God’s Faithfulness for Seven-plus Decades

“Five sparrows are sold for only two pennies, and God does not forget any of them.  
But God even knows how many hairs you have on your head.

Don’t be afraid. You are worth much more than many sparrows.”
(Luke 12: 6-7 NCV)

In this time of distress, when the coronavirus is spreading uncontrollably over the earth, I admit I’ve been struggling with fear. I’ve not wanted to get out of bed in the morning, read more disturbing news reports and hear more predictions of disaster. This morning I felt encouraged.

As I was waking up, I remembered the words to a worship song. I started humming it. Other songs kept surfacing from my subconscious brain. Songs I learned decades, ago. “Yes!” I said. I have over seventy years of songs stored in my memory. With each of these songs, there’s a story. A story of God’s faithfulness to me in difficult times. Can I not trust him in the uncertainty of today?

What will I do? Will I close my computer and stop communicating? No! I will not. As long as I have breath, I will keep talking about God’s goodness. I will share the insights from Scripture, songs, and poems that he gives me. I will share the stories and songs other followers of Jesus have written.

My grandmother loved Jesus. She was not a rich person, according to the standards of this world. Yet, she gave me something of tremendous value. A love of music and an example of faithfulness.

She played the piano and whistled like a bird. She taught me that even if I am no more significant than a sparrow God sees me and watches over me.

The following hymn is one I sang as a college student. In the succeeding years, I’ve experienced joy, sadness, success, failure, pain, loneliness, healing, and distress . . . all of this and more. In everything, God has remained with me. His ways are flawless. His love is indescribable. In this time of uncertainty, I am still praying “Teach me your ways.”


Teach me Thy way, O Lord, teach me Thy way!
Thy guiding grace afford, teach me Thy way!
Help me to walk aright, more by faith, less by sight;
Lead me with heav’nly light, teach me Thy way!

When I am sad at heart, teach me Thy way!
When earthly joys depart, teach me Thy way!
In hours of loneliness, in times of dire distress,
In failure or success, teach me Thy way!

When doubts and fears arise, teach me Thy way!
When storms o’erspread the skies, teach me Thy way!
Shine through the cloud and rain, through sorrow, toil, and pain;
Make Thou my pathway plain, teach me Thy way!

Long as my life shall last, teach me Thy way!
Where’er my lot be cast, teach me Thy way!
Until the race is run, until the journey’s done,
Until the crown is won, teach me Thy way! 

 https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Teach_Me_Thy_Way_O_Lord/ 

The Moment Called “Today.”


Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life?
For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
James 4:14 ESV

In the last few weeks, uncertainty about the coronavirus has caused me to consider the brevity of life. I’ve not been panicking but thinking a bit more seriously about what choices I am making to stay healthy and embrace life. How do I, as a senior citizen, respond to this threat? How does my faith in God affect this scenario?

Do I travel or not? What kind of precautions do I need to take? What does wisdom look like in this situation? What does it mean, in this situation, to live as Jesus said, loving God, loving myself, and loving others?

How do I live in the moment called “today”?


 Yesterday has vanished
 Tomorrow’s not appeared
 The only thing I’m sure about
 Is the moment I call “today".
  
 It’s early in the morning
 The sun has not yet risen
 As I slowly waken
 I give thanks to God in heaven
  
 For the fact that I can breathe
 My mind is still alert
 I can stretch my arms and legs
 All my joints still work
  
 I think about my family
 I think about my friends
 I pray that God will bless them
 With health and success
  
 I think about my neighbors
 My nation and the world
 I pray that leaders everywhere
 Will seek wisdom from above
  
 The wisdom that is peaceable
 The wisdom that is just
 It is God’s will, I believe,
 That hostility would cease
  
 As I wash my eyes and face
 I give thanks for warm water
 And think about the project
 I’m making for my daughter
  
 How blessed I feel as I recall
 Memories of past years
 I pray my daughter will find joy
 By what she sees and hears
  
 I know I have a tendency 
 To do things in a hurry
 That’s when I get caught up
 In frustration and worry
  
  
 So I will take my time, today,
 Not give in to my desire
 To speedily compose a “song”
 In fear that I’ll expire!
  
