I have been reviewing my 2020 journal. I have been writing journals for over 50 years and it helps me to go back and look at some of the important things I have highlighted over the past year. Most of those posts have to do with specific things I feel like the Lord has spoken to me for myself. Some of them are inspirational and encouraging. Some of them I take special note of because they are instructional and will help me as I continue my journey into the next year. I have also been able to share some of those insights with my readers as well as my friends.
Although I filled two journals this past year, I could condense the information that I wanted to be reminded of this new year to less than two pages. I did just that and it is in the front of my new 2021 journal. One of the most profound entries which I made was only three words when I got it in June, but it has sustained me all through the rest of the year as the Lord has added insight and expanded those three words over the remainder of the year and even now. I was asleep and woke up to hear “Stop, look and listen.” My nature is to jump into things rather quickly and overcommit myself or get involved in some things that are really just a distraction for me at that time. So that was just plain good advice or instructions from the Holy Spirit God. But let me give you one example of something the Lord expanded on that will help any serious seeker of the Lord.
In 1 John 1:1 John begins this epistle by stating “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life…” (Talking about Jesus) Most of us have had more time on our hands since we are not gathering as much or as often as we used to currently. For me, it has given me an opportunity to have more time in the Word and just being with the Lord. The word “looked upon” according to the expanded Greek translation means “to gaze with a purpose; to see with desire; to regard with admiration; a prolonged and continuous gaze.” As I take quality time to be with the Lord and meditate upon His Word and fellowship with Him, I can’t help but draw closer to Him and desire to be more like Him. I still get distracted, I still don’t always make the best decisions and I certainly have a long way to go to reflect Him accurately for others to see and be attracted to Him, but my heart is in a better place so the desire is there to “look” more.
One other word He gave me in my quiet time on November 3 was a scripture from Ephesians 6. Both of these words have inspired me to write and speak to others about them because of how they impacted me. It was very simple but has proven to be a word I can continually go back to when I have the opportunity to go into doubt, fear and unbelief. Ephesians 6:13 says: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Verse 14 continues with “Stand therefore…” And so, when things don’t look like I thought they would or should, I can still stand on the words that He has spoken to me. I then have to move out of my natural reasoning and wait upon Him for further revelation and understanding. Amazingly, when I keep focused on the things that are eternal and that are important, I stay in peace. There is nothing more valuable that I can think of than being able to stay in peace or return to peace quickly when opportunity arises to go the other direction.
In times of uncertainty, it is going to be more and more important to follow these two principles that the Lord has made very real to me. Waiting upon Him for direction and looking to Him for the guidance we may need, could make the difference in the way that your life is played out. Making wrong decisions do not always carry severe consequences, but sometimes they do. Sometimes those decisions cannot be reversed and the consequences are inevitable.
I also know there are times the Lord may speak or direct you that don’t necessarily make any or much sense in the natural, but there is such a confidence that this is the right decision or direction to go. I think that is called “walking by faith!” And the Word of God says that when we do that it pleases Him. I don’t know about you, but that is certainly something I desire to do!
We can put our trust in Him, no matter how unpredictable the world around us is. And if 2020 is any indication of how unpredictable life can be, it is quite possible that this new year may have some surprises and challenges that we did not see coming our way.
I plan to continue to be intentional — in my “looking” and in my “standing.” If the Lord has been speaking something specifically to you, please take the time to write it down, meditate upon it until it becomes a part of your regular routine. It may be the very thing that gets you through some challenging times ahead.