I wanted to start 2017 off with a verse and a word that would mark this year for me. In the last days of December I set time aside to really pray into the year. To seek God on his intentions for the year. How could I best serve him in the upcomig year and what I could do to mature in my faith. I asked questions like: What nation do you want me to pray for this year? When life gets difficult, what verse will be a reminder of your faithfulness? How can I impact the body of Christ (the church) this year? What is this year about for our realtionship?(My relationship with the Lord)
God is so good to answer all of our questions. Immediately he said South Korea was the Nation I was to focus on this year. To set aside time each week to fast and pray for South Korea. I got so excited because I have friends living in South Korea. If you'd like to join me on this journey for so Korea please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I don't have all the details in place yet but I'd love for people to join me.
The verse that God brought up this year was something new. I had to do alittle searching for it. With every verse that I found I kept thinking, this isn't the right one. Then I came across 1 Thess. 5:16-18
The chapter goes on with more instructions for us as Christ's followers, but this struck me to my core. My Spirit was jumping on the inside, because I felt like this spoke all about my 2017 year. It would be a year of rejoicing always. A year of constant pray an thankfulness in EVERY circumstanes. The last one is really easy to do when things are good, but when they aren't its difficult to be thankful. The word says Enter his gates with Thanksgiving (Psalm 100:4), because he is so good! He is always good and will never not be good. We can put our trust and hope in the Lord because he is so faithful to be good.
This brought me to my next question. How can I impact the body of Christ? The first word that came to me was Intentional. That this year I wanted to be intentional in my relationship with God and with others. Intentional means to do something on purpose or for a purpose. With my relationship with God I don't pray because it's a good thing to do. I pray because there's a purpose to it. When I pray for South Korea it's to actually see the freedom of the gospel to spread throughout the land. It's to see families restored to love eachother as God loves us. It's having the faith that every prayer is actually doing something physically to South Korea and breaking things in the Spirit. That being said, I want to be intentional with fasting and prayer once every week for South Korea. There's a purpose, a reason that I'm doing it. I want to worsphip intentionally. When we worship it gives all the glory to God and brings us close to his heart. It helps create a intimate place where we can grow with God.
The next word that came to my mind was Pursue. Pursue means to follow something till you catch it. I want to ran after God this year till I'm so close that I'm in contact with him. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." - Matthew 7:7. The thing is, God is so big we will never really catch him, but the more we seek after God the more we will find. When we purse God he fills on hands with so many good things. He fills them with things like friendship, responsibility, love, compassion, gifts of the Spirit, and amazing testimonies! His love is never ending.
To impact people around us with the love of God we have to be an example of that love ourselves. It can be one of the hardest things to do when someone rubs you the wrong way. In that moment we take captive those thoughts. We take them captive because God isn't rubbed the wrong way by them. Thats our flesh speaking. Our Flesh (sinful nature) oppesses the Spirit (God's nature). We have to be the example of the Spirit. We have to be the example of God's Nature to everyone around us if we want to impact the body of Christ. We walk with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. We can impact people by walking in God's nature. The bible says we are to do it so it must be possible. (read Galatians 5:16-26) This year I want to intentional pursue walking in the Spirit. Which means to live out all the fruits of the Spirit which are love,joy, peace, etc.
This year is a year of intentionally pursuing God and all he has created me for. It's not striving when we give everything back to him. We strive when we want to obtain things for selfish motives. We enter into a new mindset when we set aside striving and replace it with intentional pursuit of the Lord. It opens up freedom. Freedom to recieve everything God has for us and the freedom to give it away because it was never really ours to begin with. It all belongs to God. We get to partner in his works and his blessings.
My new years resolution is to intentionally pursue all the goodness of God.