Hello there Friends,
I hope you had a beautiful Christmas day yesterday! I was celebrating with my hubby, Mom, brother, sis – in – law and their precious foster kids. We had an absolute blast!
Today I am…tear…more tears…on a plane heading back to Texas.
But the good news is I am about to share my favorite New Years Tradition….are you ready…Oh I am so excited to share with y’all because I know how powerful and encouraging it can be!!!
While everyone else is vowing to give up caffeine, facebook and a plethora of distractions, I prefer to ask the Lord what His promises are for the next year!
I have been doing this for about 5 years now.
What I do is take some time during the last week of December to pray and ask the Lord one simple question:
God, what are your promises for the next year?
Then I write down whatever I sense He is saying. Often I hear:
– Promises for me.
– Promises for my marriage.
– Promises for others – friends and family members.
– Scripture verse or verses.
I keep this list of promises somewhere safe (for me that is my journal). Sometimes throughout the year I will go back to that page in my journal when I want a reminder of the things the Lord promises.
I try to keep this list in mind, as I pray for people and situations throughout the year.
Now this is the BEST PART: During the last week of December I pull out my old journal and find the page entitled: Promises for the Year. I then read the promises, some I have remembered and some I have forgotten about and I see all the incredible things that God has done throughout the year that matches up with His promises to me. It is an absolute blast and so faith building to see that God is speaking to my heart and also to reflect and thank Him for the promises He has fulfilled in the past year!
Will you join me this year in Asking God what Promises He has for you this year?
A few thoughts for this activity:
1. Believe that You can hear from God! If you have acknowledged your need for a Savior and asked Jesus to be your Savior from your sin, and have complete rule and authority in your life – then you have been adopted into the family of God! Wooohoo!
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life inChrist Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:15 “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.”
This means that you can hear from God because He is your Father, not just any Father the best Father. Doesn’t a Good Father LOVE to TALK to HIS CHILD? Yes! That is who we have, a Good Father and He loves to speak to you.
In John 10: 27-28, Jesus refers to Himself as being a Good Shepherd and we (followers of Jesus) are like His sheep:
” My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
Not sure if you are in the family of God? Today is a great day to become a part, click here to learn more.
2. Learning to hear and recognize the voice of God takes time and practice. I didn’t recognize my husband’s voice until we had talked on the phone several times, but now I immediately recognize his voice even in the midst of a crowded room. We may not immediately recognize God’s voice if we are out of “practice” or haven’t “practiced.” That’s Ok, this is a great day to start. And the good news is, God wants to talk to you! How exciting!
One thing that has helped me grow in being able to recognize God’s voice is spending intentional time with Him everyday. If you would like more practical tips please check out the series: Why I Spend Time with Jesus Everyday
3. God will speak to us through his Word, the Bible and also to our hearts. Some people see pictures in their minds of an impression God is giving them. Others will have a strong sense of peace in their hearts. Some people may hear words or phrases in their mind.
When we think we hear God speaking to us we always want to ask:
– Does this line up with the character of God or Who God is? We can know who God is by reading His Word!
– Does this line up with the Word of God?
For example if you sat down to do this spiritual exercise and thought you heard God say, “you will be alone.” You could know that wasn’t the voice of God because God’s Word promises us: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5). But if you heard, “even if you feel lonely this next year I will be with you.” Write that down! Because that lines up with God’s character (He is always with us) and it lines up with His Word!
– If you’re not sure, that’s ok too. Write it down anyways, and then spend some time looking it up in the Bible and talking to a trusted pastor or friend.
4. There may be some fun promises and some challenging promises.
– For 2013, I felt like the Lord promised my dear friend Katy would get married (she was not engaged at the time) and I would be a part of her wedding! This was such an exciting promise. It was a joy to be a bridesmaid in her wedding this year and see the answer to many prayers through her new marriage.
– However for 2013 the Lord also gave me the verse:
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
When the Lord highlighted that scripture as a promise for 2013, I literally thought “uh oh! I think God is preparing me for a challenging year.” It wasn’t necessarily a promise I wanted to hear, but it was a promise I desperately needed and that I continually went back to over and over again as we walked through the pain of two miscarriages. I am so thankful God gave me that verse as a promise (even if I didn’t want it…ha..ha) because as the trials of this year came my heart could rise in confidence remembering His Word to me – that no matter the struggle or pain He had promised I would not be overtaken! He had promised I would not be burned!
So are you ready? Grab a cup of
water since you gave up caffeine for the year, coffee, your Bible, your journal or a piece of Paper. Quiet your heart and ask the Lord to help you. You may want to take a moment and pray something like this.
Lord, thank you that I am your child and that you are my good Father. I want you to speak to me. I want to learn to hear your voice. Please help me. Thank you that your Word says that like a sheep hears the voice of its shepherd, that I can hear your voice. Thank you for the blood of Jesus that cleanses me from all my sins. I plead the blood of Jesus over my mind, heart and body right now and also over this space I am sitting in. I declare that you have full rule and reign over my body and mind and over this place I am occupying because I have submitted my life to you. I command any scheme of the enemy to confuse, deceive or distract me in this time to leave and say that only the Word of God will be heard in this time. Jesus give me a fresh gift of faith to believe that you will speak to me in this time. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Remember it starts with one question: God, What are Your Promises for 2014?
I can’t wait to hear the awesome things He does one year from now!
Are you going to join me in asking God for His promises for the year? Let me know!!!!! Any other favorite New Year’s traditions?