Sunday, January 4, 2009

Faith Or Fear In The New Year

I was sitting in church today, and realized I had been ignoring my blog because I didn't want it to fall short of my expectations. Fear...My own expectations often breed fear, which is why I've come to loath the New Year. Year after year, it's the same thing. I focus on all of the things I failed to do, and I start by trying to fix myself and "be better" this year.

I got the title to this post from my pastor. He was preaching from Isaiah 43:1.

"But now [in spite of past judgments for Israel's sins], thus says the Lord, He Who created you, O Jacob, and He Who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you [ransomed you by paying a price instead of leaving you captives]; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you."

So, no New Year's resolutions this year. Resolutions are based in the future, which makes them useless. Only God knows the future, and so I must place my faith, which is now, in God. My faith will manifest in the future, if I have faith now to follow God today, my future is guaranteed to be in God's will. God's will is good and perfect, and no amount of worrying about what I can't predict or focusing on the past, which I can not change, will accomplish anything for God. I've already proven that I can not do anything in my own strength, but through Christ, nothing is impossible.

I often learn so much by teaching, especially, children. The term, "Faith like a child," come to mind. I was teaching Sunday school today, and the new memory verse is Philippians 4:6.

"Do not worry about anything, but pray about everything."

My first step in the New Year is to stop making plans and plan on praying. I need to clear my thoughts out of my head, so God has some room to move in and make His plans. I often try so hard to fix things and pray only when I've tried everything and failed. Let's see if GOD can make this year better, while I learn to listen and obey.

Father God,

Thank you for calling me by name, despite my past sins and failures. You created me and formed me in Your perfect image, and I am Yours. I will not fear because you have promised to be with me, and I will not be overwhelmed or harmed by the natural struggles in life. Thank you, Father, that I'm not where I used to be, even if I'm not where I'm supposed to be. Help me to hear your voice and just have faith.

In Jesus name,

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