Resolved New Year
I think I have made it very clear that I respect the Pastors at my church. They deliver the word as it is and it is not ripped out of context. This morning’s message was the perfect start to a new year. The message was “Faces Like Flint”. The message conveyed that God’s Will does not just happen. Our Discipleship Pastor, Will, delivered the message and provided the perfect illustration of this idea. He and his wife adopted a Great Dane puppy earlier this year. (For those who don’t know we own two Great Danes, so I am a little biased to the story.) It is their will that their puppy is housebroken and has no accidents in the house. That will is not carried out unless the puppy is obedient and submits to that will. There is action required from the puppy. Likewise, God wills for us to have provision, prosperity and healing. We have action associated for God’s will to be done. (Kind of puts that faith without works is dead phrase in a different context.)
Being a Christian takes an effort. Let’s not confuse effort with being hard. Hard is being trapped in the same revolving door of hurt, pain, anger, disappointment and hopelessness. Hard is thinking that this is all there is and we are meant to suffer through this life to see reward in the next. God’s yoke is light, not weightless. However, in God, through grace and mercy we can face anything and have already conquered it…if we are faithful and obey. If we are resolved.
Starting with a Fast
I have reflected on my thoughts about my first Fast back in August the last few days. (Fast? Your Joking Right? ) I wrote an initial blog and then a few follow ups to how the fast went for me. I was amazed at the difference that fast made in my spiritual life. We begin another 21 day fast tomorrow. I am charging into this fast with purpose. I have been excited about it. I planned to remove the temptations from my home and organize things so that I could focus on God and not the bag of cookies in the cabinet. The first week I plan to do a full fast. Full disclosure I will be drinking my Shakeology every morning, but with no food additions and I’ll be making it with water or coffee. I will be working out each morning and I need that especially in the absence of regular meals. I have juices and water in the fridge ready to just grab and go. My 21 Day Fast devotional is tucked inside my bible. I am ready!
I also know what I am seeking. Clear direction. I am not asking for the whole picture, just very clear direction for the next step. I joke all the time about needing neon signs, but the fact remains I trust God…I don’t trust me. I have thought or felt like I was doing the right thing, only to see it fall apart and end in shambles. I have yielded to the leading of the Spirit several times in the last several months and received confirmation. There is a leading I feel, but I am not certain if it is me being excited and exuberant to engage or is the Spirit leading me to a massive change in direction. I am seeking clarity above all else.
The second thing I am seeking is provision and prosperity. (Healing if needed, but the big-ticket items in the healing area have been handled already.) I signed up to be a coach with Beachbody. Yes, at first it was for the slight discount on Shakeology, but now I am on a mission to improve my health and be strong. I want to go on a mission in trip in the future and frankly, right now I could not handle it physically. That has to change. I am a youth leader and I want to be active with my team, not be winded when we run up and down the stairs. I want to go to Disney with my family and enjoy the trip, not be miserable because of all the walking. I KNOW it is God’s will for me to be healthier and strong. (It was not his will for me to spend years as a glutton, couch potato…I promise). I want to use my physical transformation to help others, to supplement my income and as a vehicle to show how God got me through this. Yes, God is helping me get fit. I pray before my workouts because I know the condition I am in and too much hurt in the flesh will make me give up. I am not trying to run marathons, if fact I have no desire to run at all.
I am putting a focus on paying down our debt in 2017. We have one major item we had already planned but otherwise the cards are being locked up or in some cases closed out. I am working to plan meals and to be as good of a steward in my home as I am everywhere else. There will be a lot of prayer in this area. Self-control seems to be the fruit least developed in my life and I see that in my finances, working out, eating and the use of my free time. I want to see increase in my self-control as part of this fast. Like I said…I am on a mission as I seek God during this fast. I will wrestle until I get the blessings that have been promised according to God’s word. That starts with prayer and fasting this week. After the first week we will resume the sunrise to sunset fast, but the focus will remain.
Ending with a Promise
Whatever is limiting me, whatever is an obstacle for me…God is going to bring it to light. Then He is going to help me crush it. I AM going to be the woman of God I am meant to be. I’m not bragging, I am not saying that to set myself above…that is God’s will for me. It is His Will that you be the man or woman of God you are called to be. So whatever is stopping you from reaching that…CRUSH IT.
We WILL be bold. We WILL conquer. Not because of ourselves, but because God is for us, we are for him. Let’s not limit God’s Will in our lives. Be obedient to his commandments. Listen and look for his guidance. Once we know God’s Will and direction for our lives…pursue it. Pursue it like nothing you have ever pursued before. Be determined to see God’s Will manifested in your life.
Our Youth Pastor delivered a series of messages called “Blessed Life”. In those messages the one unifying theme was that blessings chase those who obey God. Blessings CHASE those who obey God. My prayer for you is that you are chased by blessing this year and every year that follows.
I am going to end here and leave you with Deuteronomy 28:1-14 (thought you should go read the whole chapter since the curse for disobedience is there as well).
Blessings for Obedience
28 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. 4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. 5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. 6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. 7 The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. 8 The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. 9 The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. 11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. 12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.