The Walls of Jericho
I spent some time this morning reading some things I wrote down at the beginning of 2011. I'm glad I wrote those things down, because I see how far God has brought us this year.
As PKR and I began 2011, we were in a very dark place. We both felt very lonely, and we felt we had spent a lot of time building up walls and not letting people into our lives. We had cut ourselves off from people, and it wasn't good. So we made a concerted effort to break down those walls, and reach out to people, and start building back relationships. And, as I look back over the year, God was faithful.
One of my first moves was to start meeting regularly with my friend CM for Bible Study. What a good choice that was for me. Through the year, we were able to lift each other up, and learn about our loving God. Part way through the year we started reading Eugenia Price's book, "Woman to Woman", a book that focuses on the importance of having your personality under Christ's control. Even though this book was written in 1959, it is such a timely message, over 50 years later.
Next PKR and I hosted and lead a Bible Study through our church in our home. I can't begin to describe how these members of our church family helped PKR and I through some very difficult times. The study was called "Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God", by Henry Blackaby. We learned so much through that study, and the fellowship with our group was amazing. We were very blessed.
I also made some reconnections with people I hadn't talked to in a while. It made me realize how important relationships are in our lives, and to not take them for granted, or close ourselves off from people.
As I sat down to write out my prayer list for the year, it was so exciting as God revealed to me all the people to put on my prayer list, and the abundance of people who are in my life that I have the priviledge to pray for each day. I am surrounded by some very wonderful people. And many of these are people we have opened up to this year, and developed or renewed a relationship with through 2011.
Last year was about "breaking down the walls", as Joshua did to the town of Jericho. I am so thankful our hearts were opened and the walls were broken down in 2011.
This year is the year of focusing on priorities. Each day I want to ask myself, "What are my priorities today?" That is my task today. To sit down, write out my priorities for the year, and set goals based on those priorities.
Part of this process of developing these goals is doing something for 21 days called "The Daniel Fast". This is a time when you fast from certain foods, and focus on what God has for you for the upcoming year. We were fortunate to learn about this practice while we were under Pastors Ralph and Susie Lowe at Christian Life Center, and it was carried on by Pastor Carey Schram.
Yesterday, at our current church, Mountain View Congregational Church, Pastor David Langer gave a wonderful message on how the Magi are our model in seeking after Jesus. They prepared for their journey and then followed the start in search of the King. The Magi found more than they anticipated. And that is the same with us. As we seek the Lord, we will find more than we anticipate. Often when we seek after the Lord, we get bored and give up on the seeking. But the Magi would not be deterred. They did not give up. They continued their journey until they found Jesus. Like the Magi, we can bring find someone who can bring more into our lives than we will ever know.
Jesus is inviting us into a relationship with Him. Jesus takes care of us in the journey of this life. Jesus will move us beyond our lowly expectations and dreams and move us beyond all that we ask or think. Then Pastor Dave asked us these questions..."Are we truly seeking him? Am I seeking Jesus Christ day by day? Do I want to give Him my all? He can do more with our lives than we can ever imagine."
Where am I today and where do I wish to be? If I am weary and heavy laden, He will be there for me.
What a wonderful message to begin the new year with, and to be like the Magi, daily seeking after Jesus, and finding more than I could ask or think.
I look forward to the year ahead, and seeing what 2012 will bring.