Only 8 ½ hours left in 2007. Wow! This year has flown by. I’m sitting here at my kitchen table. The house is quite; my little one is asleep, the older two are out with grandparents, my husband is at work. As I sit here enjoying this time to myself, I can’t help but think back over the events of the past year. God blessed our family with a precious baby girl in May, my husband took on a new job, we started our second year of home schooling, I’ve seen my oldest child grow in greater wisdom and knowledge of God, my husband and I have been able to serve the Lord in ways we never dreamed possible. God has done a mighty work in our family this year. I wonder though, how much more did He want to do in our lives? How many more blessings did He have awaiting us, but because of our disobedience, or lack of interest or focus, we missed out on?
Saturday night, I was studying in God’s Word and He brought me to Psalm 68:19. Listen to what it says, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation.” Did you get the middle part? He daily loads us with benefits. Daily God has, for you and me, benefits beyond measure. As I meditated on that verse for a while, my thoughts were drawn back to the children of Israel as they approached the borders of the Promised Land. The land was already theirs for the taking, all they had to do was place the sole of their foot on it and BAM!, it was theirs (Joshua 1:3). There was over 300,000 square miles of land God had awaiting them. 300,000 square miles- that, my friend, is A LOT of land! Do you know how much of it they ended up possessing? Only a tenth- only 30,000 square miles. Why? Why did they only possess a tenth of what God had for them? It was right there in front of them for cryin’ out loud. All they had to do was place the sole of their foot upon it and it was theirs. So why only a tenth? Disobedience, my sister. Disobedience kept them from receiving the full blessing God had for His children. God told them in Joshua 1:7-9:
“Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
The children of Israel weren’t always strong and courageous. Maybe strong-willed, but not always strong in the Lord. They turned away from some very specific instructions God had given them in order to do their own thing. They didn’t always meditate in God’s Word, because they were too busy focused on the goings on around them- my momma always called that being nosey. Fear over came them on many occasions because they didn’t truly believe God was who He said He was and would do what He said He would do. Because of their disobedience they were unable to receive the benefits of God; a land already promised to them.
The more I sit here and think through all of this, I wonder- even though I’ve seen God work in my life and the lives of my family this year, what more did He have for us? I can think of times when I wasn’t in His Word, and times because of fear of failure I disobeyed specific instructions. Yes, there were times I was too focused on others instead of God. OK, I’ll go ahead and say it- yes, I was nosey! (Happy mom!?! J) It saddens me to think that I’ve missed out on some of the blessings God had especially for me. It saddens me even more to know that I’ve disappointed my God.
What about you? As you think back over 2007, what have you missed out on? None of us are perfect; we don’t and won’t always get it right. So, what are we suppose to do? How do we make 2008 different? This is what God has specifically told me.
*First, I need a reviving of my soul. Psalm 119:149 says, “Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness; O LORD, revive me according to Your justice.” (emphasis added) Revive means to make alive, nourish up, restore to life, in order to be whole. I got on my face before the Lord and pleaded with Him to nourish my soul. To fill it up with Him so that I would be made whole.
*Second, I’ve got to treasure His Word, both written words and those words spoken in the secret places of my heart, more than anything else. “I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” Job 23:12. (emphasis added)
Let’s purpose in our hearts today, to be obedient to God in 2008 in all that He calls us to do so that we can receive all the benefits He desires to pour out upon us and through our obedience to be a delight to His heart.
I’d love to hear how God has blessed you in 2007 and what you are looking forward to in 2008. HAPPY NEW YEAR! Much love!