Most years, I seem to end the year with some kind of a theme on my heart for the coming year. And over the years I've come to recognize that as the Spirit working in my heart. It's never about fixing anything, it's always about growth... One year the song, "Give Me Your Eyes," by Brandon Heath, captured my heart and that became my prayer for the year... It was that year that I went to a garbage dump in Africa to meet mothers and grandmothers who went there to feed their children. It was that year, more than ever before, that I began to see others with His eyes... compassion and mercy grew. One year He gently showed me where I was not living in freedom, and while that continues to be a daily journey, my heart soars more than ever before. Another year it was about joy, that year was a year of healing and forgiveness... I could go on and on...
But maybe, for the first time ever, it has been a deep conviction of sin that has brought me to my theme, my prayer and pursuit for 2014.
What God has been showing me is that, sadly, far too often the song that characterizes some areas of my life is "I Did It My Way." The section of lyrics that really hit home are these... "I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway. And more, much more than this, I did it my way. Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew, when I bit off more than I could chew. But through it all, when there was doubt, I ate it up and spit it out. I faced it all, and I stood tall, and did it my way."
It's funny, this song doesn't characterize EVERY single area of my life, in fact, it's probably only overwhelmingly true of a few, but what God is showing me is that even if it's only true of ONE area, it impacts my relationship with Him and steals my joy and peace... One bad apple really can spoil the bunch!
The bottom line is, God wants our best and as our Creator, He knows what is best. Through His Word, He has given us principles and truths that reveal His way... Through the Holy Spirit, just as Rick talked about, He will speak to our hearts and guide us in His way... If we will surrender our lives to Him and commit to knowing and seeking Him and living His way, we will find our lives overflowing with peace, joy and all that comes from living the abundant life.
As I look forward to 2014, it is time to get some areas back on track... I'm sure it won't be easy because there are consequences when I choose "my way"... I'm sure I'll be tempted to give up and go back to "my way." But I pray that on December 31, 2014, I will look back on 2014 with a smile, and with my heart full of joy and peace and deep gratitude (because it will be His grace that enables me, equips me and empowers me) and I will sing, "I Did It HIS Way."
Blessings in the New Year,