the month with all the hype.
to [[recharge]] and stop hitting [rewind].
to make this new year,,
a really [successful] one.
and as i posture myself before Him,,
not desiring emotional hype to drive a man-made attempt of change and transformation,
I ask for His heart and a fresh word for this next season and year.
because apart from Him, there really is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
and without Him removing a heart of stone, with a new one..
and the sprinkling of clean water to cleanse us..
and the impartation of His Spirit to fill us.. (ezekiel 36:24-27)
we're just white-washed tombs.
looking beautiful on the outside.
but just dead bones and unclean within. (matthew 23:27)
and we're really just deceiving ourselves.
because only God sees the heart bare. (1 Samuel 16:7)
and as He speaks and begins to reveal,,
my heart cries out within me
[i want Your definition of success for my life].
redefine it for me, God.
because everybody knows we only have one shot.
and nobody wants to mess it up.
Christian or not.
as the saying goes.. [you only live once].
and instead of the reality of that statement causing a shift in perspective from the here and now to what lies waiting for us eternally.
we scramble and stress to do it absolutely right,, thinking only of ourselves and our present happiness and reputation.
get the best job, marry the right person, stack the money high in the savings, get to the top.
or we throw it all away and destroy ourselves for a fleeting temporary high and pleasure because who cares.
but even in following Jesus,,
we have our own definition of success.
and it feels spiritual.
and it looks spiritual.
and it can even come with good intention.
and i can't help but feel like we all have it a bit upside down.
[and that success in life is a lot less about life,, and a lot more about death. ]
"Paul said, 'to die is gain' (philippians 1:21). That kind of talk is absolutely foreign to our modern spiritual vocabularies. we have very little desire to depart to be with the Lord.
Paul said, 'I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better' (verse 23). Yet, for the sake of edifying the converts, Paul thought it is best to 'remain in the flesh'.
Did Paul show lack of respect for the life God had given him? Absolutely not! to him, life was a gift, and he had used it to fight a good fight. He could say, 'It is better to die and be with the Lord than to stay in the flesh.'
Those who die in the Lord are the winners; we who remain are the losers. death is not the ultimate healing-- resurrection is! Death is the passage, and sometimes that passage can be painful-- but it is not even worth comparing to the unspeakable glory that awaits those who endure the passage.
Any message about death bothers us. we try to ignore even thinking about it. Occasionally, we discuss what heaven must be like, but most of the time the subject of death is taboo.
how different the first Christians were! Paul spoke much about death. in fact, our resurrection is referred to in the New Testament as our "blessed hope".
Nowadays, however, the world has trapped us with materialism: 'I dont want to leave my beautiful home, my cars, my gorgeous jewelry."
[[we are bombarded with messages on how to use our faith to acquire more things, even though our lives are already cluttered with possessions. ]]
Christ calls us to come and die-- without building memorials to ourselves or worrying about our legacy. Jesus left no autobiography, no headquarters complex, no university or Bible college. He left nothing to perpetuate His memory but the bread and the wine.
our "gain" is Christ Himself.
may we forsake all to cling to Him continually!"
(David Wilkerson, God is Faithful)
God has shown me to pray for
>>the loss of peripheral vision with the retention of central vision.<<
>>narrowness of viewpoint resulting from concentration on a single idea, opinion, etc. to the exclusion of others.<<
that as i journey through these pilgrim days,
my vision would be Him. and it would be central.
that everything else would fade black. peripheral. unnoticed.
my view of Him would be unhindered.
this year.and every year.
to focus on growing to full maturity spiritually.
to not get distracted by the details of life.
to be fully grown in Spirit.
to not have such a physically-focused spirituality.
i want to look back when i'm dying and see how life contributed to my growth in faith,,
not how my faith contributed to my earthly life.
because we all live before the audience of One.
and if its not "success" in His eyes.
what is it anyways?