Monday, January 5, 2015

Do the Next Thing...

Do you make resolutions? I don’t make New Year’s resolution per se but the rollover into new digits is an opportunity to reflect and evaluate the previous year, and consider expectations for the year ahead. For many years I’ve asked the Lord for a verse or Bible passage that will guide my year. Not everyone appreciates a clear path, but for me and my personality, having direction helps me stay on-point, even when good distractions come along. I want to finish well, and I want to always be moving forward.

Over the years, moving forward doesn’t always mean moving forward. Sometimes moving forward means not moving backward. Sometimes moving forward is small steps, like the way the earth’s oceans are receding from land – we’re told it’s happening but it’s so incremental, most people wouldn’t have the ability to perceive it.

What are your thoughts and expectations for 2015? Several men and women in public ministry have made outspoken declarations about the big moves of God for this year. Their words excite our ears and tickle our fancy (what is a ‘fancy’, by the way?). Wouldn’t it be nice if it is true? I wonder what the prophets of the day declared each new year when the Israelites were in the desert, set adrift from their old life of captivity but not yet living in their Promised Land?

I love big moves. I believe I am one of many who are on the precipice of entering the Promised Land. It sounds exciting and fast-paced with lots of action but the reality is lots of activity with very little forward movement and more [a lot more] of what sustained me in the years prior.

I wish the words of big moves were true. For some, they will be. And possibily the Holy Spirit will surprise me (he knows how much I love surprises) but truthfully I’m subdued about expectations for the year. An informal poll of friends over the past few weeks seem to have the same thoughts as myself. This is a year of abiding. It’s not lack of faith or lost hope which compels my contemplative thoughts; it’s deep faith in the words already spoken. John 15 promises: abiding in Him produces fruit. It’s gonna happen. The passage is referring to grape vines. Grapes take three years to begin to produce, and before they do, they continue to do the next thing – they grow their roots, they grow their limbs and they grow leaves to absorb the goodness of the Son (sun).

If you aren’t feeling as excited as you think you should be, relax. Do the next thing and keep abiding. If you are feeling this is your year, then go for it, but still do the next thing.

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