No Provision For The Flesh” method to my New Years’ Resolutions, firstly, I write down my goals and alongside each one I make a list of my current stumbling blocks- those things that would cause me to fail and I simply throw them out. Throwing them out comes in various forms. Take for example if my New Years Resolution list has the following goals:
1. To finish my college education
2. To exercise for 30 minutes each day
3. To spend at least 1 hour of quality time with my family/spouse
4. To stop watching soap operas
5. To spend 30 minutes each day sharing my food with the hungry.
Removing that “hindering factor” – removing that “provision for the flesh” – removing that “opportunity for my failure” is Key to our success.
That means in the case where my goal is “To finish my college education“, I might need to:
(a) Sell my play station or Xbox in order to have more time for completing my college assignments.
(b) Get 3 alarm clocks and set them to wake me up for my study time each morning and follow through by washing my face thoroughly for 5 minutes and locking myself out of my bedroom.
Removing that “provision for the flesh means that in the case where my goal is “To exercise for 30 minutes each day“, I might need to:
(a) Schedule my exercise routine just before I eat my breakfast so that eating becomes a reward for my completion of my 30 minutes of exercise.
(b) Purchase/make my own exercise equipment so I can no longer use the excuse that I don’t have any exercise equipment.
Removing that “provision for the flesh means that in the case where my goal is “To spend at least 1 hour of quality time with my family/spouse“, I might need to:
(a) Turn off my phone 10 minutes before that special hour for my family/spouse comes around and pencil it in to my daily agenda.
(b) Switching off the Internet connection or any other unnecessary competitor that is trying to crows out that special hour I promise myself to spend with my family/spouse.
Removing that “provision for the flesh means that in the case where my goal is “To stop watching soap operas“, I might need to:
(a) Go into or call up my cable provider to have the cable channels that broadcast soap operas (psychological pornography) removed from my selection of available channels.
(b) Refuse to purchase magazines, cosmetics, perfumes, books or any other commodities that advertise or redirect my thoughts back to watching soap operas.
Removing that “provision for the flesh means that in the case where my goal is “To spend 30 minutes each day sharing my food with the hungry“, I might need to:
(a) Make a purchase of food items for distribution to the poor my first assignment when I get to the supermarket and then after this purchase I begin purchasing groceries for own my personal consumption.
(b) Ensure that if there are particular persons who are known to discourage me from feeding the poor – I refuse to enter into any negative conversation concerning my giving with those persons.
Making No Provision For The Flesh is a radical concept – but it works. In my own experience I have used this method and found it to work by perseverance and prayer. I have been able to reduce my consumption of junk food over the last 5 years by over 80 percent and I praise Jesus for this and rejoice in the power of His word!
Happy New Year!