By Sandy Jones
Happy New Decade! I hope yours is off to an amazing start!
I take my role in this ministry seriously. I pray that my words in this, my column, always ring true, praying over each one as soon as I turn in the last, asking God what message He would have me share, and requesting the wisdom to do it right.
The topic for this column has been clear to me for several weeks, and yet I’ve wrangled with, debated and bartered with God about doing it. At one point I thought of asking one of our other topical columnists to take on this subject — all the while knowing that it was my assignment, not theirs.
Last September someone stated the obvious, and yet, until that point it had escaped me, that we were coming upon a new decade. Their challenge was to examine one’s accomplishments in the last decade, and set specific goals for the coming one. I’ll admit that at that moment I found this profound.
As I started retracing my steps these past ten years, it wasn’t so much my life and my actions that kept jumping out at me. It was how much society has changed in the last ten years. It seems we live in a topsy-turvy world where good is now called bad, and what’s always been bad, or taboo, is good and acceptable.
I realize it was foretold in 2 Timothy 4:3 (NIV): For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
And all too often, if you don’t accept this new normal, then you’re bad!
I often have to remind myself of Rick Warren’s quote, “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do.”
It is true, many have forgotten how to dialogue, to express their own, as well as hear others’ opinions and beliefs. The hostility surrounding these differences ends friendships, and disrupts families often permanently.
I have to admit that during this past year this weighed heavily on me, to the point that I found I was fighting depression. That happens to those of us who are “control freaks,” when things are completely out of our control, or we can’t fix them, we internalize it, stew about it, and often let it affect us emotionally.
What I woke up and recalled is that I serve the King of Kings, that He is in control, so I don’t have to be.
What I have to do is my part.
I have to get up each day, thank Him for the opportunities ahead of me. Give over my concerns to Him. Put on His armor, knowing that He is fighting the battle, and go forward, doing what it is He’s called me to do!
I need to be deeper in His Word, closer to Him in prayer, listen attentively for His reply.
I need to love the unlovable. Forgive the unforgivable. Praying for all.
I need to remember that He sits on the Judgment Seat, not me.
I need to bind the enemy out, so there’s nothing but Jesus in me!
I need to count my blessings — after all, He’s allowed me to have them.
I need to trust, fully and completely, that He’s got this!
So that is my New Decade Resolution — to BE who I’m called to be; to work diligently to be fully present, not just with my family and friends, but fully present with God; and to do better to ‘let go, and let God’ do His part, while I focus on doing mine.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. — Phil 4:13 NKJV
Until next time……