Man, God is so faithful.
I’m not really a big person on new years resolutions, but over the past couple of years I have participated in the #MyOneWord project with my family and a few friends and although I haven’t always been completely committed to it, I have seen so much growth in it. In my last post I talked about how I had felt like my relationship with God had taken a hit or maybe that I had taken a break from it, and coming up to this new year I was worried about what my “one word” would be or if God would even give me what word to choose. Today, He showed me my answer.
Luke 6:12– “During those days He went out to the mountain to pray and spent all night in prayer to God.”
Prayer has become my word of 2017.
With all of the uncertainty that this next year faces I know that if I am a man of prayer (that is, a man seeking God with my whole life) nothing really can get to me. No temptation of this world, no government project, no social wave can take me away from the spectacular truth of our God and His grace. That’s what gets me so excited for the future. It’s not that this next year provides some sort of magical life change, it’s that I get to find myself lost in a relationship with a God that truly cares about me and my future. I get to seek out this relationship with renewed strength and with a renewed vision for my life.
I think the most important thing that I noticed from the verse above is that Jesus spent all night in prayer. He wasn’t afraid to give up His sleep or His time to spend it with His Father. Jesus, being both God and man, felt what it was like to be tired, to be exhausted, to feel lost YET He still spent a whole night in prayer (and many other nights and days)! Jesus had the inside scoop: He knew that time with His dad was more valuable than one of the most basic necessities of human life, sleep. He wasn’t caught up in getting His full eight hours (or six hours, or ten hours, whatever they say is the healthiest nowadays) because He had a higher level of living. Jesus was focused on God and I want to be too. I’m not saying that we should neglect sleep or neglect our work or school in order to find time for prayer, but we should set out times each day to sit down and pray. Giving up our time to spend time with God (like Jesus did) will certainly yield powerful results! Ephesians 6:18 says, “With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.” Pray at all times. I assume that means that we should pray at all times… So that must also mean that God wants to talk to us while we are at work and while we are at school and even while we are sleeping–at all times! If we are instructed to pray at all times then why not talk to God as often as we can throughout the day? Have a conversation; shoot up some prayers; talk about life with the God who created life!
Luke 6 brought another amazing renewal for me in verses 46-48. Jesus is talking to some of His followers saying, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say? I will show you what someone is like who comes to Me, hears My words, and acts on them: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built.”
I love that set of verses because it gives me such peace about my future and gives such great direction about following Jesus. He tells us that those who come to Him, hear Him, AND act on the word He has spoken will have such a solid foundation that when the storms of life come, nothing will cause them to crumble. Those words are for me and you today. I find it easy to come to Jesus and hear His instruction, but it’s a lot harder for me to put His words into action. ACT has become a “co-word” to prayer for my 2017. I don’t want to just hear His words or read the words He has instructed me and then neglect to carry them out in my life. I’ve done that for far too long. I’m seeking the One who holds the world and I’m going to carry His plan out. I pray the same thing over all of your lives!
My whole goal is to find Jesus every day so it’s not that I’m taking my eyes off of Him and turning my whole attention to prayer or acting, but through prayer and through carrying out His words in my life, I can bring my eyes, my heart, my soul, (my life) to a renewed focus on my Jesus, my Captain.
So, whether you do participate in the one word project, or if it’s a phrase, or a promise, or a resolution you make, make the change of heart and act upon the Word of God and His promises. Seek out our King, the only One who holds the world!
Be blessed as you enter this New Year! Love Jesus with everything you got, encourage each other as we walk down this road, speak life into every opportunity you can, and let’s do life together each day.
New year, Renewed us!