2011 is becoming a distant memory to me. The decorations are slowly coming down, the lights once lining the streets are not as bright and multitude of colors are giving way to the more traditional white snow and the dying colors of the trees and plants. 2012 now slowly unfolds as life returns to normal and the busyness of the holidays recedes.
If I could describe 2011 in a few words it would be tumultuous and taxing. It is with joy and relief that I say goodbye. Forgive me if my tone is not one of fond remembrance. On record, 2011 was in the top 5 of my most difficult years.
I, however, will not lay the blame at any ones feet but my own. Looking back, my decision making and emotional state were not to par of what is expected of myself. Let me just say that I am human and I make mistakes, and am far from perfect.
Ephesians 6:12 says "our battles are not fleshly battles but spiritual battles."
All throughout 2011 it seemed as if I was fighting battles on all fronts day and night. Having experienced all this I have come to the realization that I needed to let God have control of my life. Some of my short comings have been as a result of 'not letting go and letting God' do HIS work. Each new year brings with it an opportunity to grow and build upon the successes gained from the prior months. But what happens to the person who refuses to look forward? What happens to the person who does not see it from a "godly perspective"? What happens to the person who does not change or sees change as necessary? Truly the battle IS lost. Such said person was me in 2011 and slowly but surely my emotional and spiritual forces were being defeated at every turn.
Where could I turn? and Whom could I trust?
When Jesus was in the desert being tempted by Satan, he used the word of God to defeat him. Jesus did not say or do anything on his own. Satan certainly did not sneak up on Jesus while God had his back turned. So why do I react the way I do when Satan comes against me and tempts me? Why do I feel as if God has turned his back and Satan slithered in through the back door? My faith. Or lack thereof. I had gotten accustomed to a pattern of behavior and expectancy in my life and it was with that tool that Satan tied and bound me. A change was needed and badly.
I want so badly to be an effective servant and witness for the MOST HIGH, and I'm sure GOD would have the same for me. But, when will it happen? It will happen when I set my heart towards GOD.
So accustomed had I become to doing things that I forgot that I was to be doing for the Lord and not out of habit. My works had become my faith. I needed to refocus.
How did I go astray?
Where was my passion?
Where was my desire?
One day the Spirit of God brought something to my remembrance three words, "As for me".
Throughout the scriptures these three words convey statement of declaration with intent to do.
God says them in Genesis 17 when speaking to Abraham "As for me behold, my covenant is with thee,"
Joshua utters the same words in Joshua 24 "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
The prophet Samuel said them to the nation of Israel in 1st Samuel 12 "As for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD and cease to pray for you:"
King David to Solomon his son in 1st Chronicles 22 "My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house for the LORD.."
There are many others examples contained in the bible but you see what I am trying to say.
The change had to take place within me before it could go outward to the world around me. The truth of my actions and what I believe had to become real to me once again.
So, with the beginning of 2012 and newness of life I am making my declaration of intent to serve the LORD and him only.
I once taught a lesson called "12 stones" and it dealt with Israel as they were coming out of the wilderness and into the land of promise. As you know 40 years had passed and new leadership was in place and a new beginning awaited them. However, before they could claim all this they had to cross-over from the old and into the new. These people had to reclaim their rightful place as God's chosen people, they had to find faith in the God who had done so many miracles for them and sustained them. Each person, (man woman and child) had to say "As for me" I will serve the Lord.
Then and only then could they go forward across the Jordan river.
Yes, Satan will come against me and only in the name of Jesus can he be defeated. Not by me.
God is the god of new beginnings and on this day of January 12, 2012 I would like to say:
*As for me, I will walk in the faith of my faithful God, and in the wellspring of his unending love and mercy.
*As for me, I will no longer fear tomorrow or what it may bring.
*As for me, the enemy Satan will no longer bind me with my own fears and failures. Christ has overcome the world."
*As for me, I will serve the Lord and raise my banner high, for HE is my God