Anticipating the New Year of 2015
Reflections For the last two years I reflected on the events of my life and gave God the glory for every miracle. In those two years I have seen the hopelessness and despair of Job and I have experienced the same magnitude of miracles as Joshua. By following God’s commands, my wall of Jericho fell down. God has parted the Red Sea for me to overcome the impossible. Like the apostle Paul on the road to Damascus, I have been transformed magnificently in mind, body and spirit. God brought amazing people into my life to love me and to teach me many valuable lessons.
In His Presence This year I desire to be wrapped in the Father’s arms and immersed in His presence. The picture is starting to become clear. God conveys His presence through the common elements of an ordinary life by touching individuals from every walk of life through hospitality, biblical teaching, encouragement and joyful good humor. Loving and serving others is the natural overflow which pours out from a life filled with Christ’s love and devotion.
Going Deeper This year I desire to go deeper in my relationship with the King. To be sanctified is to be intensely focused on God’s point of view, to keep all our strength of our mind, body, soul and spirit for God’s purpose alone. It will cost absolutely everything in us which is not of God. It is that family likeness to Jesus and the freedom from everything that is not like Him. I am fully prepared to be set apart for the Holy Spirit’s work in me. “May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely” I Thes 5:23.
The Main Thing Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing regardless of our condition. This I aspire toward as my highest priority. And while I will win a few souls, establish some churches and promote some revival, the main thing needs to be the main thing.
Pure Joy-Trials of Every Kind This year I aspire to renewed thinking about trials. I am learning that difficulty is actually the atmosphere which surrounds a miracle. A great miracle is ushered in when the condition is an utter impossibility. As you cling to Him, the King is delighted and He shows you His strength and power. God’s most beautiful jewels are often delivered in rough packages by very difficult people. God trains his soldiers not by allowing them to lie in beds of ease but by calling them to difficult marches and service. Become educated by fighting in the midst of flying bullets. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, because the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.” James 1:1-4.
Unleash the Power of Prayer I have failed miserably at this, While I am bold and ask for and fully expect miracles, I do not pray with consistency and perseverance. I have asked for a cup full and He owns the entire ocean. I have asked for a simple ray of light while He holds the sun. My best asking falls immeasurably short of my Father’s ability to give. I desire to learn to pray until the iron gates of difficulty are opened, until the mountains of obstacles are removed, until the clouds are lifted and the sunshine of a cloudless day shines bright. The possibilities of prayer are seen everywhere in the bible. Prayer changes the purposes of God. Just ask Joshua. Whoooaaa!
Wait and Wait Some More The Lord has an inconceivably glorious purpose for each of His children and so we wait on God as He waits on us. God knows he cannot gather the fruit until it is ripe. He knows when we are spiritually ready to receive blessings for ourselves and His glory. It requires much more courage to stand and wait yet not lose heart or lose hope to submit to the will of God. We are forced into in-action to watch the great roaring tides from the shore. It requires us to give up opportunities to work, or to love or to be loved and to leave the honors to others. It requires quiet confidence and rejoicing to wait while the busy multitude go happily on their way. I will glory in planting my feet firmly in a waiting stance until the “pillar of cloud” moves. I am seeing more clearly why God (with great humor) closes every door I open in terms of being alone and desiring companionship. He will not allow me to settle for something less than His best. I hold tight to this protection and I trust God to guide me. And if I am alone until heaven, I know with certainty, the Lord thought it best.
Alone with the King And while we are waiting… In order to grow in grace, we must spend a great deal of time in quiet solitude with the King. Contact with others is not what causes the soul to grow most vigorously. It is in the desert that the dew is freshest and the air is most pure. Allow God to develop all the plans of your heart and mind while you are alone with Him and then let Him accomplish these things for you. It is a fundamental principle of faith that no tremendous growth in holiness has ever been achieved by anyone who has not taken the time, frequently and for long periods, to be alone with God.
And Finally I have faith in God that it will happen just as He told me. Acts 27:25
Credits: I read many books, devotionals and biblical translations for inspiration. Many of the thoughts expressed today have come from two of the best-selling devotional books of all time. Streams in the Desert by Mrs. L.B. Cowman was written in 1925 and My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers was written in 1927 and both have been recently updated in today’s language. Chambers and Cowman ministered together and first met when Mrs. Cowman and her husband were missionaries to Japan and Oswald Chambers traveled there to preach. Both of them were influenced by Charles Spurgeon. And so I quote from and pay great tribute to these books which continue to challenge and inspire me.