 Age is not determined just
 By chronological years
 It’s related to the relationship
 We have with our Creator
  
 We are more than chemicals
 Influenced by genetics
 There is a spirit part of us
 Which can’t be detected or measured
  
 By CAT scans or standardized tests
 It’s invisible but strongly affects
 The way we think, the way we act,
 The way we feel, whether we heal
  
 Or whether we cave in
 To the opponents of life
 Whether they’re viruses
 Or vices; we all make choices
  
 To love or to fear,
 To embrace or retreat,
 To save others or just ourselves;
 By these choices we live or we die.
  
 Yesterday has vanished
 Tomorrow’s not appeared
 What choices will I make 
 In the moment that is HERE?
  
 Jane Ault
 3/6/2020 



How faith in God gives us power to embrace self-respect and extend forgiveness


Joseph’s statement of faith: “ God turned into good what you meant for evil.”
Genesis 50:20 TLB

At New Hope Community Church where I worship, we’ve been looking at the Old Testament story of Joseph. Although treated with immense injustices in his teenager and early adult life, he did not become a victim of his circumstances. Instead, he made these amazing choices.

  • When his envious brothers sold him into slavery, he did not despair but recognized God was with him.
  • Instead of cowering before a rich and powerful sexual predator, he fled.
  • When falsely accused and thrown in prison, he did not linger in self-pity but held onto his confidence that God was for him.
  • Instead of embracing a victim identity, he focused on God’s accepting love and chose self-respect.
  • Instead of building resentment toward the prison guards who were over him, he used his administrative skills for their benefit.
  • Instead of reacting with a vengeful spirit, he forgave his brothers and at the same time confronted them with their wickedness in a way that caused them to repent.

How sad it is, today, when women, men, or children are told that the proper thing to do is put up with abuse, deny its effects and move on. Instead of giving victims of abuse the support and power they need to flee, churches often tell them they must stay. No woman, man, or child can do this and thrive in their faith. If we are Christians in this culture, we must have the kind of faith, attitude, and action that Joseph displayed and Jesus practiced.

Unfortunately, I have sometimes ignored messages and actions from others that are hurtful. In my poem, today, I talk about a more mature choice. I’m so thankful for supportive friends and a husband who values and supports me. Most of all, I am thankful to Jesus. It’s through my relationship with him that I find healing, wisdom, strength, courage, and love. Through him, I’ve discovered my true identity and I embrace it with joy.


 When I’m stuck in a rut of anger, suspicion, and resentment,
 How do I get back to self-control, trust, and contentment?
  
 I have a little talk with myself
 I ask Our Father for help
  
 I call some friends and ask them to pray
 I take positive action, without delay
  
 In this way, I show respect for myself
 And enjoy mental and emotional health
  
 I may be a victim but I have a choice
 I can accept my lot or make use of my voice
  
 I can call for support and refuse to remain
 A captive to any human’s chain
  
 I can prove who I am by doing good
 I don’t need to be hostile and start a feud
  
 Our Father in heaven sees the unjust
 He fights for victims of prejudice.
  
 Jane Ault
 2/25/2020 



This entry was posted on February 28, 2020. 4 Comments

What I learned about teamwork through playing Scrabble with my husband


Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2: 4 NASB)

While eating breakfast this morning I said to my husband, “Playing Scrabble with me every day for the last six weeks has been one of the most romantic things you’ve done!”
He smiled, nodded his head, laughed heartily, and asked,
“How so?”
“I learned a lot about myself and I learned a lot about you. I discovered how we can work even better than we already do in our teamwork. This is what I will share through my blog this week.”

Four principles of effective and enjoyable teamwork which I re-discovered hidden in a game of Scrabble.

Principle no. 1: Cooperation brings more joy than competing does. When we first started playing I focused on which one of us would win. I, a more experienced player, felt confident it would be me. It happened. Most of the time. Did I feel happy?

Not really. I felt proud of the high scores I achieved. I felt impatient when my husband couldn’t immediately come up with a word. Did I feel closer to him? Not at all. Even though we were sitting together, I felt disconnected. This one-sided win did not feel like a win at all.
Finally, one day I said to John, “Let’s just work to get the highest combined score.” Doing this has proven to be much more satisfying.
Instead of hiding our alphabet tiles from each other, we show one another what we have. Instead of trying to block him from playing his “Q”, “X”, “Z”, I give him an opening. He does the same for me. When I can’t find a place to play my seven-letter word, he says, “There’s one!”

