A new year: Do you have a vision?
As we stand at the beginning of the new year, I cannot help but be excited for what it is that God has in store for us this year… I am reminded of the verse in Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’.
The past year held certain battles I would’ve probably avoided if I was given the option. But thankfully God knows what is best for us, and He can see the end from the beginning. (Is 46:10 ‘..declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand and I will accomplish all my purpose’.)
He knew that if I went through the battle, not only would He sustain me He would make me victorious. And not only would He give me victory through this journey, but He would grow me more and more into whom He wanted me to be. I thought my faith was strong enough… But God knew what I needed to learn. In order for me to step into the plans He has for me, my faith had to grow. And yes because He is good, way better than we can ever imagine, He will never allow anything for us to go through if He cannot use it to grow us and ultimately for the display of His glory. It was at a certain low point during this battle, I was done crying, done asking questions, done pre-empting what will happen, when I heard His whisper…
‘I’ve got this. Hand it over now.’ And then, ‘All you need to do, is worship Me’.
Sounds simple enough, but anyone who has faced difficulties in life, will know the handing over part is probably the most difficult. Again, I thought I had that one taped, but again God showed me, there’s so much more that I had to learn… Because handing over is actually so so difficult, and it is only when you can come to the point of ultimate surrender, when you realize there is just no other way, that handing over can become possible. It is there when you realize handing over, is actually nothing more than exercising AND growing your faith.. Those things I thought I was doing quite well, had to grow and be taken to the next level.. You can only move forward in faith when you can come to the end of yourself. It is only at the point of surrender that you can actually make way for Christ to step in. And this is the thing, if we cannot get to the end of ourselves, He can never lead us the way He intends to. And if we want to get to the point where He is always leading we will need a lot of faith! As He will not always make the road clear, but delights most when we trust Him for the road we cannot see….
In finally handing over, and giving Him control, the most amazing thing happened. I was now finally free to worship, and it is here I learned what it means to worship when things are tough. It is quite different than the worship we do when things are going well. It is one thing to worship when all is well and you are thankful, but it is something just as beautiful, when you worship Him because of Who He IS and what He promises to do – before you can see something changing.
When you worship God in expectation of His goodness, thát’s where faith and hope become one..
When we try to make things happen or hold on to our own expectations, we start ‘playing god’ for ourselves and we cannot worship God for who He is and what He can do, as our view, our perspectives and our ability to try and make things happen, becomes bigger than Him.. But handing over my agenda could now give way to His. It actually did not matter anymore what the outcome was going to be, as His outcome is ALWAYS better than mine. And finally with that – my expectation started to grow even beyond what I could dream, I actually became excited in the midst of this raging battle. I finally got to the point where I couldn’t wait to see what it is that He would do!
You might be looking back over the last year and feel no excitement as we are going into the new year. There might’ve been things in your life you didn’t or thought was necessary for you to go through… But you now have the choice to be pessimistic looking into the new year, or make the decision to take God up on His promises and look at the new year with great expectation. You can choose to believe what He says and expect Him to come through, éven if it looks different from what you thought the outcome should be. It might be difficult, but you need to make the choice and decide change your perspective to His. When you struggle most, writing down His promises can be the healing balm your soul needs. For His Word is alive and active and will cut through the most difficult divide if you embrace it.
So my faith had to grow. God came through, in more ways than one, and He also showed me seeds of promise of things that still needs to take place. The end result is so much better than what I could imagine. For the promises I received, I also needed bigger faith than before, and I am so thankful that He allowed me to go through what I did, as I can now expect to receive more than I ever dared dreaming of. For me, having a vision board is a great tool to use as constant reminder of this… It is something that visually remind me of those promises and to which I can go back to again and again, I can also add to it and expand my vision as He leads me. Having a visual picture is even better, and there are so many pictures that speak to His promises to place on the board. I would encourage you to look for the promises and pictures – especially those make your heart skip a beat, as that is most probably directly from God for you, those are the exact ones He planted in your heart when He designed you.
I want to leave you with this. God actually instructs us in His word to write down our vision, His vision for us, where we can see it. You read this in Habakuk 2:2 ‘ Write down the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.’ And then the bigger promise in verse3 ‘For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end – it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.’
That is one of the most beautiful scriptures to me. God promising us that even when things seem slow, we need to wait on Him, and in His timing. He will deliver. He cannot lie. And He is a GOOD Father, everything He does and allows is for to grow into our destiny. SO you can always go back to that vision board and remind yourself of the promises over and over until your heart also believes it and more – become to expect it! That is the most wonderful place to be, standing in expectancy of what He will do! And while you are there, expecting, you can worship Him over and over for Who He Is and what He promise He will do!
Ephesians 1:3-6 ‘How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.’
May you enter into this new year with expectation. Not with your own expectations of what things should be, but my prayer is that He gives you His perspective, an expectation for things to be even more than what you could imagine!
This song spoke volumes to my heart, may you enter this year with NO fear, knowing He HAS you in the palm of His hand!