While 2009 is swiftly approaching, I am sitting here at my computer desk thinking back to 2008 and wondering how we got through it so quickly? I have to admit, I am so excited about 2009 because I know that God has great things in store for me and my husband. So I want to start off by asking you, do you have a spirit of expectancy? Are you expecting God to do great things for you?
I have always seen the new year as a new start, a way God allows us to start a new year better than we ended the previous year and that is what my primary goal is for 2009. I am going to take an assessment of my shortcomings for 2008 and try to do better in 2009. I am going to search my heart for the areas I need to grow in and pursue change and reformation like never before. I am going to search for any areas in my life that need to be rejuvenated, maybe like, reading my Bible everyday with more zeal instead of so dutifully. I am going to invest in a stronger more passionate prayer life. I truly look at my prayer life as a way to communicate with God and He communicates back too me. If I don’t have that, I am truly lost, and I mean lost! I truly understand when David said, I will seek the Lord always.
Each year, I seek God for a new scripture for me to stand on, believe, act on, and grab a hold of for the new year. Last year it was 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 and in 2007 it was Matthew 6:33, Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things will be added unto you. These scriptures reigned true in my life in 2007 and 2008.
The scripture God gave me for 2009 is Psalms 5:12, For You, Lord, will bless the [uncompromisingly] righteous [him who is upright and in right standing with You]; as with a shield You will surround him with goodwill (pleasure and favor).
Glory to God, now how can I not be excited about that scripture, because I know that each time I read it God is talking too me personally. Beloved, remember, there are blessings that are conditional and there are blessings that are unconditional. God truly wants to bless us more than we want to BE blessed, but some blessings require true obedience, sacrafice, and striving to live an ucompromisingly righteous life. That means being good stewards in all areas of our lives: finances, home, work, what we are watching or listening to, taming our tongues, etc. In these areas of your life, does it line up with the word of God, does it glorify God? We have to ask those tough questions everyday, because it is the little foxes that spoil the vine. For example, watching something on television that just has a little cursing or sexual content, is opening the door and planting the seed to breed sin on a much larger scale. Do you understand, is the Holy Spirit talking to you right now saying, “you know what she is talking about.” Or listening to music that glorifies a lifestyle of sin and shame, instead of cultivating the word of God that is within us.
How about you, have you sought out God for a scripture for yourself? You know what that does for me, it gives me a renewed purpose and hope for the present year and I go after that promise in the scripture with all that I have within me. Also, throughout the year, the Holy Spirit reveals the scripture in many forms. For example, last year, I sought God with one of the biggest challenges in my life and He showed me that in spite of what I saw in the natural, the plans He had for me," were, "plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future.
God gave me a hope that I have never experienced before because everything in the natural said this is hopeless, but I became a prisoner of HOPE and God supernaturally performed Jeremiah 29:11, in ways I can not even put into words, I can only open my mouth in praise and honor. Another example was a health issue I was facing, and let’s just say, that God said, oh, don’t worry Abena, just plan on being around for the future because I have plans to prosper you and not harm you, I made your body and I will protect, shield, and nourish it with my very own healing balm, hallelujah!!!! I can honestly say that 2008 was one of the toughest years in my life, but I also experienced supernatural blessings that I do not believe I would have experienced if I would not have faced such challenges in 2008. That brings me to another scripture that reigned true in my life in 2008 and it is found in Romans 5:3-5, And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Hallelujah Jesus!!!! Thank you for teaching me how to glory in tribulations. Beloved, these are just two examples.
I encourage you for 2009 to: 1. Seek God for a scripture that is just for you. 2. Take an honest assessment of the areas in your life that still need your attention. It could be a sin that continues to come back, it could be that you can’t seem to get out of a state of depression, it could be a sexual sin, it could be lack of a desire to serve God, it could be living in medocrity, or not living the life that you know God has called you to live etc. whatever it is seek God for full deliverance so that He can move you into the promises, blessings, and deliverance for 2009.
God wants more than ever for you to be in position and ready to receive the abundant blessings He has for you but He needs you to take ownership of the areas in your life that need YOUR attention. Dr. Gary Smalley said that we are 100% responsible for the thoughts we think, the choices we make, and the actions we perform, there is no one to blame, not our parents, our spouse, our boss, our children, not even the devil, it is US! Because 1 John 4:4 says, you are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. God has made provisions in His word and through the Holy Spirit who lives in us, to overcome anything, even ourselves, or if you want to get spiritual about it, our flesh :)
The first step is recognizing the areas of sin in our life and the next step is to seek out God and His Holy word for guidance, deliverance, change, and restoration. Can you do that? I believe if you do, you will never be the same. Remember, some blessings are conditional, so don’t get caught up in the hype of some of the preacing that you hear that says, if you pray this you will get that….yes Jesus said You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it," in John 14:13,14 however, in that same conversation, He reminded His disciples (Christians) "If you remain in Me and My Words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you..." A prayer being answered is wholly dependent upon this relationship. So if we remain in Jesus, then we will be modeling His actions, His Word, and the Fruits of the Spirit. I think you understand what I am saying. We can’t live sin-filled lives and expect supernatural blessings, a powerful anointing, or miracles. Now don’t get me wrong, God can do whatever He wants, but I am simply saying what His word says, “the safest thing to do is give you the word, not my opinion.”
In closing, I want you to remember that your best days are still ahead, you just have to grab a hold of the promises of God and don’t let go, become a prisoner of HOPE, it is worth it! But remember, promises don’t come without obedience. Some blessings in Gods word are unconditional, but most are conditional. Which means God says if you then I. God Blesses Obedience, look at: Deuteronomy 7:11-16: You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which I command you this day. 12 "And because you hearken to these ordinances, and keep and do them, the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love which he swore to your fathers to keep; 13 he will love you, bless you, and multiply you; he will also bless the fruit of your body and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the young of your flock, in the land which he swore to your fathers to give you. 14 You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. 15 And the LORD will take away from you all sickness; and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict upon you, but he will lay them upon all who hate you. 16 And you shall destroy all the peoples that the LORD your God will give over to you, your eye shall not pity them; neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.
Blessings upon you this year and the years to come!
Warmly, Sister Abena
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©2009 Sister Abena