Principle no. 2: Generosity builds relationships; arrogance destroys them. John is truly a generous-spirited man. He played Scrabble with me every day for weeks, continuing to do so without complaining, while I won most of the games. Beyond that, he often congratulated me on my high scores. When I played a seven-letter word he said, “That’s terrific!”
Not, “I wish I could do that!” He felt genuinely happy about my win. At the same time, he did not think of himself as a loser. He wanted to do something that I enjoyed even though it wasn’t his favorite thing. Our relationship mattered more than his winning a game.

Principle no. 3: Doing the best I can for the best of everyone makes us both happier than being best of-all. Isn’t this what love is about? Loving our neighbor as we do ourselves? Even in something as small as a Scrabble game, we found this is true. What would happen in this country if each of us stopped pursuing happiness only for ourselves and began promoting happiness for everyone? What would happen if we stopped comparing scores and worked for the highest combined score? Not JUST for our nation. For the entire world. Isn’t that what Jesus calls us to do? Whom did he not love? Whom did he not die for? Whom does he not care about? How can we say we are members of his “team” and think otherwise?

Principle no. 4: Through perseverance, everyone grows toward maturity. For us, a successful game is not about who draws the “A” and starts first. It’s not about who ends first and gets the most points. It’s about the size of our combined score.

It’s about developing patience as I wait for my husband to play. It’s about letting go of frustration if he played where I wanted to play. It’s about rejoicing about his win as much as I rejoice in mine. It’s growing in the simple but profound ways of love.

“Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-5 NET)

I never imagined I could learn all this through playing a game of Scrabble!


When laughter comes, depression flees



I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13 NASB)

I visited my doctor this week. She said, “You are depressed.” I tried to deny it but after honestly answering the questions she confronted me with, I agreed with her. Amazingly, I am not worried about this depression. I’ve gone through enough dark valleys to know sunshine awaits on the other side. God has always given me the strength and resources I’ve needed to recover. I know what to do. I do not lack hope.

Depression is something like sitting in a room on a stormy day with the window shades pulled down. At first, it makes us feel safe. After a while, the fear and uncertainty of whatever might happen increases and negativity occupies our souls. Problems loom larger. We can’t come up with solutions.

Loneliness contributes to this negativity. Loneliness is sitting in a room of depression by myself. Scientific studies have shown it’s a significant factor in mental and physical health, making us “more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure, suicide, even the common cold. It’s more dangerous to our health, researchers tell us, than obesity, and it’s equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day” (Is There a Medical Cure for Loneliness?)

As I listen to news reports and see the storms in the world around me, I want to pull down my window shades. I want to retreat. Isolate myself. Insulate myself through soothing denial. What happens if I do so? Alone, in the company of only myself, depression sets in.

God may be with me, but I don’t see him. I feel angry, turn my back, and refuse to speak to him. I need a human voice to awaken me. To say, “You’re depressed.” To say, “You are lonely. Go spend some time with your friends.”

I heard my physician. I forgot about everything I’d scheduled for the day. I called a friend. Two of them. I stepped out of my house for a few hours and spent time with these friends. We laughed. We cried a little. We laughed some more. We made plans to meet again.

In just one day, my perspective shifted. I felt revived. Able to breathe. Able to think. Able to write again. I turned around, faced God and began to face my problems with fresh belief solutions are possible. For me. For others.

I am not closing my eyes to the pain and dysfunction of the world around me. I will continue to write. I will engage with my voice. I will intentionally be present with those who share their broken hearts with me.

I will not do this in isolation. I will stay connected to my face-to-face friends and to my online friends. I will open up my window shades and receive strength and courage through their smiles and laughter.


 Deeply wounded, in denial
 Grasping chemicals for survival
  
 Confused about sexuality
 Pursuing greed and unreality
  
 In a nation we call, “Christian”
 Families flounder in dysfunction
  
 People ruled by tyrants
 React in fear, hate, and violence
  
 Injustice flourishes
 Hope nearly perishes
  
 Another friend develops cancer
 Goodbye to fun, joy, and laughter          
  
 I see it all, stand in silence,
 Refuse, at first, to ask for guidance,
  
 Clench my jaw in my sleep,
 Ignore my pounding heartbeat.
  
 God, why did you give me so much sensitivity?
 I’d like to close my eyes, not hear, not see
  
 A doctor tells me I’m depressed
 I need friends. I must rest.
 
