As we begin this new year, I was praying and asking God what He wanted to focus on. He showed me a rollercoaster, and as the cars began the ride, they started up the steep incline. For many 2018 was like the beginning of a rollercoaster. It was a slow process. It felt uphill or like you were having to really push through. As you get closer to the top where the rollercoaster releases, a few things happen. First, you hear click, click, click of the track with each inch closer you get. These, spiritually, have been moments of 2018 that were moments it "clicked". They were moments of revelation where God spoke something or taught something to your heart and it took you one notch higher. Second, you begin to notice how high you are and there's the option for last minute "what if" fears to creep in. "What if this ends up in a disaster?". You may have experienced some of these in the last few months of 2018, but luckily- just like a rollercoaster- you are strapped in and God does NOT detail you or stop the ride based on your doubts! (Peter is evidence of this). Third, when you're ABOUT to take the plunge into the ride, you actually stop being able to see the track in front of you (depending on how high the ride is- the bigger the ride, the more likely this is). It's the moment of "where is this going?". You can't quite see where it's going when SUDDENLY you're in the middle of a thrilling SHIFT into acceleration. As we turn into 2019 we're taking that plunge into what's next. So what can we expect in this shift? Peace Behind Locked Doors - God kept pointing out to me that John 20:19's address was this year- 2019. It says: "On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” This year, doors that you have locked in fear, Jesus is going to BREAKTHROUGH to bring you peace. Maybe there are doors you've locked in fear of failure, or doors you've locked because they seem impossible, or doors you've locked for fear of people, but expect to see God SUDDENLY show up in those places. Just as when He appeared in that room it was the fulfillment of a promise, so when He appears in that room in your heart- whatever it is- it will be a fulfillment of a promise. Just like that rollercoaster taking off it'll be suddenly and it will be without any "trying to make it happen" on your part. It will trade long-standing fear for peace that passes understanding. Back to Good Gossip - God also kept showing me the word "gossip", which seemed strange. When I was doing a little research I found a fascinating history behind this word from Oxford Dictionary: "Late Old English godsibb, ‘godfather, godmother, baptismal sponsor’, literally ‘a person related to one in God’, from god ‘God’ + sibb ‘a relative’ (see sib). In Middle English the sense was ‘a close friend, a person with whom one gossips’, hence ‘a person who gossips’, later (early 19th century) ‘idle talk’ (from the verb, which dates from the early 17th century)" I get the impression that God is taking the meaning of gossip back to the original meaning. Wherever rumors and idle or malicious talk have separated, God is wanting to turn around and restore into CLOSE SIBLINGS IN CHRIST or CO-SPONSORS IN KINGDOM WORK. It's interesting that gossip as we know it is called "Idle talk". The opposite of idle is working. If idle talk tears down, then to be working talk, it builds up. I love that the word "sponsor" is in the old definition because God is emphasizing us "sponsoring" each other because a synonym of sponsor is SUPPORT. Seek from God a way- even with your enemies- that you can prayerfully support people in your life. Desires Revealed - When I asked God what verse He was speaking to me over this year (which I encourage you to do the same- God does amazing things when you ask Him for a verse over your year), He showed me Psalms 37:3-7: "Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes." The most powerful part of this verse for me is that for the first time I read it in a new way. "Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart". God spoke it to me this time not as "I will give you what you desire", but as "I will SHOW you what you desire as I give it to you". As we delight in what He's doing now, He will reveal to us what our desires are- ones we may not even know we have! The words TRUST and WAIT and VINDICATION are all words that remind us to lean into God's power and not our own. This is not a time to be idle, but it's a time to recognize that it's only in God's time and by His power that things will come to pass in a delightful and safe way. We are able to prayerfully seek what God is asking US to do while not having to know all of what HE is doing, and this year there will be pieces that He is going to reveal to us only AS we do them. This is a year of the active unexpected. Experiencing divine encounters and heavenly surprises AS we are actively pursuing what God is telling us through His word. So buckle your seatbelts, and get ready for the ride!
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