I woke up with music in my heart this morning as I do pretty regularly. Today was different though. Today my songs of praise really had no specific words, rather they just sort of swirled around my heart in a fullness of thanksgiving to an amazing God Who has seen fit to keep me and mine unto the very end of 2014. I slid straight off from my bed and unto my knees. This is a practice I started about two years ago when I heard my sista Ini speak about how doing this helps her get her God-connection up and running from the instant she is conscious of her wakefulness. It has worked wonders for me so far, I tell you. There’s nothing like giving God the very first precious moments of your day – on your knees in full acknowledgment of the fact that He is the source of the very breath you breathe; your heart, mind, soul and spirit open, yielded, and fully submissive to His will for you for that day. On my knees this morning, the reality of every negative thing that could have been but which God did not allow hit me. I was humbled afresh by the reality of His hand having surely been with me in 2014, the reality of His grace having truly been more than sufficient, the enormity of His divine provision, favor and protection over me and over all that are connected to me. Ah yes, sis….the Lord has been good and He surely continues to deserve all glory.
Slowly sipping my absolutely delightful cup of steaming hot coffee this morning (slurrp), I thought about how on the 31st of December each year millions of people worldwide will unfortunately allow themselves dwell on and be overcome with sadness and trepidation, focusing all their energy, emotion and attention on the many things that did not work in their lives in the preceding 12 months; viewing each unfolding New Year with bleakness and a sense of hopelessness at the prospect of another 12 months of assumed stagnancy and near nothingness ahead. I thought about how millions will choose to look at the year ending and that which is to come with the eye of negativity, and I thought how very sad this is. Its sad because truth be told, once we wrap our perspectives around the wrong things, we give the devil a large playing field to distort our reality and future hope through his weapons of fear, hopelessness, doubt, uncertainty, discouragement, disbelief, etc.
Sis, I personally refuse to play willing captive to the enemy of my soul. No, I won’t build estates and invite the enemy to occupy each building as well as manage the property. I refuse to enter covenant with him, and I refuse to hand him the title deeds to my mind. I refuse daily to get into agreement with him. Today, as with every other day of my life, I have again intentionally and willingly covenanted myself afresh to God, yielding my all to Him, and so I’m excited today, sis! Oh, but I am! 2014 has been a very eventful year in ways that are too varied to describe effectively within the confines of this post. It has been a busy year, a challenging year, an exciting year, a year of ebbs and flows – emotionally, financially, physically, spiritually, and mentally. That said, anyhow you cut it… 2014 has been a great year for me, and I don’t doubt that if you approach your review from the right perspectives, it has been a great year for you also. This is my take and I’m standing on this foundation unequivocally, with…as my people will say ‘No shaking!’
Sis, more than anything else, 2014 has been a great year because…. hey! You and I are still alive! I mean, how much better can your year have been than that you are still standing at the end of it all? Thank You Jesus! In a whatsapp group I belong to the entire chat history for hours yesterday was centered on a young lady who died the day before – 5 days to her wedding. Heart-wrenching post after post about deaths of children, siblings, etc poured in thereafter. It would all have been pretty depressing but for the fact that I held on to the perspective that I was reading those messages because I AM ALIVE…and well! In this season as always, everywhere we turn there is bad news, and then some more bad news. But here’s the thing, our many conversations and analysis are irrelevant to those who are dead. We hear, we read, we empathize….because we are still here! Can somebody shout ‘Halleluyah!’? Oh, yeah! I’ve got my praise on for sure, and you need to be sure you do too, my friend.
I’m still here sis, and I am so excited about the winding up of this year. I am staring 2015 in the face and intentionally choosing to see it as an opportunity to start afresh. December 31st is for me a breath of fresh air, an affirmation of the fact that everything the enemy planned to harm me, God re-purposed for my good. December 31st is a gift from God and a reminder that He is still faithful to accomplish the things that He has spoken to me concerning my life and His specific assignments for me. I’m excited because I am able to look at everything I ‘failed’ to achieve in 2014 and come to terms once again with the reality of the fact that those failings were building blocks on my journey to becoming who God has called me to be. I’m excited because I see clearly that my disappointments simply indicate that God’s intent and timing for those things I desired didn’t align with mine, and I am so glad He had His way – the best way, the only way! I’m excited because for everything that ‘failed’ around me, I have grown… and my growth has come with testimonies, and with a ministry of encouragement to others who are also struggling.
I’m excited because God is does not work according to the cycles of our January to December human calendars, but He is on His own schedule and timing, and 2015 brings with it the prospect of His closing out some of those things I have been trusting Him for in times past, some of which I can be confident that He has purposed to, and will manifest in the year ahead. I don’t know what those things are or may be, but I firmly believe He is working all things out for my good, and I can’t wait to see what good He has in store for me in the year ahead. I’m excited about the prospect of seeing how His ‘blessings are new every morning’ will unfold in my life in 2015; and I’m excited about the ‘all grace’ that He will cause to abound in my life in 2015. I’m excited because I can’t chronicle enough His many faithfulness in and over my life and the lives of my family and loved ones in the past 12 months. Remember the song ‘Count your blessing’? My list is pretty long sis, how about yours? I’m excited because I know our 2015 will end with an even longer blessing chronicle, in Jesus name. Amen!
