I love change. The changing of a season. A new job. New friends. Old habits reconstructed. A new place to discover. I. just. love. it. So, it’s no surprise that I love the new year and I love to do anything cliche to add to the excitement. Like, reminisce….like, make resolutions:)
I actually started reflecting on this upcoming year in late fall as my 28th bday approached. Through the series of several events including a 25 day fast, several prophecies spoken over me, scripture, moving to South Dallas, and prayer- God has lead me to an understanding that my 28th year of life will be a year of blessing and favor. I should expect nothing less and labor in full expectancy with petitioning, asking, watching and waiting.
I want to interject that the foundation and solidarity of these blessings and favor at their purest form mean that I get more of the Lord and that His name will be glorified. So…these blessings could be a multitude of things…suffering, hardship, joy, ease. I am not sure. What I do know is that I will be made in the likeness of Christ and that His name will go out from my life. The way that God has lead me, leads me to believe that these blessings will be a delight and not so much of a hardship, but I am open and willing for anything.
For my bday I had some of my closest friends over for lunch. I took them through my six month journey of God revealing these things and listed out the ways God lead me to pray in this upcoming year. After I shared they encouraged me by their words and then they all laid hands on me and prayed. It was really amazing. I did the same thing with my mom, dad, brother and sister in law.
The main scripture that God has lead me to is Isaiah 54:1-3. It states:
“Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;
break forth into singing and cry aloud,
you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
than the children of her who is married,” says the LORD.
“Enlarge the place of your tent,
and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
and strengthen your stakes.
For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,
and your offspring will possess the nations
and will people the desolate cities.
(Isaiah 54:1-3 ESV)
I have been so longing to be mobilized in special ways. There is such a strong stirring inside of me for more of the Holy Spirit’s workings and for a deeper understanding of who God is and the way He is reconciling the world back to Himself…and then how I can fit into the expanding of the Kingdom of God. God has done so much speaking to me in regards to what the mobilization could look like and what He is doing now is pruning, preparing, sharpening, stretching. I am in verse two. I am commanded to labor in expectancy (v1) for these things God has laid on my heart. Dream big. Ask big. Expect big. Fervently petition. Relentlessly peruse. And then, in His perfect timing he will, like He says in v3, send His name and righteousness into the nations. (The ESV study notes helped me exegete and understand what the scripture was talking about). I just want to burst!
So, all of that to say….HERE’S TO 2012! I have no idea what it will look like, but I am asking the Lord to show me how to labor with expectancy…without fear….in reckless abandonment.
I was reminded this morning through a song of the past three years of my life…which lead me to think on the past four years. Five years ago I was celebrating the new year in Geneva, Switzerland with my family! Little did I know that when I moved back to Dallas I would walk into the darkest days I have known. Within the early days of the new year of 2009 God opened my eyes to Himself. Not for the first time, but, in a way I had not known before. My heart was regenerated in a new way. I understood grace and justice in a new way that created a worship and a new life. This morning we sang a song that I would lay in bed and listen to over and over in early 2009. I love that in 2012 I feel the fullness of His covenant of grace. Grace greater than all my sin, greater than all my best efforts. It’s really amazing. He is really amazing. I can’t wait to walk into the fullness of relationship with Him one day when He returns. Until then I will labor with expectancy for the shadows of that day.
Grace Greater Than Our Sin
1. Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt! Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured, There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt. 2. Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold, Threaten the soul with infinite loss; Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold, Points to the refuge, the mighty cross. 3. Dark is the stain that we cannot hide What can avail to wash it away? Look! There is flowing a crimson tide Whiter than snow you may be today. 4. Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace, Freely bestowed on all who believe! You that are longing to see His face, Will you this moment His grace receive? Chorus: Grace, grace, God's grace, Grace that will pardon and cleanse within, Grace, grace, God's grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin!