Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 - The New Year

Happy New Year to everyone!

I am starting this off with a wonderful word from our Lord Jesus, Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.”

Clearly this is telling us that it is only the Lord that gives us a new beginning, hope and a future. There is nothing we can do individually that can replace this awesome promise to us! And a resolution that we half heartedly make as a traditional celebratory event will surely not come close to a replacement. So why do we do this over and over each year?

My Hope is in the Lord

This is the time of year when everyone has a sigh of relief that the year has ended and a new one begins. They fantasize about things that could have been, should have been and would have been had they just done something differently. They rehash the failures and mistakes of the past year, while making resolutions to usher in the new year. They know full well they won't keep the resolutions but year after year, they keep making them! We all have done this more often than not. This sets us up for even more failure and maybe that's what our adversary really wants us to Maybe he wants us to continue to focus on our past because that will surely help us to continue to fail by bringing up all of those incompetent feelings we harbor. While I've stopped this practice many years ago, I know others who have continued this tradition, passing it along to others coming up behind them. There is no harm in traditional celebratory events and something being shared between loved ones and family. What is harmful is the amount of planning and thoughts that go into those practices that become a barrier and a hindrance.

The Comfort of God
The more we look back at our past mistakes, mishaps and failures, the more we miss out on our successes, joys and our blessings! This is not how the Lord wants us to live our lives, always looking at our past. That's what the devil wants us to do because if he can get us to concentrate on what is wrong with us, what we've failed at and what mistakes we've made, then he succeeds at taking our eyes, thoughts and hearts off of the very one who has given us this life to live in His name! Satan wants us to miss our blessings and to feel totally unworthy of God's unconditional, agape love! The lies of the enemy has killed many of souls and shattered many hopes and dreams! The Lord God loves each of His creations and remember what He said in Genesis 1:27-28, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (v28) Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” See what God does? He BLESSES us because He loves us that much!

The very reason I've stopped making resolutions is because my future is in God's hands and His alone! He alone will lead me where He wants me to go and He alone will give me all the hope I need for the coming year! I want to be in His will, walking in His light and living for His glory! There was a time, many years ago, when I stayed focused on all the things I needed to change, how I was going to go about those changes and focusing on what a failure I felt like when I rehashed those moments...although fleeting, they felt like they were happening daily. I began listening to those lies and I began to feel like the failure the devil was convincing me I was! Until I heard the voice, the still small voice, of the Lord telling me in Matthew 19:26, “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” and again in Philippians 4:13, “I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.” I couldn't do anything to change myself. I couldn't do anything to change the way I felt inside and I surely couldn't change my failures. But I could change what I focused on! And so I began to put the focus back on the Lord, on His promises and on His Word and He began to change me, change my feelings of inadequacies and replaced all the lies with His TRUTHS! That's when the Lord spoke to my heart clearly. I had to let all of those failures go, or what I imagined were failures, and lay them at the foot of the cross for Him to handle.

I did look back at this past year, but I wasn't focused on me or my life. Sure, I had a lot of trials and tribulations and am still going through the wilderness! But, my heart was aching for all the tragic events that took place all over the world, from weather related tragedies to wars, to crimes, to the grieving hearts of those who's lost loved ones in those tragedies! I was not focused on what happened to me....I already know those things. It was through the love of God that flows through my heart and in my spirit that I unselfishly set aside the “me” and felt the sorrows of those who have went through much more than I. There were unimaginable horrors, loss, sorrows and unspeakable pain that I could only try to understand. I knew God was there in each event though. He was comforting the brokenhearted. He protected the weak. He sent His angels to give relief. He sent food and clothing. He sent volunteers and money. He laid burdens on the hearts of many to pray for the lost, down trodden, homeless and lonely. I shed many tears through the images that came across the television or the newspapers. The eyes of many sorrows burned into my memory! We all share the same emotions.....we all have the same feelings. We are all human and we were made in God's image! It's imperative to focus on what's important in life because it is LIFE itself that gives meaning to each day we awaken! It means so much that God gave His only begotten Son to die on the cross for all of our sins, so that we may have eternal life! Jesus gave His life for ours!!

  1. Rom 12:2: "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
  2. Phil 4:6: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Let's not waste time rehashing the past or we will surely miss some of the most important moments in our own lives! We will miss some of our blessings, stunt our growth spiritually and not be able to move forward. God made us to move forward, to grow in His word, to minister to those He sets before us. The Lord doesn't want us to continue to look in our rear view mirror because the rear view mirror belongs to the devil! I've said many times that the only thing Satan can do is bring up our past, hence the rear view mirror! The Lord God creates the new, give us the hope of a better future, holds to every one of His promises! So focus on Jesus in 2013 and see what He has in store for YOU! Let Him change your heart, your habits, your life! Seek His face and He will make Himself known to you! It's never too late....I invite you to ask Jesus into your heart, repent of your sins and believe on Him as your personal Savior! He's waiting for you......

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