More than anything else, I’m excited because I choose to be, sis! I choose to frame my life from the perspective of everything that is good, and pleasant, and true, and lovely, and of a good report. Be they few or many, these are the things that I choose to focus on as the fragrance of and for my life. In the midst of the plethora of evil reports we receive every day, I choose to stand on God’s word and His promises and assurances for my life. I choose to see and know deep within, that my having a relationship with Him in the first place is everything, and before all things. I choose my relationship with God, the assurance of my salvation, and my confident expectation of spending eternity with Him in heaven, as being the true color of my success in life generally; and for each year that passes in which – by His grace, the vicissitudes of life have not taken me away from this truth, I’m even more excited.
Sis, I ask that you walk this walk of gratitude with me again today. It has been a successful year because you are alive, and you remain anchored in Christ. That is the true color of your success sis, and I celebrate this with you today. It is this same perspective and confidence with which I speak into your 2015 and declare that it will be a marvelous year for you, in Jesus mighty name. As you purpose today to go deeper, to draw closer, to walk more in His love, and in obedience to the things that He will speak to you in 2015; then I decree in Jesus name, that by this time next year your confession will also be that you are still standing, that you are still standing strong in Him, and that your life is good and blessed – regardless of what your experiences or situations otherwise tried to tell you. There is an amazing year up ahead of you sis. As we bless God together for the one that ends in a few hours, let’s give Him incredible praise for a glorious year ahead in Jesus name.
Hey, are you outside of the fold? Can I invite you in today? Without Jesus as an anchor, life is hopeless. Will you submit to Him today? Will you give Him your heart and your life? Maybe you don’t understand it completely. Maybe certain things you see, religious extremes and the like confuse you. Maybe you have never truly given a thought to the reality of God, or Who Jesus is. Can I tell you today that the void inside of you is a space only He can fill? Can I assure you that money, popularity, position, drinking, sex, partying, etc will always leave you empty in the midst of it, and in the morning after? Can I assure you that the only place where you are ever truly filled and at peace is in Christ? If you would be willing to at least try, will you draw closer to Him today? Will you come to Jesus and see Him color your life by the only true measure of success that has eternal value? Can you allow Him fill you with His Holy Spirit so that you can live in the excitement and fulfillment of today, and live with an even greater excitement and confidence for when you depart from this earth?
Perhaps you don’t believe there is more to life than our time here on this earth. Will you allow yourself consider that if this is true then you have nothing to lose by walking with God while you are here? You have everything to gain though, truly you do! You see my friend, if there is no God and no heaven and hell, you will lose nothing by following Him while you are here will you? But if you choose not to believe, if you ignore His invitation and you find out at death that He truly is…. it will be way too late, and you would have lost everything. Can you purpose today to believe? All our worldly hustling, aspirations and achievements will count for nothing if we are lost for eternity, my friend. This is truth! Pure and unadulterated!
Can I invite you sis to try Jesus? Please pray this prayer along with me if you will:
“Lord Jesus, I come before you today. I do not know enough, neither do I fully understand. But today, I choose to believe. Today, I choose You Jesus as my Lord and my Savior. Lord Jesus, I give You my life. I choose to believe that You gave Your life for me, that You bled on the cross and died for me. I choose today to declare that You are Lord over my life. I choose You Lord. Father, today, I repent of my sins. I ask You to come into my heart and wash away every darkness. Flood me with Your light, Lord. Fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit and make me whole again. Father, fill every void within me. Complete me, Lord. I give You my all. Lord Jesus, teach me Your Word, Your will and Your way. Help me understand, help me grow in You. Walk with me daily Lord, that on my last day, I might come to you in heaven for eternity. Today, I break every covenant of evil in my life, I break every tie with the enemy and the forces of darkness. I declare that I am born-again and that I am made new, in Jesus name, Amen”
God bless you for your confession sis. Now watch the Lord turn your life around and give you true colors of grandeur in your life and a deep overwhelming peace in your soul. Allow Him lead you and guide you and you will know and understand this love and salvation that I am so excited about. Sis, I’m excited afresh because you just prayed this prayer. I am standing with you in prayer, and I have a confident expectation that I will be a part of your amazing testimony in the year ahead and for the rest of your life, in Jesus name, Amen.
Did I tell you already that I’m excited sis? I did? One time too many? Lol… Bear with me darling, bear with me. I really am super excited! I’m excited for me and I’m excited for you. I’m excited because I’m so blessed sis…I surely am! And as 2014 comes to a close, I speak over you and declare to you once again my precious sister and friend… precious daughter of the most high King…
Be blessed sis… for surely you are!