I heard yesterday that January 6th is the “most miserable day of the year” because that is the day that most people initially fail in keeping their New Year’s resolutions! Man, this world and this age is some kinda crazy, ain’t it?
As believers, we ought not subject our emotions or will power to such fleeting things as New Year’s resolutions. Rather, we should be in tune with Father’s purposes for our lives, given to exercising proper Godly discipline via relationship spirit to Spirit and expecting empowerment for transformation provided by Father.
With that in mind, let it be known that I have received my fair share of emails, newsletters and links sharing “prophetic insights” for 2014, the pronouncements of the new season that we are entering into and predictions of events and happenings that are suppose to occur this year.
I am not opposed to such things. If that kind of stuff floats your spiritual boat and you find it encouraging, I say, “Go for it!”
One thing that I do practice at the close of each year is silence. I calm myself, seek Him and just listen. I review the previous year and all that has occurred and usually prayerfully consider the upcoming year.
The closing of 2013 was bit of a difference experience for me. Different in a very good way! Beginning in mid-November, Father seemed to make an extremely obvious and assertive effort in dealing with me, revealing Himself and blessing me in incredible ways. I will be happy to share some of the details of those things as the Spirit leads as we move forward into 2014.
But I want to get the ball rolling in this new year by offering my general outlook for the upcoming year and what I expect from 2014.
Way back in 1990, one of my favorite Christian vocalists, Russ Taff released an album entitled, The Way Home. On the album, the third track is a song entitled, Farther On. Aside from Taff’s velvety, soulful voice and the musical style of the song, the lyrics, which were written by Taff and his wife, Tori, have always spoken to me. Come to find out, they are still speaking.
I was reminded of the song in the midst of my experience back in November. So, I got on iTunes and downloaded it in order to revisit the song. As I listened to the song and considered it again after all of these years, I remembered where I was in my life when I first heard it and how it helped me through some tough times. But then, I began to view it in a different light and from a fresh perspective. Here are the words to the song. You can listen to the song by clicking the link in the previous paragraph.The style may not be to your liking but, as the Southern Gospel Quartets I grew up listening to would say, “Don’t listen to how it’s sung………..listen to the words!”
I hear you have a soft spot
For fools and little children
And I’m glad
‘Cause I’ve been both of those
I shook my fist up toward the sky
And at most of those who love me
A frightened angry boy
In grown-up clothes
But a father’s eye
Can always see right through
And a father’s heart
Can tell when tears are true
Now I’m standing on this road
Your hand has brought me to
Your faithful love will lead me
Life sure has its choices
You left those choices to me
And I’m glad
But sometimes I feel caught
It’s hard to know which bridge to cross
And which bridge I should be burning
I long to learn
But I’m so slow at being taught
I reckon the gist of what I get out of the song now is that Father has truly ALWAYS been with me, even in the times I didn’t feel like He was and even in the moments when I didn’t deserve Him to be. Over the years, so many times, most of the time actually, I got bogged down in the moment and the afflictions and troubles of life on this planet that I fail to realize that Father TRULY works out all things together for GOOD to those who love Him and are called according to His Purpose! Even in my apparent “failures” and my obvious shortcomings, He was continually at work to bring to an understanding that He is my Father and He loves me. My worth and value to Him is not defined by my performance or ability to DO for Him. It is based upon the Love He has established in His heart for me! What an incredible LOVE that is! Few there be that truly understand it. Even fewer, I imagine, that experience the fullness of it.
Yes, this life is indeed a journey and we can sure make it more difficult by the choices we make………..yet, we are NOT ALONE on the road we travel. Father is with us, His hand leads us and He will give us strength to travel farther on. His Faithful Love will lead us farther on!
So, my expectation and prayer for us in this New Year is that we move FARTHER ON into the THINGS FATHER HAS PREPARED FOR US, despite what we see being unleashed in the earth and regardless of what situations/circumstances would shout at us from our past or in our present. Let us move farther on into His Love, His Goodness, His Mercy, His Provision, His Expression!
And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
Happy New Year! Keep your Peace!