Beginning The New Year Strong By Resolving Unfinished Business

December 27, 2008 · Print This Article

Beginning The New Year Strong By

Resolving Unfinished Business
A Call to Accountability and Holiness


The Word

Text: Romans 6:1-14

Background

In the above passage we established the need for a willingness to search our hearts before the Lord, and reaffirm our commitment which we made at our waters of baptism to live according to His ways, His will and His Word. We recognize that God has set a place for us in His presence forever, and that fact should govern our behavior. We live rejoicing in anticipation that Jesus is coming again, and we are His servants until that day.

The following verses probe areas of accountability and holy living which may be matters of unfinished business we need to deal with as we enter this new season before the Lord. As we go through the scriptures, ask the Lord if there might be any area about which He desires to speak to you personally.

1. Unfulfilled commitments or promises

Read: Psalms 22:25; 50:14; 56:12; 61:5, 8; 66:13

Each of us have situations that we get ourselves into with the best of intent. It’s amazing the number of people breached in their fellowship because they have not done something they said they would do. When commitments or promises to people go unfulfilled—even if you don’t intend them to be—a person living in integrity will either reaffirm their commitment, or ask the other person for forgiveness and release. You risk people feeling rejected, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s better to request their forgiveness and release than to do nothing.

Vows before the Lord are another thing. Everywhere in the Psalms that it mentions vows made to the Lord which need to be fulfilled, it always links to praise. The Psalmist is in essence saying, while I’m attending to the things I owe God, I’m going to do them in the spirit of praise. Your as-yet unfulfilled commitments to the Lord should not be a shadow on your soul. Walk before in Him loving praise, knowing that He loves you more than anything you do, and that is sufficient until such time as the flow of that praise and walk becomes fulfilled action in your life.

2. Irresponsible actions or words

Read: Numbers 30:1-16

This passage of scripture establishes the principle that a higher authority has the privilege of annulling vows that are made that you cannot fulfill. It goes back to ancient Israel and says that if a husband (or a father) heard his wife (or daughter) rashly vow something more than she could practically fulfill, he could neutralize or annul that vow by saying, “Lord, what she’s said is more than she can do, and I’m annulling that vow.”

Have you become shackled with burden over something that, in fact, God never expected of you? Have you gotten yourself into complicated things that aren’t sin, just duty or responsibility that the Lord never expected of you? It’s not a matter of holy living, but a matter of wanting to do this or that. Come before the Lord and ask Jesus as your heavenly Husband to annul the vow because you got yourself in too deep. We have a patient, loving, Father and a heavenly Husband, just as those of Numbers 30, and He’ll handle those things for us if we bring them to Him and specifically deal with them.

I’m not talking about being careless with regard to things you’ve committed to people; you don’t just go to God and ask Him to release you from it without talking directly to the person as well.

3. Uncompleted tasks or projects

Psalm 138:8 — “The Lord will perfect that which concerns me.”

There are matters about which all of us ask, “Is this ever going to get done?” The secret to making your life become as fruitful as God wants it to be is to just keep living that life with Him, walking with Him. Don’t passively approach the tasks you feel the need to pursue, or the goals you want to see fulfilled, but rest them with the Lord. Everything that has to do with His purpose in my life, He’s going to get it done if I just keep on walking with Him. Rest your uncompleted tasks or projects with the Lord, and He will perfect that which concerns you.

4. Unrealized disciplines

Luke 9:23 — “Take up your cross daily and follow Me.”

All the Lord calls you to do is to handle today. Take up your cross today. What if you took it up and stumbled with it? Disciplines that we don’t achieve are not a matter of falling into sin, but of not realizing a step of growth.

May I remind you that when Jesus took up His cross and started up Calvary, by reason of His human weakness, the pain and struggle He was experiencing, He stumbled, and another picked up His cross and assisted. Touched with the feelings of our weakness, He is so patient when we don’t attain the disciplines we desire to walk in as rapidly as we would like. He’ll shoulder that with you and help you to take a few steps. You’re still going to come through the discipline of bearing your cross in His will. But the Lord will lift it and carry it for you because He knows what it means to stumble when you’ve got a cross on your shoulder and you’re seeking to walk according to the Father’s will. This should comfort you; it does me.

5. Unbroken habits

Read: Romans 6:1-14

          6. Unforgiven people

Read: Matthew 18:21-35

The Bible specifically says that relationships with people can be obstructed and hindered for a lifetime if you do not let go and let forgiveness fill your heart toward them.

7. Unconfessed sin

Psalm 66:18 — “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”

All of us are inclined to argue for our own innocence, our own escape from duty, for it having been someone else’s fault and failure. The Lord says you need to come to terms with your side of it, without protest. You just deal with yourself.

8. Unrealized desires

Read: Psalm 37:3-5

There are five words in this Psalm that establish how we are to live until what our heart longs for is realized. I am sensitive to people in our church who have deep desires that are unfulfilled. They’re perfectly pure, proper, scriptural desires, and they haven’t happened.

The Bible specifically tells us in Psalm 37:4 that we’re to bring those things before the Lord, that He will give us the desires of our heart. But first, He says, trust Him and do good. Then, He says, dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness. In other words, live in the circle of the boundaries of His provision for you. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, and He shall bring it to pass. Trust that He’s on your side and keep living His way.

9. Incomplete healing

Read: Mark 8:22-25

There are people who’ve experienced a touch from God, but the flow and complete, concluding expression of that healing hasn’t happened yet. I don’t know how many times I’ve taken comfort and confidence in this great “second-touch” passage in Jesus’ healing ministry—that Jesus once touched a man and his healing was not immediately completed, and then He touched him a second time, and the man was made whole. There’s something here that holds a word of encouragement for all of us. If there’s healing that has not been completed, take hope from the Word of God and the ministry of Jesus.

10. Unappropriated promises

Read: 2 Peter 1:2-4

Reach out and take God’s promise and appropriate it to your situation.

There are people who have not asked the Lord to fill them with the Holy Spirit because they are afraid of the implications. They’re afraid they’ll speak with tongues. They’ve been freaked out by some goofy thing that’s been said to them, and believe me, there’s a lot of goofy things that have been said—most of them by people who’ve never had the experience. Or by people who claim it’s everything from folly and craziness to Satanic practice. I always had a little trouble with people who said that those who speak with tongues are of the devil because people I know who speak with tongues praise Jesus all the time, love His Word, and win other people to Jesus Christ. The Lord wants you to appropriate the promise of being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Enter this new season by responding to God’s call to holiness and accountability

Kneel where you are, if you can, open the Bible, take any portion of what we’ve just talked about and write notes to yourself on each of the issues about which the Lord is speaking to you. “Lord, I’m going to deal with that; I’m going to call this person; I’m asking you to handle this area of difficulty; I ask you, Lord, for Your power through Your cross to break this habit; I look to You to help me as I contact this person.” Let’s get on our knees and do business with the Lord in His presence.

 

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