"How will this be…?"
Man...you talk about radical faith!
I mean…Mary could have easily said, “Why me” or “How can this be”.
But what does she do? She puts the emphasis on “will” over “can”…and I’m telling you, friends…the ramifications of what may appear to be a subtle variance is HUGE!
For her response revealed a strong, anchored faith rooted in a God whom she trusted. Thus, by confessing, “How will this be”, she was essentially saying: “I know this will happen. I just want to know how it will happen. ‘Cause all I know is what God says, goes…and I want to go with it!”
So I believe this year needs to start and center on this heartcry (i.e. God is telling us: “I have great things in store for you in 2015.” We need to response: “How will this be?”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------So after praying into this new year over the Christmas break, here are some key words and prayer points God placed in my heart.
1) Resurrect & restore - I believe God wants to resurrect life within, whether it's undeveloped or lost through compromise and/or circumstances. One of the definitions of "resurrect" is: to bring back into practice. So I think this is a key time to ponder what we need to weave back into our daily walk with the Lord. For me, I've decided to read the entire Bible in a year. While this may sound religious, it's not. Why? Because it's a simple yet genuine response to God wanting to resurrect life in me through greater understanding of His Word and how it's pieced together systematically. When Jesus came to earth, He came to give life...and in some cases, literally raise it from dead or dormant places.
However, this is only the beginning. For when God brings something or someone to life, there's a restoration process needed to sustain that life. So when we talk about restoration, we're not talking so much about reinvention, but reinstatement (see John 21:15-19). In other words, God wants to restore His people to their original condition. Perhaps some of you are just now starting to understand what God has intended for you, as an individual among creation. Regardless of where you're at in the journey, I believe this needs to be a year where we run after this place in God's heart in greater measure. Just remember God doesn't resurrect something He doesn't intend to restore. Whether this means contending for more hope, faith courage, joy, patience, compassion, love for one another, reaching the lost...let's believe and be proactive in asking God for what we need brought to life within us.
2) Godliness & power - In a time when it's easy to try and woo men with power, I believe God wants us to pursue His presence with greater passion in 2015. Why? Because we must be satisfied being in the presence of God before we can encounter His power. As we talked about last summer, the idea of presence is based on being filled with the Holy Spirit. Yet, for many Christians, there's a temptation to not only prematurely pursue power before presence, but also pursue our purpose before power and/or presence. If we want our purpose first, we have it backwards. The rightful order is: presence, power & purpose. So I believe God wants us to do everything with this order in mind. And I believe if we do this part right, then we'll be successfully in lovingly living counter-culturally (i.e. living contrarily to the ways of the world and of the flesh). After all, the Gospel was never meant to be culturally relevant.
3) Proactive praise - I think worship has become a relative term in the mind of many people. Yet, when we see every aspect of our lives as expressions of worship, we can draw excitement in knowing God delights in us glorifying Him in the simple things, as much as the profound. Yet, for some, this doesn't change the fact praise is often a reactive reflex, as opposed to a proactive heartcry. Thus, I believe part of cultivating a heart for God's presence lies in proactive praise. Are we declaring the greatness and faithfulness of God when we read, when we pray, when we enjoy right relationships with people? Are we actually voicing praise to God or keeping it locked up within? Are we hungry to hear God? To give our “ear as we fear”?
‘Cause bottom line: I strongly believe this is important for us to focus on this year...because the world needs to see a people who are hungry and ready for whatever, whenever. They need to see a people who know God and His ways. They need to see love without compromise, without borders and without agenda.
And if you there’s one thing you get out of reading this, then God wants to unlock something awesome within you...He wants to take you to the next level in 2015...but that will only happen if you truly desire and are willing to make His love known wherever, whenever He takes you.
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