Thursday, January 18, 2018

Focus 2018 - Post 10

When we identify ourselves as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, hopefully we are also identifying with His plans and purposes, not just His blessings to His kids. And this is a real game-changer as we stand at the beginning of this year 2018 with hopes and dreams for the year. It is part of our human nature, as God created us in His image, to look into our future with hope and desire, for our Father also operates in hope and with desire. Unfortunately, most of humanity tries to muster up a confident expectation for good things to come based in themselves, according to what they feel, think and see from their flesh and natural mind, which is connected to the world.

But you and I have received through Jesus a new nature by which we can access the heart and mind of Christ, connecting us to the very heartbeat of heaven's plans and purposes. And by the Holy Spirit we are given the ability to love what God loves and desire what He desires. And here is the game-changer as we step into 2018. I am given the opportunity to displace my own fleshly (often fear-based) desires with God's and to hitch my wagon load of needs/dreams to His all-powerful wisdom and ability, as He works all things after the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11). Every time one of God's people set their heart toward God's desire and purpose, giving Him an avenue to reveal His excellent and superior goodness, His glory can be seen in the earth by others.

In Isaiah 58 God invites His people to consider what they are choosing and why. Did you know that every time God comes to us and presses this issue with us, it is a gift to us. We are prone to blindness when it comes to own heart's desires and motivations. He asked of them, "Is this what I choose, is this acceptable to me?" (v. 5). He calls them to ask themselves if they are seeking/acting/planning according to their own pleasure, their own practices/habits, and their own words/thoughts, rather than His (v. 13). Is our Father a selfish, ego-centered person, wanting to control us? No! Rather, He presses us with such questions in order to open our eyes and help bring us into alignment and focus with the absolute best that heaven has already prepared for us in this year. Wow! What a blessing! But the choice is ours.

How about this as a description of your 2018: "Then you will take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken" (Isaiah 58:14). Ask yourself today, what does delighting in the Lord look like and how might I rearrange the priorities and practices of my life to pursue this with passion?

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