But, seriously, I believe this year will be one of learning more about spiritual warfare and living closer to the heart of the Father. Recently I have been studying and teaching out of Romans and 1 John simultaneously. Romans 3, which should have been a fast chapter, become a very intense one while studying the life of faith. I guess I should say the testings of faith. Abraham (who is known as the father of our faith) had at least 10 testings that he had to go through. After studying that, I think I might be more inclined to ask for the rule book and just go by that. If given a list, (the Law), I could probably come closer to fulfilling that rather than have to go through the trials and testings that faith brings.
Somehow in our gentile, Christian lives, we forget that living and walking by faith is really not simple or necessarily easy. It is a conscious and determined mindset that is secured only by a relationship with the Father rather than the education of a doctrine or theology. If you don't know the Lord's heart and trust Him as He leads you, you will not understand what it means to rest in Him. Faith is not only believing, it is purposefully living out what He has shown you and directs for your life. No one else has to agree or understand, but you have a responsibility as a disciple to draw close to Him and learn from His heart what He directs for you. Faith really becomes the joy of the relationship as you know the heart of your Beloved, and I want to share something that I'm finding with Him.
He is showing me that it is my great honor and gift to give to those who I meet His gracious love for them. I know this sounds like old stuff, but what I am finding is that the world has only felt the disapproval and condemnation of Christians. They have never been exposed to the gracious favor of the Father! While the message of redemption is directed at "sinners" there is little grace and favor shown. He reminds me over and again that Jesus did not come to condemn the world but to love it and give His life for us, while we were still "sinners!"
This will be my News Years goal - I want to share the amazing favor and love of God to those who He allows me to live by, serve by, work with and share my life with. I will not say anything until I can love them like He does!
Happy New Year to you!