“Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice” Phil 4:4
Seasons change and time moves on relentlessly. In the Bible, God commends marking time, looking back, recognizing His hand in our lives with gratitude and then boldly moving on. Now that we are already in the first week of the year, the buzz of planning and setting goals is probably past. If you made resolutions, it’s possible that you are in that annoying stage when the struggle to stick with them is just beginning!
In the past I used to spend a good deal of time prayerfully setting goals. This year, while I have some broad goals in mind, I spent more time seeking God to listen for what He had in mind, without necessarily needing to have the details fleshed out right away. He will reveal them to me in time.
Some may think it odd that I expect to hear clearly from God. As far as I’m concerned, to make plans without hearing from Him is dangerous. He knows the end from the beginning, so it is perfectly logical to seek His counsel for our future plans. It no longer bothers me if others consider it strange that I claim to hear God. Jesus promises clarity for those of us who are His. As Christian artists, we should all draw nigh to recognize and obey His precious voice. The life that He intended for us can only be lived, if we hear and follow His voice.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” Jhn 10:27
When I expect to hear, I do. It is an act of faith. Precious memories of the other times I heard and followed Him encourages me, because it was then that I was blessed beyond my wildest dreams! At the start of 2015, I stoke my faith and step out once more in confidence. You can too. He is faithful.
As I was seeking God in the transition between 2014 and 2015, He whispered a sweet command to my heart – “Rejoice!” That is to be my theme for 2015. Seven letters – a simple command – perfect and complete in every way, holding much promise, if obeyed.
Trouble screams at us everywhere we turn; naysayers, economists, morality watchdogs and other doom and gloom prognosticators predict a disturbing future. There is no sense denying it, it is real. Yet that reality holds no power over us if we are Christians. We have access to Jesus. In Him dwell superior knowledge, power and the means of certain escape from any trouble. I rejoice, because in Him is more than escape, He promises victory!
”…. but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. “ Jhn 16:33
Rejoice! There it is
He will reveal many reasons to rejoice over the course of 2015 as I cherish this command in my heart. For today, I am content with this. He overcame, so that I can overcome. It thrills me that overcoming in Jesus is not merely escaping; it is emerging demonstrably stronger and better regardless of the severity of our battles in this fallen world. The secret of sure victory is in that little word “in”. This is a victory won only “in” Him. Without Him, victory is not ours for the taking.
Dwelling in Him is so very easy. All it involves is listening patiently for His voice and then obeying. It is for simple people, like me, and whoever will take Him at His word. Heeding Jesus is as uncomplicated as believing His word, since the Bible declares that He is the Word. There is no other way to dwell in Him. I hope that other artists, who visit this site, will join me in this endeavor. More than ever this year, let us treasure the words in our Bibles and make studying and living it, our top priority.
Then rejoice in this brand New Year of opportunity! In Him the best is yet to come!
"But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield." Ps 5:11-12