Happy New Year!
The old has gone …..the new is ….on it's way...coming soon....No...It's here!
In our house we have a beautiful wooden crib with carved animals and characters which came from Jerusalem in the early '60's. But baby Jesus is a funny tiny pink plastic baby doll from my sister's doll's house. Totally inappropriate but installed as a family tradition.
This year, somewhere between Boxing Day and New Year, Jesus fell from his manger, off the shelf and into the depths of bulging carrier bags waiting to be loaded into overloaded cars. A casualty of the chaos which is called Family Christmas.
As the chaos subsides and I ponder on how the Lord is wanting to order and sustain my life this year it struck me that finding a new Jesus would be a very good place to start.
Not that He has changed but that I have.
He wants to reveal himself as new, relevant and appropriate to the life He is leading me into in 2016 and is pleased to help me let go of any old, outdated or traditional ways of understanding Him.
The old has gone....the new is....on it's way....coming soon....No...He's here...and He is training our eyes to see Him clearly. That's why He always looks new, because He is always becoming clearer.
When the Hebrews were released from Egypt they exited from an old lifestyle. They knew of God's existence but they were still enslaved by their circumstances and the affects of living under oppression. They had seen and taken hold of the opportunity for freedom. They went out with vision and hope. But the fullness of freedom that God had in his heart for them had still to be made real through trying and testing of their trust and faith. Their new knowledge and relationship with their Father, the living God, was still, like the new year, in it's infancy.
God had a plan and a strategy for restoring the community that His eye was on and His heart was with. He continually wanted to communicate this plan and strategy to them but the residue of the old year, the old traditions, the old ways of slavery still stained their thinking. Their hearing was muffled, their focus was distorted and distracted and their obedience was unsustained. They needed a new revelation to enliven them and steer them out of their chaos.
How like the new year resolutions made in our human zeal does this sound ?
The heart is willing but the flesh is weak.
Seeing the fulfilment of God's plans for our life, our family, our community or our nation requires our tuning in to God's strategy and partnering with Him to see it manifest.
God's practical strategy for his people in the chaos of the wilderness was to establish a worshipping priesthood at the helm who remained continually connected to the Lord in praise, worship and prayer. In this way his people pioneered their way through unknown territory. Praise, worship and prayer sustained His Presence with them as their shield and protection in the midst of their earthly struggles.
At the end of the old year our lives were busy and fun, vibrant and hectic and full of challenges. The dynamics of living in large family groups requires struggling with energy differences and activity choices, resource limitations and communication problemsjust like in the days of the Hebrews. But if Jesus drops off the shelf into the chaos and is lost in the worldliness and human pressure of our lives we can lose sight of God's strategy and miss the new direction that Jesus has for us today
As we enter the reality of our 2016 New Year, my prayer is that we may all be seeking God's grace to sustain our focus onHis strategy for our lives. May praise, worship and prayer be at the forefront of our lives, guiding and leading us by His Spirit. I praythat new revelations of Jesus will be released into the very centre of our heart. While acknowledging our individual, corporate or national weaknesses , the chaos of our personal mangers, we will be found pursuing God's plan and strategy for restoration ofour lives, keeping Jesus where He belongs. May our families, our work, our communities and nations demonstrate the power of God's Presence to navigate us all to the place of fulness that He has in His heart for our 2016.
Let go of the old ways of a previous season which may no longer be appropriate and search out the new Jesus, fresh aspects of His being and love which will propel you into your God given purposes for this specific year.
Be blessed .
Sara is on staff as an intercessory missionary at Manchester House of Prayer. Her desire is see the church in Manchester walking in unity and to see every believer experiencing deeper intimacy with Jesus. Sara is developing our community meals and our Life Prayerwatch. She also serves in the prayer room as a singer and a prayer leader.