January 1, 2014 marked the beginning of a new year filled with new hopes and new dreams. To be real with you, 2013 was filled with heartache and challenges, but also with so many new HUGE blessings that it can be overwhelming to process it all.
As I sat in my writing/studying/reading chair in my bedroom, I went to the Lord and opened my Jesus Calling devotional. I read the introduction for the first time. Then, I read the verse on the January month page. It is a verse I have read many times. I have it memorized and recite it often. However, this time when I read it, it was fresh and new. The words jumped off the page as if written just for me. You most likely know the verse and have it memorized too.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Last year I heard someone say they ask the Lord to give them a word for the new year. So, I decided to try it and the Lord gave me the word "newness". You may have heard that story. If not, you can click http://www.livingfreeinhim.blogspot.com/2013/11/god-what-are-you-doing.html to read the story.
God continued to speak directly to my heart as I turned the page of my Jesus Calling devotional and read the next few lines.
"Come to me with a teachable spirit, eager to changed. A close walk with me is a life of continued newness. Do not cling to old ways as you step into a new year. Instead, seek My Face with an open mind, knowing that your journey with Me involves being transformed by the renewing of your mind..."
2013 brought many changes and much newness. As I reflected on 2013 this past week, I am thankful for the newness and the old made new. My relationship with the Lord is at a new and deeper level of intimacy than it has ever been and I look forward to a continued life of newness in my walk with Him. If we ever imagine we know Him completely, we are further from Him than we think.
In October 2012, I said these words (I don't recommend ever saying them!), "I am comfortable the way things are, I don't want anything to change." As I said the words, it was as if I felt something happen in my spirit. I know that sounds crazy, but I believe something profound happened. Then, I prayed and told the Lord I was happy with the way things were, but if He wanted to change anything, for Him to show me.
He did. Little by little I became unsettled in many areas of my life.
I honestly had an open and teachable heart with a willingness to get uncomfortable if needed. God doesn't care much about us being comfortable, He is into us growing and becoming who He has called us to be. His calling is rarely, if ever, comfortable. He is continually calling us to new levels and new heights in Him.
However He leads us, we can be assured that it is for good. He can rest in knowing that He does indeed KNOW the plans He has for us and those plans ARE to prosper us and not to harm us. He does give us a glorious and wonderful future and hope! So, that when we have continued newness and are hurled out of our comfort zones, we can know He is good. When He stirs us out of where we are comfortable, it is for better things concerning us and His plan.
That being said, going forward, 2013 is over and a new year is beginning. My new word for 2014 is "boldness". Walking with the Lord daily and KNOWING He is with me and for me should birth a new boldness. Also, knowing He is perfecting the things concerning me (Ps 138:8) and He knows all the plans He has for me and they are all good, should ignite a new confidence in me that is unshakable. I pray I will KNOW these things deep within my heart this year and I pray for you to know this as well so you can also walk in a new level of confidence and boldness in 2014.
Has the Lord given you a word for 2014? If so, I'd love to for you to share what God is laying on your heart in the comments.
Father, I ask for You to give us a new level of boldness this year as we walk with You in continuous newness. I ask for You to give us confidence to do and be all you designed and planned for us to be. I ask to know you in newer ways and know more of you. We need you Lord. We ask for you to lead and guide us in all things for 2014. We are in awe of your wonders and glory. We love you. In Jesus' Name, Amen.