So here it is, the dawning of another year. Memories of the passing year linger–reflections of intimate talks with dearest friends, adventures with too quickly growing children, lessons learned and fears faced. It’s been a tough year, far too full of change. My oldest baby leaving the nest, opening the first pages of a new chapter in her life. A chapter that reluctantly catapulted my husband and I into a new season of parenting. Precious friends moving hundreds of miles away, and some taking their first breaths in the Far Greater Country.
As I ponder how much has changed in 12 short months, I intentionally adjust my focus to the goodness of God. A dear friend reminds me often, “When you are walking with God, change is always in your favor.” I didn’t fully understand what she meant until this year. Now I know that while change can be good, change is a trial. James 1:4 says that trials grow us into maturity, a maturity that makes us perfect and complete, lacking nothing. Change is part of the refining process. Refining is the process that draws us nearer to the heart of God. Refining is painful. It causes us to step deeper into the waters of truth. When you step deeper into those waters, your heart will be wrecked. You will never be the same. And I’m not. And that’s a very, very good thing.
What God has shown me most this year is His faithfulness. He is constant. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He will never leave me nor forsake me. He is for me. He is with me. He is all I need. He is enough. Inhabiting and clinging to His faithfulness this year has opened my eyes to the majesty and beauty and power of who He is. It has made me courageous enough to trust Him, wholeheartedly. It has given me new eyes to look for Him in the big things and, most importantly, in the small things.
Every year when the after Christmas quietness settles in, I reflect on the year that’s passed and ponder the new year. I sit before my Abba and ask. What do I need to focus on? How do you want to grow me? How can I serve You? How can I fall more in love with You?
Last year was a year of learning humility; a year of learning to trust when I cannot see; of learning that God keeps His promises. And what this year? I’m a bit hesitant to put into words what my Abba is engraving in my heart. But I keep coming back to this one thought. This will be the year of living dangerously. What does that mean? I don’t know. But I know I want to trust God more. I want to step my feet into the Jordan confident the Lord will part the waters and do what only He can. I want to become small, so He can become great. I don’t want to despise the day of small things, but look for Him in the big things, and in the seemingly insignificant minutiae of life. Will you join me in being audacious enough to take risks, to step out of the boat, to genuinely lose your life only to find it in Christ?
To live dangerously involves risk. If you are willing to truly surrender all and follow Christ, it will be perilous. Jesus will upend the tables of your heart and He will wreck your life. Honestly, that does not make me want to run headlong into the new year. But I am asking the King for a willing heart. And I am asking Him what it means to live dangerously for Him. Here are a few things I’m asking myself. Ponder them with me and, if you will, join me in living dangerously for the King this year.
Would you risk setting aside the busy-ness of life to simply “be still and know” God?
Would you risk putting to death your visions of the future and let God direct your steps?
Would you risk setting aside the good to seek after the best?
Would you risk setting aside service for God to simply sit at His feet and fall in love with Him?
Would you risk letting the Word of God come alive and burn in your heart?
Would you risk loving those who are unlovable?
Would you risk letting God reveal the darkest recesses of your heart?
Would you risk completely forgiving those who have wounded you?
Would you risk trusting Him when you cannot understand? When the road is long? When the road is hard? When the way is dark?
Would you risk speaking of His love when it is uncomfortable or awkward or inconvenient?
Would you risk seeking God wholeheartedly? Asking God boldly? Knocking on the door of truth persistently?
Would you risk serving God even when you are unnoticed and unappreciated?
Would you risk finding joy in the difficult days?
Would your risk your heart and mind and soul to the painful process of being transformed?
Would you risk becoming less so the King can become greater?
Would you risk losing your life to find it in Christ?
Would you risk loving Jesus more than your own life?
Would you risk complete obedience to the King?
Would you risk opening every corner of your heart and mind to Him?
Would you risk letting God know you and love you completely?
Would you join me in this year of living dangerously for Jesus? He is alone is God and He is worth it. More than worth it. You will never be the same. And that is a very, very good thing.