It is already the second month of a brand-new year, but allow me, for a moment, to take stock and talk about what still lies ahead. Just in case you were expecting me to write about a long list of New Year's resolutions we should all probably consider trying and sticking to, let me put you at ease, I'm not going to. I do however want to share what I would love to see happen in my life this year: In 2018, I want us to really live this journey of life just as Christ has purposed us to live it! Nothing less, by any means! But for this to become our reality, we should be very sure of what life He has in mind for us. Let's dig into the treasure of God's Word to discover and renew our minds to what His purpose is concerning us, so that we can confidently stand on His truth to attain it!
I am so grateful for the Word. Beside it being the ultimate truth, the life and peace that flows from it each time we choose to make it our own and believe it as God's final authority concerning us, is invaluable. Countless times, the Word has been all I have had to hold onto, my only hope in so many of life's unpredictable twists and turns. God's promises to us are indispensable, they are His perfect will for us along this ever-changing journey we travel in this fallen world. To not know our covenant promises is to live without real hope; causing us to be helplessly tossed from once circumstance to the next, subject to whatever they dictate and limit us to.
Now that's not living! And it's certainly not what Jesus paid the price of His very Own life for either. No, in John 10:10, He said, "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)." That doesn't just mean life in heaven, when we leave the earth. Nor does it refer to only spiritual well-being. The abundant life Jesus provided for us to live in Includes provision, peace and joy in every area of our lives, be it spiritual, mental or physical. Jesus declared, "I am [Myself] the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on) Me, although he may die, yet he shall live; And whoever continues to live and believes in (has faith in, cleaves to, and relies on) Me shall never [actually] die at all." (John 11:25-26). The resurrection life Jesus is offering all who continue to live and believe in Him, is a promise of the full, abundant life we can have in intimately knowing Him and His Word while we are here, travelling through the journey of life on earth.
So, since it is God's will for us to live a full, satisfied and abundant life, how do we practically manage to do this in a world that is so unpredictable and full of constant challenges? Life is messy and bad things happen to all people. How do we really live this journey without being victims to the circumstances that constantly threaten to steal what has been promised us? I know for a fact that to remain in a place of hopeful faith, and in the safety of supernatural peace, and soul strengthening joy; I must be careful to constantly give myself to the things of God. I must surround myself with His Word. You see, the Word was inspired by God Himself. That means on each page, from beginning to end, if we open the eyes of our hearts to it, we will find the Spirit of God and His great love for us woven into every truth. And it's really not difficult for us to do this! A wonderful advantage of technology today, is we have access to powerful, Holy Spirit inspired teachings on the Word! We can plug our earphones into our devices and hear the Word while we do our daily chores, or travel from place to place. We can download excellent reading material that fills us with the truth of God's Word. I always find when I'm listening to the Word being taught, or reading what it says, my entire being becomes washed by its truth. It heals, refreshes and restores my hope and trust in the Lord and His faithfulness towards me.
Time and again I'll be in tears as the Holy Spirit tenderly ministers to me while I'm reading or listening to teachings on Him and His Word, whether at home or travelling in my car. One place the Holy Spirit ministers the Word to me and reinforces me with hope and inner strength has been on the airplane. There is no limit to where and when the Holy Spirit can make God's Word alive and powerfully vital to us.
My encouragement to you this week, is to decide to up the time and attention you give to the Word of God in your own journey of life. If you are anything like me, and truly desire to live this journey I've been given just as God intended for me to live; then we need to make knowing Him, and His will for us, our priority.
To be extremely practical, go before the Lord and set a goal to spend a certain amount of uninterrupted time with Him, in His Word each day this week. And trust Him to help you stick to it. Don't go overboard and make it a legalistic chore, you'll kill the joy and excitement before you even begin!
As you carefully listen to, or read what He leads you to each day, be sure to spend a few moments reflecting and meditating on it. Then, before you carry on with the responsibilities of the day, be sure to write something down about it. Anything you felt the Holy Spirit touch your heart with. You may be inspired to practically do something with the truth He highlighted to you, even encourage someone else with it during your day. When you do, it will anchor that truth even more securely inside your heart and mind, and it will become your truth!
I have no doubt, that if you choose to follow this simple pattern of spending time with Him each day, you will discover how real and powerful His Word can be in your life. You will also be obeying exactly what Jesus said we must do to live in the fullness He has for us, along this journey of life. You will be abiding in Him! One day at a time, let's move closer to knowing Him and really live this journey together!