“For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.”
1 Peter 2:21-25 NLT
May I enter into this new year with my life and everything in it palms up hands open giving it all in worship to Jesus.
My church just had a conference that was about having a vision for your life. And one of the teachings talked about how the enemy has a vision for our lives and is actively trying to get us to fall into that vision. But God has a vision for our lives too. And He desperately wants us to see and choose that vision for us.
Then tonight at a young adult Christian group I’ve gotten involved in called The Net I was challenged by this verse. A verse I’ve read many times before as I tend to “camp out” in the New Testament and 1 and 2 Peter often. But the pastor talked about being all in and surrendered to God this year. He talked about how we often give God something and then take it back, but how we need to give everything to God and leave it with Him. The idea of having bold faith in this year keeps coming up. And I want that! I want to have my heart all in undistracted for God. I want Him to do crazy amazing things in my life this year for His glory. He’s already done so much, but I know there is more that I can glorify Him in. And even as I step into this new house and side of town, I am trust falling into my Heavenly dad’s arms knowing and believing that He will catch me. He will shelter me. He will protect me. And that whatever this year holds, through joy and trial, may I always point to Christ. May every moment and every second speak to the goodness and grace of God. May my words and actions always build up and encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ. And may I learn to be vulnerable, to love deeply, and to be so in love with the one who gave His life for mine.
I’m so thankful for the body of Christ. So thankful for my church family and connected church family and how they have and do love me through all my hurt and healing. I’m so thankful for my Jesus family and the church universal and the small glimpse I’m getting to see for what Heaven will be when the church across time and country will be together for eternity. I’m thankful for their hearts and the love and friendships I’m growing and the ways they challenge me to new and deeper healing and growth.
And I’m thankful how God so perfectly works all of this together for my good. How He uses so many people in my life to be community. To encourage and challenge me. To speak life to my heart and to help me walk closer with God everyday.
My prayer for you is that this year you will see that the enemy, the father of lies and this dark world has a vision for your life. His vision is to draw you in with “fun” and seemingly consequences free “do whatever you want” words. But they are lies and lead to chains and darkness and heartbreak. My prayer is that you will see that on the other side of that, there is God’s vision for your life. And although it can be difficult and feel like it will break you, it is better. Because those trials-those hard times, He is right there with you. And just like He carried that cross for you when He died for you, He will carry those burdens, those trials, and heartbreaks with you. His vision ultimately leads to joy! Amazing unexplainable, sustaining even in the middle of deep sorrow-joy! And peace! Oh, what peace is found in Him! These are things that He has gently and patiently been teaching me last year and I believe He will continue to teach me this year. So I speak these words with first hand experience. I pray you choose to follow God and His vision for your life.
Happy New Year! May you have God’s 2020 vision for your life.