2015 has arrived! In fact it seems determined to race by at record speed. How has yours started? Barely two weeks in and I have been already challenged, reassured, freaked out and blessed in equal measure concerning the year ahead!
As I reflect on 2014 and look ahead to 2015 it’s easy to simply make adjustments in areas that didn’t go so well and keep going with the things that worked. Already, however, the message is coming loud and clear that this approach, though intuitive and sensible, would be a mistake. 2015 might be a year like every other but its bursting with possibility of being a year like none other; and the key is in our approach. For 2015 to be all that it can be in God’s purposes for my life, I am realising how important it is to live by the following truths.
Firstly, if I am seriously wanting to follow God’s call and go where he leads, I need to come to terms with the fact that my own skills, strength and understanding will be nowhere near enough. I gave up making New Year’s resolutions many years ago, but no amount of discipline or commitment will bring about the fulfilment of God’s promises or his purposes. Yes we are to align our will’s with his, we are to be obedient and make Godly choices, we are to work out our faith with fear and trembling; but having done all that, to think we can succeed with mere will power and determination is a mistake. We need Him. We need his presence. We need his grace.
The second follows nicely; in order to know God’s call and to walk in the plans he has for me I need Him. I need his presence. I need his grace. I need to be tuned in and listening. I need to trust him above my own understanding, above my own fears and insecurities, above what I see. Whatever disciplines I bring into my life, they need to cultivate my sensitivity to Him, to His voice, to His presence.
Thirdly I need to trust His timing and simply obey. I need to draw on him for the courage to wait; to surrender my desire to control the outcomes. I need to wait for the child of promise to come, not bring forth the child of my unbelief. The joy that comes with the child of promise is unparalleled… and guaranteed because we have a God who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.
When I forget these three things I am likely to live on yesterday’s blessing, rely on the things that worked in the past and make my own plans to bring about the good that God has spoken about. Like Moses when he hit the rock at Meribah instead of speaking to it. He was doing what had worked the first time, and indeed it actually did work this time too, but it simply wasn’t the way God had instructed him to act. His actions brought forth life but it wasn’t a result of the promises of God; and as a result he didn’t enter the promised land of God’s call on his life.
In the promised land of God’s call, no two days are the same, every situation is unique and requires a fresh coming to God and hearing his voice. As we enter into 2015 will you join me in a commitment to press into his presence, tune into his voice and live in obedience and trust in him. I want to enter into the Promised Land and bring all those who follow too; how about you?