2020 – Write The Vision

“I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say to me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.

And the Lord answered me, and said, ‘Write the vision, and make it plain upon tablets, that he may run that reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and it will not lie: though it delay, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not fail.’” (Habakkuk 2:2-3)

Have you a vision for 2020? Have you a vision for yourself, your family, your city, your country, or for the world?

More importantly – have you asked the Father what vision He has for 2020? For “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it.” (Psalm 127:1)

I am sure all of us, looking back over our lives, see a litany of undertakings that failed, or failed to reach their full potential, because we stepped out without consulting the All-Knowing One. The writer of Proverbs said, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

So this year, this great new decade that begins with 2020, there are 2 things that will be useful by way of ‘New Year’s Resolutions’: first, to write down our own visions for the future; to keep the record (“make it plain upon tablets”), look at it often, and be prepared to change it as necessary. Second, to seek the Lord to find out what His will is – not only in the longer term future and the big world picture, but also in the everyday happenings in our lives. Again, we must keep a record and not expect instantaneous answers or instantaneous results. The Lord does not work that way. He is committed to ‘process’, because process is what refines and develops us and our faith.

We need to ask the question, press in with it, and stay alert for the coming of His answer – “at the end it shall speak, and it will not lie: though it delay, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not fail.”

We constantly thwart His process because we ask and when we don’t get a fast answer we give up, stop listening, and go our own way. Don’t do that – keep pressing in and paying attention. Wait upon the Lord!

I can think of one occasion when I had a week to make a pretty important decision.  All week, I continued to ask the question, “Lord, what am I to decide about this issue?”.  Gradually my thoughts about the situation began to settle and clarify, and by the end of the week, I knew quite clearly what my answer had to be.  Looking back, I am glad I did not run with my first ‘take’ on the matter.

When His answer comes, then run with it. He gives us the answer with the intention “that he may run that reads it.”   If we know it is His will, we must step out in faith, That means taking the first steps, even if you do not know how things will turn out, or how the vision will be achieved – THAT is what living by faith is about.

“Behold, he whose soul is lifted up [proud] is not upright in Him: but the just shall live by his faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4)

One step at a time.

Digital – assembled in Macromedia Fireworks MX.   Inkwell from the Scriptorium of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Khirbet Qumran, before 68AD.

Patricia

 

Trust In The Lord

trust-iiconHow often do we hear this phrase?  Almost to the point where we brush it off without thinking too hard or without really applying it when we should.

Then when big trouble comes along, we start scrambling around looking for worldly resources and human help.  It’s as if we look upon the supernatural powers of the Heavenly Father as something not really strong enough to cope with the physical issues of this important human life that we lead.

How wrong is that?

The problem is not that God’s arm isn’t long enough to reach into our lives – it is that we do not ask properly.  James knew the answer to this.  Speaking within the wider context of human desires he said:

You do not have because you do not ask.   When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”  (James 4: 1-3)

We either fail to ask because we do not trust God, or we offer prayers that are in fact laundry lists of the things we want.  How rude!

If we genuinely submit our lives to Him, then He will ensure that our needs are met:

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“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”   (Proverbs 3:5-6)

In fact, He knows what we need before we ask Him – and it isn’t always what we think we need, either.  And therein lies the bind.

Are you really willing to hand your life and your needs over into His care?  If you are not, if you want to keep control, then He will simply take His hands off and let you carry on.   That is when people complain that their prayers are not being answered.

Remember that Jesus said, “ For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.(Luke 9:24)  

Jesus wasn’t saying He expects everyone to die physically for Him – he was saying we need to die to the things in our lives, to our selfish desires and self-important egos.  And THEN we will find the joy, peace and victory of a life in Him.

That   Takes   Faith   And   Self-Discipline.

trust-products

Artwork and Products available in my Damascus Road Gallery. Or click on the images.

Patricia

http://damascusroad.news

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Wings Of The Morning

wings-of-morning-iconIf anyone knew how to live life dangerously, it was David the Psalmist.  Slaying a lion, a bear, and Goliath as a boy was not even the start.  He had already been secretly anointed as king of Israel by the prophet Samuel at God’s command, while another king was on the throne.

As David’s fame grew, so did the jealousy of King Saul, so that by the time he reached manhood, he was forced to live in hiding in the hills and caves of Judea, or in exile, with a band of followers, on the run from the king’s wrath, fighting against the enemies of Judah and Israel, risking his life daily.  It is notable that twice during this time he had the opportunity to slay Saul, but did not because he would not lay his hand upon the Lord’s officially anointed one.

Even after Saul died in battle and David became king, danger was ever-present.  There was much work to be done in war and diplomacy, uniting and consolidating Israel, building up her army, and defeating her many enemies. He established Jerusalem as the capital and built his palace there. Finally, he had to deal with revolts against his kingship, including those by two of his sons, one in David’s old age.  He left a huge national legacy.

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Out of this tumultuous life, and rooted in his years as a shepherd boy tending his father’s sheep, comes the Book of Psalms – an expression of many emotions, from joy to sadness, from hope to despair.  But above all in these 150 songs, the prevailing theme is trust in the Lord.  David was a sinner at times (like us, for those who like to point the finger) – but he was “a man after God’s heart” precisely because of his faith and trust, his love of God and the word, and his willingness to repent and ask forgiveness.

Let us remember that God does not require perfection – He knows we cannot hope to attain anything even close to that on our own.   In fact the only words of condemnation ever used by Jesus were spoken against the established religious leaders of His day who thought they were perfect and influenced others to have the same opinion.

God asks only for a willing spirit of devotion that He can work on “from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

wings-of-morning-products

Artwork and Products available in my Damascus Road Gallery. Or click on the images.

Patricia

http://damascusroad.news

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