Something great happened this morning.
I went to church.
This simple act of worship used to be a mindless constant in my life. It went without thinking, debating, or saying… Sunday mornings were dedicated to church. Through my sick years I have learned to not take this sacred act for granted. More often than not, I do not make it to church on Sunday mornings because my body does not allow.. but God knows my heart, my body, and my circumstances and he knows my desire to go.
This morning as I sat between my brother and fiance, listening carefully to our preacher, I noticed something… Stuart (preacher) had stolen my message. The sermon he was delivering contained a striking resemblance to the message I had scribbled away the night before. He must have snuck into my house, taken pictures of my notes, and written an entire sermon in the wee hours of the night!
Obviously I’m kidding.
Although that would make for a pretty awesome story 😉
Seriously, though, as I listened to the message I couldn’t help but feel like God was trying to teach me something. When the same lessons continue to appear all around us, shouldn’t we take note? We must pay special attention in these scenarios.. this is God’s way of putting His song on “repeat.”
Stuart preached over Isaiah 6, with a particular focus on verse 8. Isaiah hears the Lord asking for a representative.. whom shall He send?
Isaiah gives an epic response, definitely worthy of engraving on a headstone or being chosen as a yearbook quote:
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
There’s such bravery, boldness, faith, and total trust behind those five words. Words and belief that I strive for… that every Christian should strive for… a goal for 2016 that cannot compare to any other New Year’s resolution.
Stuart’s message encouraged and urged our church members to believe that God wants us each to play a part in His plan! And to stop limiting ourselves because of our shortcomings and rely fully on the sufficiency of our Lord. We must, “Awaken the wonder of our creator!” If we would simply obey and be willing to be used… who knows what wonders God can work in 2016?!
So, thank you Stuart for that wonderful sermon today… your words provided the perfect introduction for this New Year’s prayer.
“Now may the God of peace… 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
I’m a huge fan of using my Google search engine to look up definitions for even the simplest of words to better understand God’s commands. I found myself re-reading Hebrews 13:21 over and over, feeling such an urgency to understand and apply this verse as a guide into 2016.
- Equip– supply with necessary items for a particular purpose
- Purpose– doing HIS will; accomplishing HIS plans.
- Everything good– ALL things to be desired.
- Work- mental/physical activity done in order to achieve a certain result
With a clearer understanding of this scripture, may this prayer for 2016 resonate also in your heart, as you join me in asking Christ to make this new year one in which He Will use you for something great.
Supply me with the necessary items & all things to be desired, in order to do YOUR will as you complete mental/physical tasks THROUGH me, in order to achieve a particular result…
And, Father, would all of this be done in a way that brings you pleasure? And would all this be completed in the name & honor of Jesus?
For Your will
With ALL good things
To bring You pleasure
As You do the heavy lifting
Through the power of Christ.
I’m ready, God! I will wait with patience, arms high and heart open for Your perfect timing … to be used as a tiny piece of Your unfathomable, bigger than this world Purpose and Plan. Please work through me. I am Your vessel, Your disciple, Your messenger, Your mail carrier, a barely audible fragment of Your voice.
And the nudges
And the promptings
And the expressions
And the desires
And the drive
And the tools
To be who You desire.
Dear God of peace, will you use me in 2016? Whether from a hospital room, a doctors office, laying in my bed typing behind a screen, or out in this world…
I won’t be scared.
I will not hesitate.
I will follow.
And when my …
Drive to obey
Are all too weak to carry on…
I will continue to find, draw, & accept my strength from You. Will you work Your plan, and Your magic, and Your glory through this life that I abandon to you?
Oh Star Breather, oh Father of Lights, I stand amazed in your presence,
Singing for you
Fawning for you
Longing for you
Speaking to you.
There is no doubt that your GREAT love is better than life. Your close embrace far exceeds the most intimate of human relationships. For You are glorious.
Please, equip me …
to share that glory
To sing your name from the mountain tops
And not grow quiet in the deepest desert valleys.
Thank you for another year (second, minute, day) of life, blessings, mercy, forgiveness, second chances, and love.
My heart and my soul leap for joy at the anticipation of what is to come, all the amazing works you may reveal in 2016… And if not this year, then in the ones to come. I’m ready, I’m waiting, and I’m praying for you to execute in Your time.
Only in You am I truly, wonderfully, madly, whole-heartedly complete.
I love you,