I was asked one of “those questions” today.
A question that stopped me in my tracks and invited me to do a mental double-take.
“What do you know now that you didn’t know one year ago, and what capabilities do you now have as a result?”
It wasn’t long before You brought some things to mind, Lord. Some “keepers” from my journey with You in 2015. I wonder if others can relate to these…
Renewing the Mind is Hard Work. It takes commitment, focus, dedication, discipline and perseverance. There are no shortcuts. No magic pills to pop. No spiritual steroids that will artificially bulk me up.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
There’s just no substitute for investing my time and energy in You, Lord — seeking You and finding You and knowing You and loving You more. Whether I do or I don’t becomes obvious. Not just in what I am doing, but in who I am becoming.
Renewing the Mind is Vitally Important. Because there is a relentlessness to my sin habits and to the Adversary’s agenda in my life. It may be easy to become distracted by the busyness of life… and/or just plain lazy. But whatever comes easy may also be fraught with peril.
“Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)
Never Underestimate the Power of My Choices. I’m making choices all day long. Some might seem large and significant, others tiny by comparison. But You, Lord, know even the number of hairs on my head.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:30)
If no detail in my life is insignificant to You, perhaps I need to reconsider the importance of even my “small” choices. After all… Small steps taken in the right direction produce great results.
Never Underestimate My Responsibility in Making My Choices. I am responsible. Said another way, “Response-Able.”
The “Blame Game” started in the Garden of Eden. Adam blamed Eve for “making” him eat the apple. He even blamed You, Lord… for giving him Eve. Eve blamed the serpent.
But don’t we all lose when we play that game?
You have given each of us the Gift of Free Will — the power to choose. There may be times when we are overwhelmed by what appears to be a superior force. Someone older, stronger, smarter, more clever, more crafty… Often (usually?) we are overwhelmed by a lie. A lie that enslaves us because we do not know either The Truth or The Truth-Teller.
Until, by Your Grace, we come to our senses… and allow Truth to set us free.
“If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)
The Power of Your Word, Lord, is not dependent on the power with which I speak it. I don’t have to shout it (though sometimes I do). Your Word, in a whisper, speaks more loudly than a multitude of Your enemies could ever hope to shout.
You send Your Word forth — the written Word and the Living Word. Without fail, The Word accomplishes the purpose for which You sent it (Him). AND the more I know Your Word, the more it is in my mind and on my lips when I need it most.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of Truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
You, Lord, have given me everything I need to be victorious all the time. If only I will… Receive it. Believe it. Trust You in it.
The armor of God. Weapons that have divine power to demolish strongholds.
The Sword of the Spirit. Prayers that are powerful and effective because You have made me righteous. Your All-sufficient Grace.
Your Almighty Power making me strong, even (especially) in my weakness.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:3-4)
What difference has any of this made in my life in 2015?
Perhaps I am just a little wiser. Or a lot. Certainly more battle-scarred. More aware of my own “games.” More able (and willing) to “come to my senses” more quickly when I am off track. Enjoying Victory with increasing frequency.
Experiencing Your Unfailing Love and Grace, Lord. Picking me up whenever I stumble. Urging me ever onward.
Progress on the road to Perfection. Perfection that only You will bring, Lord… someday.
“I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:4b-6)
Looking backward, gratefully…
Looking forward, expectantly…