A New Direction

     For me, the New Year always brings with it a clean slate, a fresh start, a time of reflection, and a time to set some new goals. In 2018, I would like to draw closer to The Lord than I’ve ever been. I am excited about leading a group to Nicaragua in July and The Holy Land in December. I want to get back into better physical shape since my herniated disc situation seems to have improved. How about you? What are your goals for 2018?

     I love the book of Joshua. It is a book about fulfilling God’s Vision and experiencing God’s Victory. In Joshua 1:2, God calls His people FROM a place of dryness, desperation, defeat, and death TO a place of vision, victory, and vitality. We have that same choice in 2018. Will we choose God’s plan or Satan’s place to live this year? The Lord showed me something in Joshua 1:1-2 that I believe has the potential to have great impact in your life as you begin this New Year. Verse 2 says, “Moses my servant is dead….”

     It could be that God desires that you START something in 2018. Moses had been an incredible leader of the Lord. He had led the people of God faithfully from Egypt out of bondage and to the banks of the Promised Land. But Moses disqualified himself in God’s eyes by taking the glory from God and giving it to himself (Numbers 20). Moses’ calling was complete but God was just getting started. Here’s the word – If we fail to do what God asks from us, God will move on and find someone else to do the job, but we will miss the blessing. For someone – you know God has given you an assignment but to this point you have failed to obey. It could be fear. It could be procrastination. You may feel unworthy. Maybe you’re just too busy. Could it be that God wants to say to you today – You either get on with it or I’ll find someone else, but either way My will is going to be accomplished. If you don’t start my assignment, you are going to miss My blessing in Your life.

     On the other hand, it could be that God desires that you STOP something in 2018. The people of God were having a hard time moving on. Deuteronomy 34:8 says, “The Israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days, until the time of weeping and mourning was over.”  It’s hard to move on sometimes – especially when something is good. I mean we are talking about Moses here – the man wrote the first 5 books of the Bible, one of the greatest leaders in the history of the people of God. And so God comes and gets right to it – Moses is dead. Ouch. It’s time to STOP looking back. It’s time to start looking forward. And I wonder if there is an area of your life today where you are looking back? For some –it was a good thing. It’s like Moses. If it was good, our tendency in 2018 is to keep looking back to the good old days.

  • Your health was good
  • Your finances were good
  • Your marriage was good
  • You career was good
  • Your service for the Lord was good
  • Your testimony was good
  • Your class, your ministry was good.

 If we are not careful, we may spend another year thinking about the way things used to be

 

And then for others it wasn’t good. Your past brings up bad memories.

  • That mistake you made
  • That sin you committed
  • That failure
  • That low point
  • That crises
  • That dark place

But regardless, God wants to come to us oh so subtly today and say – That’s over. That’s in the past. The sooner you come to the realization of where you actually are in the present –the better.

Why?? Because I have something exciting for your future! I can’t do what I need to do in your future until you close the door on the past. I can’t write your next chapter until you put a period on the last one.

Stop focusing on that good thing. Stop focusing on that bad thing. Start focusing on the NEXT thing!!

We can LEARN from the past, but we can’t LIVE in the past!

Paul says in Philippians 3:13, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Isaiah 43:19 says, “Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth;”

Sometimes we say, “I don’t know if I am ABLE.” Remember…..

Jacob cheated, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul committed murder, Gideon insecure, Miriam gossiped, Martha worried, Thomas doubted, Sara was impatient, Elijah was moody, Moses stuttered, Zacchaeus was short, Abraham was old, and Lazarus was dead.

So what’s our excuse? God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. God is not looking for our ability. He is looking for our availability. 
 
I truly hope that as you begin 2018 that this Word encourages you as it did me!