 I spend an afternoon with others
 Loneliness no longer smothers
 
 Me. I can breathe again. 
 I sniff fresh air. I'm not the same.
 
 Go back home. Make some phone calls.
 I am singing before nightfall. 
  
 In a child’s eyes, I see wonder
 God is holding back his thunder
  
 In this oasis of Grace
 Miracles still take place.
  
 2/11/2020
 Jane Ault

This entry was posted on February 14, 2020. 11 Comments

Joy in Making a U-Turn


“Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.

(Proverbs 1:23 NASB)

If we want to sail with the wind of God’s Spirit, there are times that we need to change direction. In her beautiful book, Openings: Glimpses of God’s Grace, my friend Jean McAllister illustrates this.

She offers us fifty-two inspiring meditations, combining truths of Scripture with her rich experiences. I’m reading her book slowly, as she suggests, taking one meditation for each week of the year.

In her meditation “A Delight to Turn”, she talks about an occasion in which she needed to make a U-turn. Receive and learn from correction. After initially rejecting an editor’s critique and justifying herself, she admitted to the problem that was pointed out and followed through with necessary changes.

I admire her honesty and humility. I’m being challenged in my own growth as I read her valuable insights. Here are a couple of her gems: “His [God’s] love for us in correcting us gives us strength, as no ego-booster ever could!” “I’ve learned a bit of how God shows love through correcting me. I can even find joy in his gracious showings of my shortcomings, because I know that he will also take them away. (p.13 Openings)

God has shown me I need to make some adjustments in my life. Not a complete U-turn in which I give up writing. Just some tweaking. Other areas of my life need more attention. That means I may not finish a sequel to my book, Emotional FreedomThe Choices We Must Make this year.  

I feel embarrassed because it’s taking me so long to complete my promise to do so. But I need to adjust my sail. I can choose to do so and miss the wind of the Spirit, or I can correct my course and receive his blessing.

My word for this year is faithfulness. Faithfulness to Jesus means I obey him. “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones,” he says (Luke 16:10 NLT) When we are faithful with a few things, he will give us many more things. (Mathew 25:21 NIV)


 Jesus sits beside me as I make my plan
 I listen to him and do the best I can
  
 I must make adjustments all the time
 Because his vision is better than mine
  
 He wants obedience, not perfection
 So I don’t throw out my selection
  
 Or shame myself when I need correction
 That never helps; it’s a distraction
  
 When he corrects me through other people
 I’ll accept it, not accuse them of evil
  
 I want something beyond survival
 A fresh experience of revival
  
 A gracious gift of the Holy Spirit
 Lord, inspect my heart and prepare it
  
 Let me sit beside you as you make your plan
 I will listen to you—do the best that I can
  
 Jane Ault
 1/30/2020
   

This entry was posted on February 7, 2020. 2 Comments

Freedom to Pursue Your God-inspired Vision


The wise see danger ahead and avoid it,
    but fools keep going and get into trouble.
Proverbs 27:12 (NCV)

“Oh, why do I want to do everything!”

These are the words I spoke to my husband after a discussion about my commitments for the coming week, month, and year. I resist boundaries. Like the sheep who breaks through the fence and leaves the safety of the pasture, I often wander into dangerous territory.

I like to think I have no limits. I am several decades younger. That my body is as strong as it was then I was 30. That I have as much time left on this earth as I had when I was 50. I imagine this wandering from reality as freedom. It’s the opposite.

Instead of giving me freedom, this thoughtless-wandering takes away my freedom. How so? By following every stray desire that comes into my mind, I lose the ability to focus. I don’t do what I must do today in order to walk out the vision God’s given to me.

God’s vision for us fits the reality of who we are, as humans, in every stage of life from birth to death.

At the same time, his vision for us stretches beyond what we can do by ourselves. As we submit to the boundaries he sets for us, God does amazing things in and through us. He does “much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3: 20 NCV).

Jesus showed us how to do this. He accepted the limitations of a human body and the limitations of time. He had only one vision: to do what Father-God called him to do and that he accomplished.

How did he do so?

  • By accepting the limitations of humanity
  • By living according to the boundaries of Scripture
  • By depending on the Holy Spirit,
  • By resisting every distracting desire and ego-driven imaginative wandering.

Jesus us our example, as well as our Savior. He does not leave us on our own. As we study and meditate on Scripture, his Spirit shows us what boundaries we need, and gives us the power and freedom we need to carry out our God-inspired vision.


