Thursday, December 31, 2015

Words for 2016

I wasn't going to write this post.
It felt like I would just be spitting into the wind.

Last year.
The year before.
My plans, and goals...
My words of focus...
They all seemed like flawed failures to me.

But a friend and I were talking yesterday, and she brought up the subject... (Thank you, Friend.)
So I began to pray about it, asking God to speak to me clearly.

Then I read my Bible study chapter this morning...
And God gave me three words.
Very clear, very beautiful words.
My focus words for 2016.

Not that I, myself, am going to achieve them, oh no.
But that I will ABIDE IN HIM and allow HIM to work these things out in my life.

The words He wrote so skillfully onto the tablet of my heart this morning are FREEDOM, REST, and CONTENTMENT.
I am at rest in God alone
My salvation comes form Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I will never be shaken.
  {Psalm 62: 1-2}
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been a shelter for me,
A strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.
  {Psalm 61:2-4}
I, the Lord, am your God.
Who brought you out of the land of Egypt;
Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.
  {Psalm 81:10} 
You will know the truth and the truth will make you free.
  {John 8:32}
I asked Jesus for ONE word, and got THREE.
THREE powerful words that are not mutually exclusive.

I can't be content if I am not at rest.
And I can't be at rest if I am not free.

Just like the children of Israel... God told Pharaoh, "Let my people go, so they may worship me" (Exodus 9:1). See, they couldn't focus on God because they were under a yoke of tyranny.  Work for the sake of work.  Work for the sake of survival.  Striving. Struggling. Never free. They were rescued from bondage so that they might shift their focus back to the One True God.

Last year my word was Fierce. Oh, boy. 2015 was fierce alright.  Consumed by a fierce battle for my mind and my heart.  I was under fierce attack from my enemy, and he was winning.  Only because I quit.  I gave up.  But the same way He did with the Hebrew Nation, God came for me.  He has rescued me and set me FREE.

Now I must ABIDE in that freedom.
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. {Galatians 5:1}
For my yoke is easy, and My burden  is light. {Matthew 11:30} 
You are my hope;O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth.By you I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother's womb;My praise is contiunally of You.  {Psalm 71:5-6}
I will Stay. Right. There.


Let him FILL ME with his presence.
Only then can I be truly content.
I rest my soul on the rock of the ages And my feet stand firm on a sure foundation All my hope in this salvation Jesus, Jesus, rock of ages  
If the words and the scriptures weren't enough.  God gave me songs to sing.  Songs of freedom and rest and contentment.
If You never did another thing for me It will always be enough that You set me free Always be enough that You gave Your life Jesus, You are mine...In a world so unstable You keep setting a table here Inviting me to rest in Your grace To drink of all of Your goodness ‘Til I’m more like You, Jesus You’ll never hear the end of my praise...

I look forward to the view from here.  It's going to be lovely to see my destiny so clearly on the horizon. Free from all the things that have been used to distract me from it.  Delivered to be all I can be for Jesus.
"Your destiny comes into clearer focus. Your worship blossoms into brilliant colors.  And your day amazingly brightens into joy." ~ Priscilla Shirer (Fervent
So  I will stay.  I will rest.  I will abide and be content.
If you need me you'll know where I'll be....
Lord, here I am You have all of me Take the world You are all I need Find me, find me at the feet of Jesus Savior, find me with my heart bowed down Find me on my knees Find me close to Thee Find me at the feet of Jesus 

(Do you have a word or words for the coming year?  I'd love to hear them.  Share in the comments below.)

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Friday, December 11, 2015

A Prayer for My Past

Lord, I have sinned and fallen short of Your glory.
Too many times.
But You have forgiven me, cleansed me, and changed me.
You saw me where I was and loved me way too much to leave me there.
Don't let Satan succeed in putting me back down in that pit.
Whether by condemnation and guilt through the thoughts he plants in my head, or by tempting me to indulge in old attitudes and patterns of sin and destructive behavior.
By Your Spirit, help me see the foolishness of those broken paths and wrong choices, and guide me in turning to you - away from sin - away from shame.
Give me freedom and release from my past. Give me the ability to deflect the lies of the enemy - that I am "no good", "worthless", and "useless"... That my sin has ruined me.
Let me embrace Your truth.  Let it envelop me. The truth that you make all things new.
Even me.
Even this.
Even now.
I am yours.  I am your child.  Adopted in love and sealed by grace until the day of redemption.  You are with me, You are in me, and You are for me. What have I to fear? You are Emmanuel.
You help me mount up with wings like the eagle and soar!  I can run and not grow weary.  I can walk and not faint.
Your grace is sufficient for me and Your power is perfected in my weakness.
And it's in THAT power - that resurrection power - that I now stand.
By Your might and in Your grace, and in Jesus' name...

(The template for this prayer journal was found in the book Fervent, by Priscilla Shirer).
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