Have you ever tracked snow, mud or dirt into the house? You learned the hard way that before you walk into your door, you shake off what's under your feet and what you were walking in. Going into 2017, its the same concept.
Try this: Breathe in deeply, and as you let out a deep and slow sigh, let go of last year's tension and anxiety. Let go of the pain, the hurt, heartache and everything you saw on the news, everything that was tweeted, hurtful, mean and meant to cause pain, fear and heartache. We're in a new season and its a new year! That means we're starting fresh and new and God is doing a new thing - and you don't want to miss it. Now let's begin...
At the end of the year/beginning of a new year, I always think of 3 songs:
While Mariah's is secular, there's a strong meaning to shaking it off. If you walked around in 2016 with that, "What now?" mindset, you'll make the mistake of bringing that into 2017. The goal, my friend, is to shake it off, so throw on Mariah, Martha and Israel and yes, shake it off, because we truly are in a new season and God is doing a new thing!
I had a dream last night about a car. It was a black sedan that was going around a very narrow curve somewhere in California overlooking the Pacific Ocean. As the car was making the turns, I saw the land falling away. Literally, the ground, sand, soil and the earth was collapsing. Seeing this in the dream, I got out and asked the driver if it was okay to stay on the road. He said, "Yes, of course" or something to that effect and then showed me. Underneath the sand and dirt, there was a ramp that was secure enough for the car to pass and we made it over.
No matter what you're going through or what you see, God has hidden paths that we don't know about. Just like the Children of Israel crossing the water - God makes a way out of no way. That means don't fear, don't worry and don't doubt. Let God start a new thing and even if the direction He's taking you on looks like its tapering off, what God has for you is for you.
Behold, I do a new thing; now it springs forth. Do you see it not?
Why am I not in control?
The hardest thing sometimes is to let God take charge. We want the control, but we don't always know His plan. We want a GPS or Google map that outlines the destination, but God doesn't always work that way. He takes us on hidden path and the only way to get there sometimes is by that blind obedience. Trust God. He is worthy and He's never let us down, never failed and never disappointed.
A while back I took a flight and we left sunny Florida heading for New York. In Florida it was beautiful. I could visualize the seagulls and storks out the window waving goodbye as I looked at the aqua blue/green ocean and saw all the ships. In the air, the sky was clear, but as we headed closer to New York, the clouds thickened and it got really dark and I thought, "Uh, oh. Here we go." It wasn't a storm that we were heading in, but the cloud cover was so thick it looked like blankets of snow. You could barely tell that the sun was out. That's because I was looking through my perspective and with my eyes. I'm sure the pilot wasn't saying, "Uh, oh," because he had mapped out the course ahead. We landed safely and the skies were fine, just really cloudy.
The next morning when I looked at the same thick cloud cover, the sun suddenly burst through the clouds and the sky cleared up. It was a great reminder that God can do anything at anytime. The sun never left, and the Son never leaves us either. Trust God to do a new thing even when you can't see it and let Him show up and show out in your life. He makes the way out of no way!
I couldn't tell the weather conditions or tell where the sun was in those thick clouds and I didn't need to. I know God is faithful and He's changing the atmosphere. I know He hears our prayers and that's how you have to pray in the middle of your storm or your mess. Don't go by what looks like a nightmare on Elm Street, call on Jesus. Call the church elders. Call the ministries online and ask them to pray. God hears all prayers and He is always with us. He is always there.
Don't live in fear - Do a new thing
Right now, someone is afraid. Afraid about going back to work, afraid over the election, afraid over the bills piling up or afraid over that job they need or that good medical report they're waiting on. Try God. Try God at His word and watch and see Him work on your behalf. In this new year and new season, find a scripture that is the answer to your prayer. Write it down. Memorize it. Tape it to the bathroom mirror. Tape it in your car and adhere it to your desk. Speak it everyday and wait on God. That's all that's required. God just wants us to hold onto His Word, not live in fear or see fear or hear fear, but cling to and hold onto Him.
God is the author and finisher of everything. He is the Great I AM and yes, He can do all things!
If you need prayer right now, please call the Bill Winston Prayer Center at (877) 543-9443. You can also check online for Joyce Meyer's prayer request form and other sites that can pray for and with you.