 In the early morning, 
 When I first awake
 I converse with Jesus 
 about which path to take.
  
 Sometimes, I’m feeling tired; 
 The path looks very steep.
 I’m tempted to turn back; 
 I began to fear defeat.
  
 He cares about my body; 
 He cares about my soul.
 He says, “I’ll walk beside you;
 I will help you reach your goal.
  
 “I know that you are weary; 
 I remember your age.
 “Your load won’t be too heavy,
 if with me you engage.”
  
 I respond, “Oh Lord, I know this; 
 You’ve proved it many times.
 I will face this mountain; 
 I’ll take your arm and climb.”
  
 I look into my Savior’s eyes;
 I see that he is good and wise.
 A song of praise begins to rise; 
 I know that we will win the prize.
  
 Jane Ault
 1/28/20 

This entry was posted on January 31, 2020. 10 Comments

If we keep looking back, how can we move forward?


“I want to move forward, not backward in life
I don’t want to keep struggling with memories at night
I want to walk beside Jesus, not beside me
. . .”
A Journal Entry

I look in my car’s rearview mirror when I’m backing out of my 150-foot driveway. I’m getting pretty good at it. I’ve learned how to move swiftly and still avoid hitting the two trees which stand on either side of the entrance to the highway. I look in the rearview mirror because I want to go backward. When I reach the highway, I occasionally look in that mirror, but most of the time my eyes are focused on the road in front of me. I no longer want to move backward. I want to move forward.

It’s the same way in life. If we are stuck, we might initially need to look at our past life. Reflect on it. Evaluate how we’ve lived. What mirrors will accurately reflect Truth about ourselves? Our culture? Our Facebook likes and comments? Our family? Our conscience?

All of these mirrors can be helpful. They can also be inaccurate and destructive. Especially conscience. If it’s a condemning one. Self-analysis done through the mirror of introspection (isolated self-analysis) keeps us stuck in the past mire of regret. It prevents us from moving forward.

In my experience, regret has kept me from making changes. Why? Because it’s a self-focused activity in which I see only my errors. Thankfully, Jesus sees more than that! He doesn’t remind me of my errors. He reminds me of his forgiveness. His name for me is not “sinner”. It’s “saint!” Scripture declares that “long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault—we who stand before him covered with his love” (Ephesians 1:4 TLB). 

When I look in the mirror of Scripture, through which his Spirit reflects truth, Jesus shows me my heart. He, alone, knows my heart. He, alone, speaks accurately about my past. He does so as I read Scripture and invite him to sit beside me and diagnose my condition.

Looking at my past condition can still be painful. Yet, I’ve found that doing it with Jesus beside me not only reduces pain but also inspires hope. He does not condemn me.

This year, my husband and I hope to celebrate some very significant events. We were married fifty-three years ago, the infant church God called us to is fifty-years-old, our oldest daughter is celebrating a milestone birthday, and our oldest grandchild is graduating from college. Sadly, I’ve been feeling anxious about these celebrations because I’ve been focused on my failures.

Last Sunday, I listened to these words of Scripture spoken by my husband: “Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1).

I understood how destructive my constant looking back had become.

  • I made a decision to let go of the past and embrace the future.
  • To stop looking backward and instead, move forward.
  • To stop viewing myself through the mirror of introspection and see myself through the eyes of Jesus.
  • To stop beating myself up for past dysfunctional behavior and rest in his forgiving love.

This is my prayer and my focus for 2020.

 Lord, be my focal point all through the day.
 Instruct me and guide me; teach me your way.
  
 Lord, be my comforter all through the night.
 In every affliction, capture my sight.
  
 Let my eyes, always, behold your dear face
 That filled with joy, I may finish this race.
  
 Not with the pride of presumption, oh God
 Would I choose suffering and pain as my lot—
  
 Thinking I possibly merit could earn.
 Delight in dependence, Help me to learn.
  
 Faith in your goodness is all you require.
 Mercy, not sacrifice, is what you desire.
  
 Lord, not avoidance of trials will I seek, rather
 Peace that comes from a heart that is meek—
  
 From a heart submitted, joyful and true—
 One that finds pleasure in following you.
  
 Jane Ault
 4/5/95 

Some questions for you to consider

  • Do you think you reflect too little on your past? Or too much?
  • Have you invited Jesus to sit beside you as you reflect on your past?
  • If you haven’t done so, what is keeping you from doing it?



