Friday, January 4, 2013

A New Year

As I look back on this year I would have to admit it has been a very difficult year.  Perhaps you could say the same thing.  Even though this year has been difficult spiritually, emotionally and physically—I know Jesus has been there all the way.  I have sensed Him near; I have heard Him beckoning me forward to follow Him, even when I felt stuck in despair, stubbornness, or physical limitations.  This has been a year of choosing.  Choosing to follow and believe in the plans God has for me according to His Word.  Faith is a choice my friends, it is not a feeling.  If we relied on our feelings to determine who God is we would crumble at the first sign of struggle. Why?  Because our feelings would tell us He is not loving, He does not answer our prayers, He cannot be trusted, etc..  So we take control because in our minds God cannot be trusted.  My friends, can I tell you, He can be trusted.  He is the only thing stable in my life.  Go ahead, call Him a crutch.  I am totally okay with that because on this journey of health struggles, you better believe I have leaned on my Lord in ways like never before. 

Perhaps that is what God is trying to get at all along?  Because on this journey, I know God has brought me to the end of myself in different ways when it comes to self-sufficiency, areas of sin, and my faith in Him.  I am tired of me.  I want Jesus.  That’s all I want.  I do not want my neurotic, controlling, unbelieving, weak self (Wow, I am exhausting!). 

In many ways 2013 is a new year for me.  Though I would like to put 2012 behind me, I do not ever want to forget it because God was at work.  When I take the time to look beyond myself, I do see the grace of God—through people, my pacemaker, divine interventions, answers to prayers, and better health. 

Deep down I have sensed that God would restore my health too me, and I can finally say I feel my body getting stronger.  Glory to God!  My blood pressure has finally gone above 100, last week I actually felt strength in my body and not that tired aching feeling I have walked around with for over a year.  Thank you Lord Jesus for Your grace, for Your mercy, for Your touch.  Perhaps, you are waiting, waiting for answers to your prayers.  My friends, He has answered your prayers.  He always does.  Will you surrender?  Will you trust?  Will you allow Him to do the work He longs to do in you?  Do not forget we are in a battle.  Satan does not want you to be free. He has a goal and that goal is to destroy you.  Take up arms and fight for your freedom in Christ.  Surrender to the Lord Jesus, who is your mighty warrior!  Get in the Word; it is your sword against the Enemy (Rev. 12:11, Eph. 6:17).  Yes, I know it takes work, I know you are tired but remember, less of you and more of Him.  That’s what He is after.    

Did you have a year like me?  One you want to put behind you.  I can understand, but I would also encourage you to reflect and seek God, don't be so quick to put it behind you.  Could it be that He is longing for you to draw closer to Himself?  I’d bet my last dollar on it.  Perhaps you could even say; it is our destiny in Christ.  God, bringing us to the end of ourselves and to a place where we realize—Jesus is all I need, Jesus is all I want.  Not ourselves, but Him.  His strength.  His character.  Walking with Jesus is a lifetime journey, but it’s a glorious journey of deeper wholeness and freedom that we have yet to know.
Gracious Father, we praise You because You have never left us nor forsaken us.  You are at work.   We give ourselves to that work because it is for your good purpose and our good. Though we may not understand, or have all of the answers, we choose to follow You by faith, not by sight.  We love you.  Bless this New Year, may it be a year of greater faith and obedience.  In the Name and power of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Messiah, the Anointed One, we pray.  Amen.

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