Our January Prayer
Father God, in the name of Jesus, Lord we come to you and thank you for another year. We thank you for this new season, a new reason to rejoice and praise you. We thank you because we know that when we open our Bibles and pray, it's already done. We thank you for reunions in families and renewed vows. We thank you that we are walking in our wealthy places, and we have better health and healing. We thank you because you are covering and keeping us.
We thank you because there is safety in your arms. We thank you because our babies are covered, our marriages are stronger in you and our debts have been canceled. We thank you because we have revival, rejuvenation and restoration. You are doing a new thing in us and we pray, Lord, let us hear and see in new ways. Please prepare our hearts to receive what you have for us. Guide us and lead us in the direction you would have us to go and grow in. We look for signs for you and we praise and bless your Holy name. Thank you Jesus!
Prayer for a New Chapter
Father God, in areas where we need it, please give us a new inspiration. Please give us a new burst of enthusiasm and fresh oil. Please send the rain and bless us. Give us encouragement and courage to try again, to cast wider nets, to obey, to be disciplined and be better disciples for you. Please help us to lead one another and learn from one another. Help us to open doors for others and be the change we seek in the world. Let us be that light on a hill, not buried under a bushel. Let us shine brightly for you and your kingdom.
Prayer for Healing
Father God, we pray for the sick and those that need healing. We pray for hearts to be healed and renewing of the mind. We pray for those that have suffered a tragic loss and those that have gone through severe heartache. We pray for a new mind set to see the new thing you are doing. Don't let us miss it, Lord. Help us to receive from you, not just for ourselves, but to share with others.
We pray for all those in need of signs, covering and recovery that we might see and receive the blessings you have for us. In this new year, we pray and ask you to bind every hindrance away and release Your covering and divine authority in Jesus's name by heaven's authority. Bless our families, friends, loved ones and neighbors. Please cover our nation and our planet. Restore that which the canker worms and locust took. We stand on your promises, Lord. No harm shall come near our dwelling place and no evil shall befall us. We praise you for the victory, in Jesus's mighty name we pray, amen.
The Prayer of Salvation
If you haven't said the Prayer of Salvation, now's the perfect time: Father God in the name of Jesus, Lord, I ask forgiveness of my sins. Please come into my heart. I turn my back on sin and I make you my Lord and Savior. I want to follow you for the rest of my life. Please give me eternal life through you in Jesus name, amen.
Re-dedication to Christ Prayer
If you need to rededicate your life to Christ because you feel like you've been sinning or haven't been living right, pray: Father God in the name of Jesus, I ask forgiveness of my sins and I turn my back on sin. Please help me to overcome ---- and I want to lead a better life through you. I decree and declare this day I have overcome ---- and I have the victory in Jesus name, amen.
Stay in God's shadow, stay away from sin and temptation, keep reading your Bible and keep seeking God first.
Be ye doers of the Word... We pray this message blesses you today!
As you start 2017, check out these great ways to jump start your plans:
Write the Vision...
What is the NEW thing you want to do in 2017? Often, people will start out with a great list and then they don't keep track of it. To avoid the repeated mistakes, write your vision and update it every week. Try to remind yourself to check in and don’t beat yourself up if you forget. You have 365 chances to get it right. So let’s take a look at a few things you might have on your list to help you start that new thing and accomplish it!
Start a new budget...
To help you start a new budget for example, you just can't write "start a new budget", because that's probably about as far as you will get. Instead, check out new budgeting tools like Mint, PocketGuard, Good Budget and MVelopes. These are all available in the iTunes store and through Google Play. Read up on them and then download them to give them a try.
Not online but still want great budgeting tips? Check out Dave Ramsey's site for saving money and paying down debt - fast! You'll find tons of ways to jump start your savings!
Lose weight - again...
If you've tackled the weight loss plan and failed, don't give up. A lot of new foods are loaded with salt and sugar so they literally set you up to fail. To help you this time around, try these helpful tips:
Increase your walk with God...
If you find your prayer life is faltering, or you don't have enough time to get in the prayer you want, check out these top ways to draw closer to God:
Lastly, remember, the race is not for the swift. You don't have to overdo it in the first week. Don't over commit, just be consistent about your commitment. This can help you find the greatest success in your New Year's resolutions! And remember, you get 365 days to try again and you can always start Day 1 again tomorrow!
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!