This entry was posted on January 24, 2020. 4 Comments

Walking Out Your Vision


Commit your actions to the Lord,
    and your plans will succeed.
Proverbs 16:3 NLT

I laughed when I looked out my window and these two geese waddling on the ice. They weren’t moving very fast. They seemed a bit confused. I don’t know if they got left behind when the flock they were traveling with headed south or if they just ignored the call.

It challenged me to think about my call. My vision for 2020. If I want my dreams fulfilled, I need to design my life to make that happen. Set some goals. Take action. Ask for accountability. I’m working on the goal-setting part and have found a few people to whom I will report my progress or lack thereof.

Most importantly, I need to keep in touch with God, ask for his wisdom, and follow his directions. If I do this, I can confidently expect to see my dreams fulfilled. Even if like a confused goose I miss a call or two (which, being imperfect, I will do) God sees me and re-issues his call. My confidence is in his faithfulness, and part of my vision is to increase my faithfulness.

What about you?
How are you going to walk out the vision God’s given you for 2020?

 Design your life so you can stay
 Close to Jesus, every day.
 Every day and every night, 
 Make his presence your delight.
  
 Make his will your only choice.
 By listening to the Spirit’s voice,
 You will know which path to take;
 Less often make the same mistake.
  
 Remember you are still a learner.
 When corrected, do not murmur;
 Then your work will get done sooner.
 Don’t pay attention to false rumor.
  
 Believe that Jesus keeps his promise;
 He does not let Satan harm us.
 Share your goods, generously.
 Do everything for God’s glory.
  
 Do the things you are designed for
 By your Father and Creator;
 Respect the temple where he dwells;
 Protect it from falls and ills.
  
 When you are injured, please forgive.
 Never let resentment live!
 Treat everyone as Jesus does.
 Give up every prejudice.
  
 Focus not on perfection,
 But on faithful implementation;
 Don’t be lazy or a faker.
 Be a giver, not a taker.
  
 The Holy Spirit’s your companion.
 He is real, not a phantom.
 Comply with him and find shalom.
 He will not leave you alone.
  
 1/10/20
 Jane Ault 


This entry was posted on January 17, 2020. 6 Comments

A Jesus-kind-of Vision for 2020 and the Decade Ahead


January 2nd Sunrise

I don’t often see the sunrise on winter days because clouds cover the sun. But as I was washing breakfast dishes on January second, I looked up from the dirty sink. Though my kitchen window, I saw the bright pink color of the sky reflected in the still unfrozen water pools of the lake.

I quickly left the sink, ran and grabbed my camera. The color of the sunrise disappeared in a moment or two after I took the photo. I would have missed the beautiful scene if I had not looked up.

God is waiting to show us something that’s more brilliant than any sunrise. It’s a vision of him, and it includes a vision of what we can be when we look at him. In order to receive God’s vision, we must look up.

That’s what Jesus did. The writers of the gospels record many instances in which Jesus looked up to Father-God for clarity of vision. It was his habit to get up early ” in the morning when it was still very dark” . . . he went out to a deserted place, and  . . . spent time in prayer (Mark 1:35 NET).

It was his practice to do only what fit in with this vision. He said to his disciples, ” I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak just what the Father taught me” (John 8:28 NET).

This year I’ve taken some time to look up to God and receive his vision for 2020. He faithfully gave me a picture of what my life can look like if I follow his instructions. It’s a beautiful picture.

I’m not sharing the details here, but my vision is based on the concept of Shalom, the Biblical word for well-being. I feel peaceful when I read it. I feel challenged by it because I know in order to accomplish it, I will need to look up to my Father-God like Jesus did.

What will happen if I, like Jesus, do and say only the things the Father shows me to do and say? The Holy Spirit will do more than I can think or imagine. Jesus’s life and love will flow in and through me to others in ways I haven’t yet experienced. That is my desire and my hope.

Do you have a vision inspired by Father-God this year? If you don’t, know that if you truly want it, he will give you one. Don’t keep looking at whatever “dirty sink of dishes” is in front of you. Look up and like Jesus receive the beautiful vision available to you.

Then, by the power of the Holy Spirit follow through, like Jesus did, saying and doing what he shows you to say and do. You will be amazed at the results. “With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20 NCV)

This entry was posted on January 10, 2020. 2 Comments