My Reader, two weeks ago I presented you with the question, “What does the Lord want to help you make new in 2014?” Did you seek the Lord for an answer? If so, have you been working towards this “something new”? Another way of asking this question would have been for me to ask if you were making any New Year’s resolutions. If you did this, are you fulfilling your goals? Maybe you were too busy with the holidays to explore new options for the new year at that time, but now you may want to think about something new. Whatever your response is, let me give you some encouragement today.
As a new year begins, I often make big plans to do something new, or at least to do something more consistently than in the past. My agenda may include such things as keeping in touch with a lonely neighbor, spending more time in prayer, eating better with less snacking (how about fasting?), setting aside time for physical exercise, being more diligent with Bible reading and studying, or learning how to do something I have never done before. (Blogging was my “something new” a year ago.) My intentions are good and I am excited for a few weeks and then I revert to my old lifestyle. Although this is frequently the pattern of my life, this past week God has been reassuring me that He will help me achieve my intentions. I would like to share with you what the Lord has shown me.
Who dares despise the day of small things?
“That’s awesome!” shouts the Lord to my spirit. God is my best cheerleader. The Lord wants me to know that He is aware of every little thing I do for Him. I tend to look at the negative side of things and get discouraged the first time I fail to fulfill a promise I have made to Him. God looks at my heart and He sees the positive. He is pleased with even my intent when I am striving to live closer to Him. I Samuel 16:7 says, “the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” If my heart is aligned with the Lord, He thinks it is awesomeeven when I succeed only a little bit for a little while. God is pleased with my efforts when my efforts are to glorify Him.
Let nothing be wasted.
“A little is a lot,” speaks the Lord to my spirit. The amount of effort I put forth or the length of time I actually devote to the effort is not as important to God as is the fact that I am willing to exert any effort or time at all. The gospel of John records how Jesus multiplied a boy’s lunch of five small barley loaves and two small fish to feed 5000 people with even 12 baskets of leftovers. That is when Jesus said, “Let nothing be wasted!” In comparison to Jesus’ part, the boy’s offering was miniscule, yet it was necessary. I must remember that I do not have to do much until Jesus will help me, but I must do something! When I choose to do something, I am showing God that I am willing to take a step of faith in order to have a closer walk with Him. My steps may falter as I try to succeed with my new thing for 2014, but even my baby steps can become big steps with God’s help. I say with David in Psalm 139:23, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” I may get discouraged and anxious when I fall short of my intentions, but I can ask God to look into my heart. That is when He will see that my ambition is to be faithful to Him. To God, my little is a lot!
Behold, I make all things new.
“I’ll help,” whispers the Lord to my spirit. God is always willing and able to help. He will allow me to try to do it on my own as long I want, but He will also let me know that He never leaves me alone to accomplish a task. I notice in the scripture quoted above that it is God who makes things new, not me! Once again it becomes a heart issue. Psalm 37:4 says,“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” This verse informs me that God implants desires into my heart and then He continues to work with me for their completion. My part is to consistently take pleasure in who God is. Providing that my “new thing for 2014” is aligned with the Lord’s plans for me, He will help me succeed. I can’t do it alone, but I can do it with His help.
My Reader, I pray I have given you some incentive to pursue something new in 2014. It is not too late to grasp hold of a goal nor is it impossible for you to revive a desire that has already been forgotten. God shouts, speaks and whispers to you. So, take time to whisper a prayer of intent to the Lord right now. Your little prayer will mean a lot to Him. He will also help make your little offering into a lot. He will think it is awesome; and He will think you are awesome too!