As we end another year, I can hardly believe how fast time flies. So much has happened this past year–many new beginnings in my own life. This has been the beginning of my daughter’s senior year of high school. This past year God allowed me to see my first book in print. We have launched not only a Bible study, but a ministry called One Thing that is all about using intimate worship and the study of God’s Word to help women seek more of Jesus and share Him with their world.
I’ve made mistakes and learned lessons this past year–lessons that I believe God will use to carry me through the coming year. He is so faithful! So as we wrap up 2015, I want to share some of the lessons I’ve learned and what I believe God is saying to me for the coming year.
- Pray more. I know that sounds so simplistic, but God actually confirmed that through my pastor’s sermon Sunday night and what he believes God is also telling him for our church. I have a daily quiet time in which I seek the Lord through prayer and His Word. But what God is speaking to my heart right now is more than that. I believe He is saying that in the coming year I need to pray about EVERYTHING. Every little thing. Even things that seem insignificant. God cares about every detail of our lives. So often, I pray about the really big issues (lost people, sick people, our family, church, and ministry), but fail to seek God for direction in the details (who should I call or reach out to today, how can I minister to that person who is sick, should our family buy that item right now, should I order more books or speak at that event). I often don’t pray these detail prayers because I think I can handle the details on my own. God calls that pride.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18, NIV).
- Trust more. Okay, so I’m piggy-backing on number one, but really, if I trust God with every detail of my life, then I will seek His direction more than I have in the past. In other words, I need to stop being so self-sufficient (in my own mind) and trust God with EVERYTHING. When I step out ahead of God in any area of my life, I am opening the door for Satan to come in and subtly change my direction. I need to stay more in step with the Holy Spirit and wait on Him, which requires prayer and trust. People like me (who like to be in control) would never admit that we don’t trust God, but that’s what it really boils down to. I’m so used to just going with whatever idea sounds good to me, but the Holy Spirit is urging me to slow down and wait on His leading. And I’m learning. He will surely allow unpleasant circumstances to teach us. As I slow down I am more able to discern the promptings of the Holy Spirit, which I believe will be vital for Christians in the coming year.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).
- Obey more. Trust and obey. That is my song for 2016. I am going to release my faith as I step forward into new areas of ministry, trusting God to lead the way. I want to be obedient to everything He calls me to do. Even the little details. I truly believe that we are called to walk in faith and obey the Spirit of God without excuse.
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).
God is going to lead believers into new areas of faith and ministry in 2016. We will be called to shine brightly in the darkness. We will need to consult the Holy Spirit for direction this year more than ever before, even in little details of life. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to let go of the old habits of the past and embrace the new life that Jesus calls me to walk in. I believe it will be absolutely essential in this coming year to pray, trust, and obey.
What has lessons have you learned this past year?