At the beginning of this new year I am thinking of a need for something new, something to really grab hold of and put my faith in – a New Life, if you will. The year has had it’s fair share of up’s and down’s and I wanting to seek the Lord for His direction over a number of issues.
At times like this, I imagine I am seated at a beautiful pool in the Garden of the Lord. The sun filters through leafy branches and birds chatter out of view.
I begin to wonder what life would have been like before the Fall. Before Adam fell for Satan’s temptations. Before we lost our intimate relationship with God. And before we got so confused about life.
I long to return to that relationship. And as I sit pondering that possibility, I am drawn to a peaceful place in my heart. This is the place where I begin to commune with the Lord. It is an opportunity to hear from Him anew.
“The truth is Peter,” He begins, “you have not lost relationship with Me. The effects of the Fall have not touched your Born-Again spirit. Our relationship is perfectly intact. Welcome to your New Year. And welcome to your New Life.”
“Ok Lord,” I counter. “So why am I constantly affected by the ups and downs of life. Things are never straight forward; there’s always some problem or other needing sorting out.”
I ask the question in a slightly tongue-in-cheek manner, knowing the answer but wanting to express something of my frustration.
“My son, I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you to Myself, and you will be with Me forever. Yes, there will be tribulations in this life – but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.”
I contemplate His words in my heart. I chew them over – analyse them – and finally choose to take the role of ‘devil’s advocate…
“Yes Lord, it’s true – You have overcome the World. But I haven’t! I am very much in the World and the World has a direct affect on me: my mind, my will and emotions. So how does that help me?”
There follows an awkward silence. I wonder if I have expressed too much unbelief – disrespect even! I choose to bring my attention back to the gentle rhythm of water splashing into the Pool. Birds still chatter and flutter in the trees and the sun still dapples brightly on the water. God is still very much with me.
I have a choice, as ever, to choose either new life in Him or the old life in Me!
His life is Eternal Life but my life is temporary. Yet even in this temporary life of tribulations I am still in Eternal Life ‘In Him.’ And so, I take from my pocket my pen and pad and begin to write a ‘Blue Print’ plan for my life: How to live my life ‘In Him’ – that is ‘in Christ’ – and not in me.
* Remain, in my heart, bowed before the finished work of the Cross.
* Fear-not! But rest in His Love.
* Speak out the Truth of what God say’s about me in His Word.
* Pray in tongues – regularly!
* Praise Him and thank Him for His new life in me.
* Humble myself.
* Stand still and I will see the Salvation of the Lord God who is with me.
* Choose to live out of Him and out of His new life.
Pleased with my efforts, I pack my belongings to leave. And as I do so I hear the Lord say: “Are you wanting to leave me now?”
I pause and bow my head to focus on that place in my heart where He lives.
“No Lord,” I reply. “No Lord, I’m taking You with me!”