Tighten Up! 5 Things Believers should set in stone for 2023

This is the time of year most people make New Years Resolutions. You hear about them in January, but the mention of even the phrase “new year’s resolution” fades by February. For believers, especially this year, there are some things we should set in stone, and it has nothing to do with superficial aspirations or self-focused feats of personal willpower.

Since 2020 we should have noticed that everything picked up the pace, with deception, lawlessness and pure evil leading the way. Yes, we are knee deep in the End Times and traveling at lightning speed. This is not a time for slackers, material accumulators, or those avaricious for lucre.

Spiritual warfare against believers is on the rise. The shaking has already begun, and it is increasing in strength.  We can expect 2023 to pack an even bigger punch than the last couple of years. There are numerous individuals walking in darkness who are going to need the Followers of The Way to shine the light, to lead them to their ONLY hope.

Believers are going to need one another even more in the days ahead.  We must tighten up our lives. Here are 5 things we should set in stone in order to be prepared, ready to help ourselves and others successfully endure the final leg of this journey.

  • NO COMPROMISE/NO EXCUSES ~ In American Christianity there are a lot of excuses made for sins of commission and omission. “I’m trying, but it’s hard not to do____” “____helps me feel better.” “I’ve had this habit for years, and God understands I just can’t help it.” “Things are so expensive now, I need the money that’s why I added that little lie at work.” “It’s okay, everybody does it.” “We are under grace, and I’ve already been forgiven for______.” “I know I was supposed to fast this week, I just didn’t feel like it.” “I know we’re supposed to be reading through the Gospels this month, but I just haven’t had time and I’m so tired after working all day.” The excuses and lies go on and on.

If we are compromising with sin, if we are making excuses to follow the edicts of our flesh and conform to this world, then we will not make it. Please dear sister and dear brother, lay your excuses aside. Take a no compromise attitude with sin and the world’s way of thinking, speaking and doing. The truth is, not doing so weakens you, and you will not have the strength to stand against the onslaught that is coming against those who profess to follow Jesus Christ.

No matter how hard the pressure to follow the crowd, stand your ground and obey God. No matter how hard it may be to lay certain things aside, do it! God will help you if you are sincerely determined to follow His Way.

  • KNOW WHAT YOU BELIEVE! ~ Today’s world is totally screwed up. Lies rule. Right is now wrong, and what is wrong is considered right. And the strong arm of the wicked will come down hard on anyone trying to remind them that there is still Absolute Truth, there is still right, there is still wrong, and you cannot blur the lines. We now live in a world that is like the town of Vanity Fair in John Bunyan’s book, The Pilgrim’s Progress. WE MUST KNOW WHAT WE BELIEVE and hold to it, even unto death.

Anyone who is wishy washy, anyone who is immature and easily drawn to and fro by what they hear, anyone who is a child of today (meaning your views, thoughts and actions align with the world and not The Word) is in trouble. The spirit of deception is set in now. If you don’t know what you believe, if you don’t have unwavering standards based on the Word of God, you will not be able to stand.

Grow Up! Guard your heart, eyes and ears. Refuse to listen to anyone who speaks contrary, even a little bit, to the Word of God. Remove the world’s lingo, it’s buzz words, from your vocabulary. Stay Prayerful; ask the Lord to help you know the truth and recognize all truth laced lies. Know what you believe! Stand for what you believe. If you do not you WILL FALL for the okeedoke and join the wicked for eternity. Just sayin’.

  • BECOME ONE WITH THE WORD ~ Read the Bible. Listen to the Bible. Get the Word of God in your heart and mind. You may be busy and can’t always sit down and read the physical book; however, you can listen to the Word of God. And, for those who are auditory learners, listening to the Bible may be a better choice anyway!

You haven’t got a Bible to read, and can’t afford to buy one right now? There’s an App for that! Would you prefer a printable version? Here’s a FREE PDF for that. Want a different translation? Here ya go! 😊Don’t have money to buy the Bible on CD? No problem, you can listen to it free on Youtube (KJV or NKJV ). You can also find free audio Bible Mp3 downloads on the internet. Here’s an added bonus, to help you memorize Scripture.

No matter how you do it, get the Word of God in your heart. It helps keep sin at bay, it transforms your thinking, and helps you see clearly. It provides comfort and encouragement during difficult times. It also guards against the deception so prevalent and increasing today. Remember, no excuses. No matter how you feel, Do It!

  • MAKE GOD’S PRIORITIES YOUR PRIORITIES ~ As mentioned earlier, as followers of The Way, we should always be manning our post, ready for whatever God needs us to do. So often nowadays it seems that God’s priorities are not really our priorities. Many are so focused on getting what’s in His hands, that they don’t really care about anything or anyone else. We must lay aside our self-centered focus in order to see as Jesus sees.

This world is full of hurting souls, shattered souls, confused souls, hell-bound souls! Let us ask the Lord to help us make what’s important to Him important to us. Ask the Lord to help us see as He sees, have His love and compassion for not only His jewels but those potential jewels we see and encounter every day.  God has priorities, and our collecting perishables and having our “best life” here on earth definitely ain’t it!

  • TRUST GOD AND WATCH YOUR MOUTH ~ You’ve seen the news, and I’m sure you’ve noticed the difference at the grocery store these days. There is a whole lot being done to disrupt and irreparably change life as we have known it here. We are looking at something most of us haven’t even the tiniest schema for. Our declarations are being/about to be tested.

As believers we say we trust God all the time. We advise others to “just trust God” or “just have faith.” Oftentimes such words are nothing more than churchspeak. Or it is terminology used to make others think of us as people of great faith. Some of us are able to give such advice to others but fail to follow it ourselves, because at the 1st sign of “trouble” what pours from our lips is the most weak, negative defeat one can hear. Our words do not put God on front street so He will get the glory. Our words say God cannot do it, will not do it, and we never trusted Him in the first place!

JUST STOP!! Who is your God? Either the God you serve is the God of the Bible and worthy of your trust, or you are serving the wrong God.

I get it, life gets hard. These end time shenanigans by so called leaders are way beyond our control. No amount of protest will stop this train, and we can’t pray it away either.

Today’s unknowns can naturally spark fear in any heart; however, the Word of God gives us the playbook for this endgame! We should not be surprised and, because God already let us know what time it is, we should be better able to squash the fears.

We must train ourselves to Trust The One at the helm of our lives. Our God provides, protects, helps and comforts us…if we let Him! So let us stop using our words to contradict God. A double-minded man will not receive anything from the Lord. And we certainly need God’s help more now than ever!

So, no matter how tight it gets, no matter how our flesh tries to get nervous, or worry and depression try to creep in, let us practice encouraging ourselves in the Lord and saying what God says. Stop filling your noggin with every bit of doomsday news, dreams and prophecy that come down the media pike. We should let the Word of God, the work He is doing, and His promises be the bulk of what we take in. We should not know more about the evildoings of the wicked than we know about what the Word and actions of our God regarding this world and our journey through it. Let’s remind ourselves WHO we serve and shut down the whispers of the enemy in these uncertain times. Let us be an example of those who will continue to praise and trust God through whatever comes, and let God get the glory out of our lives.

Of course, this list does not cover everything. But these are some of the main things we need to lock in for our lives. I encourage every one of us to make it a point to follow the example of Jesus Christ in every area of our lives.

I pray that 2023 will have you looking more like Christ and less like this world. May you be drawn ever closer to God and much further from this world.

God bless you.

Until next time,

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