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Restore us, O Lord, and bring us back to you again! Give us back the joys we once had!
Last year is now in the past. As is an hour ago. As a matter of fact, the moment before you came to this message is also now in the past. You can’t change any moments before right now. Our focus should be this very moment. Our hearts should be hopeful for what awaits us, but not to the extent that we sacrifice the here and now. The stories we read throughout the Bible show us examples of what happens when we obsess over the things that didn’t go as planned in our past and the blunders made when we’re overly determined to control our future.
The prophet Jeremiah asked God to restore and return the people to God. This can only be a request made because the people deviated and strayed from God’s path and plan. The people thought their way was better and their needs were more important than what God desired. The people were joyless, and Jeremiah asked God to restore the joys they once had. The people chose substitutes, chasing what they thought was happiness, and then as always, they were left disappointed.
Because we’re always disappointed when we try to do God’s job. We’re always disappointed when we try to usurp God’s will with our own. When we keep dwelling on the past and are too distracted by the what-ifs of the future, we will always find ourselves disappointed and joyless. When we keep carrying around years and years of baggage and garbage and cluttering our lives with memories of disappointments about things we can’t change, and heyday experiences we can’t relive, we will stray from where we’re supposed to be and be filled with remorse, guilt, and shame. We keep attracting drama or running to it because we don’t realize who and what we are and haven’t committed to what God has called us to do.
We are beings that were created to be protected and served by the angels and spiritual forces, yet we act like the scum found in sewers, which is why it’s so easy for demons and evil spirits to disrupt us. God is waiting for us to rise to where we’re destined to be. The enemy lies to us and tells us that we are less than because the enemy and its crew are so threatened and intimidated by us that they will do anything to distract and misdirect us; they will do anything to destroy our relationship with God. They’re hoping you don’t know the truth. Chaos and confusion are their tricks, don’t fall for them.
You have a special and unique relationship with God, your Creator, your Potter, your Heavenly Father. You have a direct connection, a speed-dial link to Him, with no need for an intermediary or translator. You just need to speak to Him. We are reminded in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that “Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come.” When we are joined to Christ, we are full; our arms are full with the overflow that God pours into our hearts and lives. There is no room for the old when you join and embrace the new. There is no room to carry old stuff around.
Do not enter the new year with old garbage and baggage.
Surrender and leave the lies, deceit, mediocrity, laziness, vanity, arrogance, self-centeredness, fear, hate, pride, guilt, and shame behind you at last year’s curb.
Stop holding on to things because they seem easy, comfortable, a no-brainer, or because you fear change. Move forward in your life.
Walk towards our Heavenly Father and away from the things, memories, and people that lead you to sin and reject your mission and calling. Declare this year as a drama-free year and make the effort each day to live as God and Jesus would expect of you—and not as the enemy wishes for you.
Lean toward restoration, not instant gratification. Embrace this moment. Sit in it. Speak to God and ask Him to reveal to you what He wants you to see, hear, and know today so that you can be realigned and properly fitted for His plan. Trust Him; you won’t be disappointed!
Father, thank You for this day. A new day. The start of a new year. By Your will and design. With this comes a time of renewal and restoration. A time to let go of what once was to embrace what is and will be.
Father, let me see what I need to see, and let me experience all that I’m supposed to so that I can be right with You. If that means realigning relationships and circumstances then I embrace this healthy change. I don’t want to be in a spiritual, mental, emotional, financial, or physical place that You don’t want me in. I want to leave last year where it is. I’m not trying to carry bags of the past into my future. I want to walk in health and peace, with clarity and discernment, as Your obedient servant.
Lord, whatever needs to be done I put my faith and truth, and trust, in You. I know that everything happens right on time, Your methods and not mine. I want a life that is joyful, righteous, and as You planned. I honor Your holy Name. Amen.
And with that family, I pray that you are blessed, that you see and embrace your blessings, and that you are a blessing to others.
I love you all. Happy New Year,
Copyright 2011-2023. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved.
All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman
Music: Climb by Shane Ivers; Quiescent In Time by Shane Ivers – https://www.silvermansound.com