Resolutions don’t work

Filled with sincerity and passion Peter publicly resolved, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you! (Matt. 25:35)” He sounds sincere and determined. However, hours later, dedication melted into public denial. But it doesn’t end there.

The text goes on to explain that after devastating defection, “he went out and wept bitterly (Mt 26:75).” Sincere, honest, determination ends in degrading, self-defeating sorrow. Every sincere believer who has made resolutions, promises, and rededications knows Peter’s feelings. It’s bitterly discouraging to sincerely promise only to fail again.

Resolutions didn’t work for Peter and they won’t work for you. The life God has for you isn’t about resolving to be better or promising to stay true. From beginning to end you’ll always be learning to trust him in new ways. He always calls you to trust Him. You can even trust Him with your failures and frailties.

When Paul says, “3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh (Gal. 3:3),” he’s talking about living by faith. On one hand, living “by the flesh” is living by resolve and self-discipline. On the other hand, the work of the Spirit is the result of hearing with faith (Gal. 3:2).

I think the greatest struggle in the Christian life is learning to depend on Jesus rather than on what I do. What do you think?

Grace Freak

Dan Rockwell

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12 Comments on “Resolutions don’t work”


  1. This sounds like a sermon I heard from a great preacher on Easter! 🙂

    Mark

  2. adamgroff Says:

    Well, Dan, I think that the Christian life begins and ends with Jesus. Well, i guess it doesn’t really end but you get the point. Good stuff Dan. Looks like a missed a good Easter service from you.

    Adam Groff

  3. David Wyatt Says:

    Great stuff bro. Dan. Have you ever read or heard Dr. John R. Rice’s sermon, “The Backslider?” Your message here reminds me of it. He said as a young man, newly saved, he fell into a certain sin, & of course soon repented & promised God he’d never do it again! He said it wasn’t long before he fell again, & again another promise. I love how he said that he later almost sensed God smiling at his boyish promise, knowing he’d never be able to keep that promise, yet He graciously forgave him anyway! Hooray for grace!

  4. David Wyatt Says:

    Thanks bro. Dan! You’re an encouragement to me! Here’s a link to that sermon online. God Bless!

    http://www.gotothebible.com/HTML/backslidertoc.html

  5. John Gearhart Says:

    Hey Dan,

    I think what is hilarious but sad at the same time is that sometimes I will promise to myself that I will stop doing this or that, and then just moments later FOTGET IT AND DO IT!

    The shame factor really kicks in,

  6. David Wyatt Says:

    For me, resolutions don’t work because the flesh is weak!

  7. adamgroff Says:

    Hey Dan, after reading this a second time and seeing what my Dad posted on my blog about Secrecy, I have come to believe that my entry “Get Away Secrecy” and this entry of your go together well. Yours is possibly a next step after mine. You should check it out and let me know what you think.

    Adam Groff
    Faith Based Optimism
    http://faithandoptimism.wordpress.com/


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