As we lead up to Christmas NEXT Monday, my mind has started focusing on a "fresh start" as we head towards the New Year. This brings all kinds of thoughts and feelings and resolutions... so I want to talk about all of that today. I think it's GOOD to think about the New Year coming and what that means:
What things have we done this year that maybe we'd like to do differently in 2018?
What goals would we like to accomplish in 2018?
What fears & anxieties do we have that we'd like to let go of in 2018?
These are all questions to embrace as you start a New Year, and there are many more I'm sure...
BUT... I would like you to think of a new way to focus on all of these questions/resolutions as you enter a new chapter/year in your life.
This December I have been reading one chapter in Matthew each day and it's been eye opening. I talked about what I learned in Matthew 8 last time on the blog and it's all about having BIG FAITH. How do we stop having "little faith" and step into the BIG FAITH that our Lord wants us to experience??
And how do we carry this through to have a New Beginning.. a Fresh Start...
FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES!
Not just New Year's Resolutions for 2018 that we stop two days later... . No-one really keeps their New Year's Resolutions anyways. There may be a few that do... but do you... I know never did. I gave up on that years ago and here's why... because they aren't "backed" by the power of the Holy Spirit. They don't have staying power because they don't come from a place of prayer and worship and FAITH.
So let's talk about New Beginnings... and Dreams for the future... from God!
Isaiah 43:18-19 says: "Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing."
The ONLY place "All Things Are Possible" is with God.
Read that again...
If you want to CHANGE. If you want to START FRESH. If you want to DREAM new DREAMS... Go to the source of all that is POSSIBLE!
God is the God of giving people a fresh start.
"Your old sinful self has died, and your new life is kept with Christ in God." Colossians 3:3
Revelations 21:5 "And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
We are sending out our Christmas cards and packages today... I know a bit late... but the note we wrote on the back of our card just reminded me of the new chapter we are about to begin in our lives. It's exciting and a fresh start for sure! But there is this part of me that is trying to take it all in and see what the Lord is doing here, because it's all been such a HUGE whirlwind of change.
At the beginning of this year Lance and I decided to do a Prayer Challenge from the Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. That guy... he really got things worked up in our home this past year! hahaha But I really believe in the power of prayer and seeking after the Lord because that's where the Genesis of all of this started! I truly believe that if we hadn't done that 40 day challenge we would not be where we are today. And as I am reading Whisper by Mark Batterson right now it has challenged me even deeper. To hear the voice of God is what we ALL want! To see His hand in our lives is crazy inspiring, right?! The stories of God moving through ALL generations... YES EVEN TODAY... is so incredible that I can't stop believing that He is doing GREAT things RIGHT NOW! Such great things all around the World... and in our own homes and lives.
The chapter I read yesterday in Whisper was on one of the "love languages" that the Lord speaks to us:
"There is no dialect that God speaks more fluently or frequently in Scripture. Whether it's dreams by night or dreams by day, God is the Dream Giver." Mark Batterson.
If you ask me what are some of the most vivid dreams I've had in my life, I will not be able to tell you. I don't remember dreams. I almost feel like I don't HAVE dreams. Oh I day dream like CRAZY... too much actually... but night dreams I don't remember. But lately... I've been having dreams and waking up remembering them!
And last night was one of those nights. But I need to give you some back story...
In the book Whisper in the chapter about dreams, Mark talks about a friend, Kurtis Parks, who told him about his long-standing habit of asking God to speak to him through his dreams. It's a great story and just another powerful testimony how the God of the Universe CARES about us, is AWARE of our fears, and desires, and hopes and dreams... and wants to speak to us. I LOVE THAT.
So last night in my prayers before bed... I asked the Lord to speak to me in a dream.
And He did!
I don't know why I'm so surprised? I went to bed not really thinking about it, not even excited about it... just went to sleep and woke up... REMEMBERING MY DREAM!
Now if and when I do have dreams and wake up, they are forgotten in about 2.5 seconds. Today I woke up, remembered my dream and realized that the Lord God Almighty spoke to me last night and it is BLOWING MY MIND! It was about my dreams for this business/ministry that Rebecca and I are a part of and what that is supposed to look like. I've had so many doubts and concerns about what we are supposed to do going forward and how this little dream of mine is supposed to be a ministry that touches lives all over the world, and God just blew that fear out of the WATER!
I will share more about that dream later and what it all means... but guess what Chapter in Matthew I read this morning... Chapter 14! The chapter where Jesus walks on WATER. Where Peter gets out of the boat and walks on water and when he gets scared and starts sinking... But Jesus says to him:
"Take heart, it is I. Do not be afraid."
WOW. That was just another confirmation. So I am going to go forward in BIG FAITH and I wrote my dream down in my journal and need to have a good long meeting with my business partner/daughter... which will involve lots of coffee... and we will see where the Lord is directing us! And then we will share the next chapter with all of you!
But before I go today, I want to leave you with the last paragraph in chapter 8 of Whisper:
"The goal of going after a God-given dream isn't just accomplishing it. In fact, accomplishing the dream is of secondary importance. The primary goal is who you become in the process. Big dreams make big people because we have to trust a big God. Nothing keeps up on our knees like God-sized dreams. They force us to live in raw dependence upon God. Without Him, the dream cannot be realized. God-sized drams force us to lean in a little closer, and that's when God has us right where He wants us."
That is so TRUE people. He has GOD-sized dreams for EACH. ONE. OF. US. I've said it before and I will keep saying it. I know that in my own life the dream He has given us to move to Colorado WILL BE bigger than us. It will take MORE than we have. It will ONLY be possible with GOD. That's scary and exciting... and it's how He shows the world what a GREAT GOD He is.
I challenge you to pray a prayer today to ask the Lord to show you His DREAMS for your life! Don't bother with New Year's resolutions or self help books. Go to the SOURCE.
God wants to do a NEW THING in your life... will you let Him?
Have a BLESSED Tuesday!