If you’re like me, I’ve read dozens of blog posts, articles and emails reminding me of the obvious connection between the year 2020… and having clarity of vision for the New Year.
I’ll confess that in many years past I’ve started the New Year with what I thought was a clear vision, but as time went on I lacked the fundamental disciplines to pursue that vision; or at least to the degree that I believe God had desired for me.
My desire for all of you who might read this post is to share with you a couple of very simple and probably even basic understandings that renewed my anticipation for this new year and spoke to my heart. I also want to say right out of the gate that much of this inspiration comes from The Passion Translation Bible which I highly recommend to anyone who has fallen into a bit of a rut in terms of Bible reading and the anticipation of hearing God speak to your heart through His word.
As I approached January 1 with an open heart and very open schedule, I was deeply moved by the two chapters of the Old Testament that I’ve read more than any other over my nearly 50 years of walking with Jesus. That would be Psalm 1… and Proverbs 1!
In Psalm 1, probably written by David, we find these opening exclamations of what God promises to those who passionately pursue Him.
“What delight comes to the one who follows God’s ways!
His pleasure and passion is remaining true to the Word of “I Am,”
meditating day and night in the true revelation of light.“
Just a word of commentary here. I pretty regularly read the Word of God, mostly on a daily basis, but I was struck by the two words “pleasure and passion” and had to concede that I was very far from “meditating day and night in the true revelation of light.” If there is one clear curse of this technological generation it’s the inundation that we have of information technology that distracts us, sometimes totally, from the Word of God.
“He will be standing firm like a flourishing tree
planted by God’s design,
deeply rooted by the brooks of bliss,
bearing fruit in every season of his life.
He is never dry, never fainting,
ever blessed, ever prosperous.”
One of the words I most commonly use as I close any correspondence with someone that I know is the word “blessings.” However, this scripture underscored in my own heart how the source of such blessing is linked back to the word of God and making a priority of becoming passionate about it.
I was also drawn to the language of promise where God says “bearing fruit in every season of his life.” Let’s be honest with each other and say that the farther along we seem to be in our spiritual journey, the more we are prone to ask ourself the question “is our fruit bearing season over?” Not according to this scripture! How many of us would yearn to be “never dry, never fainting, ever blessed, ever prosperous”?!
The second strategy that came alive to my spirit in the past couple of days is from Proverbs 1 which is all about wisdom. Although there are many verses preceding verse 5 of Proverbs 1, it was the first one to really impact me.
“For the wise, these proverbs will make you even wiser,
and for those with discernment,
you will be able to acquire brilliant strategies for leadership.”
The how to of this is in verse 7:
“How then does a man gain the essence of wisdom?
We cross the threshold of true knowledge
when we live in obedient devotion to God.”
What struck me in Proverbs 1 was that wisdom comes from God’s word but also it is found in everyday life! Just listen to these two verses. Proverbs 1:20-21 “Wisdom’s praises are sung in the streets and celebrated far and wide. Yet wisdom’s song is not always heard in the halls of higher learning. But in the hustle and bustle of every day life.”
And also, Proverbs 1:23b “Don’t you know that I’m ready to pour out my spirit of wisdom upon you and bring you to the revelation of my words that will make your heart wise?”
And so my simple strategies are simply to renew my passion to not just read God’s word, but reflect on it, not just in the morning but throughout the day, and even when I take my rest. The promised blessing of this simple discipline far exceeds anything I could possibly imagine for myself.
Second, my desire for wisdom, choosing God’s way in every situation, is something I’m going to anticipate that He will illuminate for me throughout my daily routine. In the “hustle and bustle of every day life” I’ll be able to hear God speak to my heart His words of wisdom and guidance.
I won’t make an apology for the simplicity of these two insights. I know that many of you have already discovered these for yourself. However, there’s something inspiring about renewing our commitment to living wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord and to the leading of His Spirit and thereby prospering in the things of God throughout a brand new decade!
Blessings and Wisdom,