I would like to propose something a little different for the new year. Instead of writing down all the goals you would like to accomplish, why not sit before the Lord and ask Him what He would like to accomplish in you. I am not saying that goals are bad or wanting to accomplish those goals are bad. But, I have discovered that when I come before Him and ask Him what He would like to do in me, He shows me something that I hadn’t thought of or discovered about myself yet.
For example, one of my goals every year has been to know the Lord more and spend more time with Him. I am sure most of you think that’s a great goal and some of you probably have that same goal. I realized recently that the focus of that goal has been focused on me. I am the one who is making the effort and I am the one who is striving to spend time and know the Lord. But, what if I change that up a bit and ask the Lord to come after me more? What if I ask Him to pursue me with all His might? Because in a relationship, both people are supposed to be working and helping one another. What if I completely allowed the Lord to come after me? What does that look like?
If you are up for the challenge, I would love for you to try this with me. He is telling me this is what He wants to do not only for me but also for you. This is going to be interesting and exciting. I am just a vessel that He speaks through and I can’t wait to see what He does and what He reveals to us. Just this morning as I was reading “The Broken Way” by Ann Voskamp, God showed me what He wants me to see about myself. He knows that I have always struggled with a low self-esteem. He wants me to see that He believes in me.
I just have to share some of what Ann writes. “Maybe we believe in Jesus; we just don’t always believe in Him working in us.” That has been one of my biggest struggles. I belittle myself and think why would He want to do anything in me. When I think that way about myself, then I am limiting what God wants to do in me. He doesn’t want me to think that way about myself. He wants me to claim that I am His child and He desires to work in me and wants to do mighty things through me.
Sit for a minute and think about that. The God of the Universe wants to work in you. He lives inside of you (if you have accepted Him into your heart) and He believes in you. Ann tells a story about sitting next to an Orthodox Hasidic rabbi on an airplane. He says to her, “Why do you people always say it’s about having a strong belief in God? Who sits with the knowing that God’s belief in you is even stronger than yours in Him? You may believe in God, but never forget—it’s God who believes in you.” He then went on to say, “Every morning that the sun rises and you get to rise? That’s God saying He believes in you, that He believes in the story He’s writing through you. He believes in you as a gift the world needs.”
This is life changing for me! What would my life look like if I allowed myself to believe how much God believes in me? And what would your life look like? Because I have always been so performance oriented and a pleaser, I have always struggled with doing, doing and more doing. Because I love the Lord so much and I love others, I fall into the Martha trap. But, what if this year, I allowed myself to think about how much God believes in me and wants to work in me every single day. What if I look for Him to come after me? What if I allow Him into every part of my life and watch Him do what He needs to do? That means I have to let Him into all the areas I want to control. Yikes! But, I think I am ready for that. I am ready for Him to take me over so I can live my life abundantly.
Ann Voskamp says so many wonderful things, but this statement really hit my heart. She says, “God made the work of Jesus to “bind up the brokenhearted” and there is more belovedness in Christ for us than there ever is brokenness in us. When Jesus is gracious to us, why would we be cruel to ourselves.” There it is! Why would I be cruel to myself? I have been cruel to myself for so many years because I didn’t feel worthy. I have said terrible things to myself and believed them. I cannot do this anymore. It isn’t right! It isn’t fair to my God who sent His son to die on the cross for my sins. He wants me to stop! He wants all of us to stop our destructive behaviors and believe in Him. He wants us to believe that we are a gift. Say to yourself, “I am a gift.” Say it over and over again. Say it a million times if you need to. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you believe it. I am going to do the same.
I want this year to be the year that I stop attacking myself with horrible words. I want to quit doubting the Lord believes in me and believe that I am a gift. (I still wince when I say that I am a gift. God has a lot of work to do in me!) I want to open myself up to Him and ask Him to come after me and help me live my life abundantly. I can be whatever God wants me to be. He can give me the power I need to do it. He has given me the power to write this blog. I would never have dreamed in a million years that I would be doing this. Every single time I write to you, I look back at it and say, “Wow! Look at what the Lord has done!” I need to remember to do that for myself as well. I want to look back at the end of this year and say, “Wow! Will you look at what He has done in me and for me?”
If you are up for the challenge, I would like to suggest that you write things down. You don’t have to extensively journal, but carry a little notebook with you and write down what God is showing you and helping you with. Keep your eyes focused on Him as much as you can and look for Him to work in your life. He will! At the end of the year, you will have all of the things the Lord gave you for 2017. I am going to leave you with one more statement by Ann. “The moment God stops believing in me, He’d have to stop believing He is enough.” We need to remember that He is more than enough to give us the abundant life He wants us to live. Until next time dear friends…