In seasons of transition, it can feel like change is the only constant. How do we stay 'ablaze' for God?
It is said that change is the only constant. As we usher in the new year, many of us may find ourselves in a season of transition, grappling with the often uncomfortable process of adapting to the unfamiliar.
However, in this world of flux, we can take comfort in Jesus’ promise that He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
Our God is faithful; human history proclaims it.
Only one nation in the earth has seen its people driven from its land and scattered throughout the earth, only to be miraculously restored in a single day, nearly two millennia later – the nation of Israel. The God whose character and promises remain unshakeable through the tumult of empires, wars and rulers of the ages is the God who has overcome the world for us and has promised us an eternal home. His promises are enough for the nations – and His promises are more than enough for you, in every detail of your life.
Today, He invites you to build your life on this rock: His faithful character, His steadfast promises and His unshakeable kingdom.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28-29)
How do you build your life on God? As our Lord Jesus said, the greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Luke 22:37) Our God is a consuming fire; He demands passionate and all-consuming worship.
How, then, can we allow ourselves to be beautifully consumed by Him in this new year?
1. Offer our wholehearted worship as a sacrifice
Our God is a jealous God who desires our wholehearted worship and will not play second fiddle to any other passions that seek to usurp His rightful place in our lives.
What areas of your life threaten to steal your love from God?
Today, the God from whom “every good and perfect gift” comes (James 1:17) invites you to lay these areas down on the altar before Him. Let us not hold any part of our hearts back from the Lord and be like David, “a man after His own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14) – David, who so loved the presence of God that he would not hold back the costly sacrifice of oxen and sheep in order to bring the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem, nor allow the fear of man to keep him from dancing in worship before the Lord.
2. Allow Him to refine us into alignment with Him
In His love, God refines us, burning away any impurities that prevent us from receiving the fullness of His blessings and intimacy with Him. As God places us in the furnace to reveal our sins, from the glaring to the “little foxes that spoil the vines” (Song of Solomon 2:15), let us allow Him to cleanse us and transform us. What are the 'little foxes' in your life?
3. Saturate our minds with His thoughts
For the light of His truth to consume us, we must be radically uncompromising in rejecting the lies of the world and putting on the mind of Christ. When you catch yourself feeling inadequate for reasons such as your appearance, or your grades, or even your friends – we must “cas[t] down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
To embrace the truth – that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” by your loving Father (Psalm 139:14) – is to express faith in His Word. When you catch yourself feeling anxious about your future or present situations, remember that our God has always delighted in our dependency on Him and has promised to carry us even to the end of our days on earth (Isaiah 46:4).
As we put on His mind, His life-giving breath soaks our beings from the depths of our hearts.
Let 2018 be the year that we offer up more of our hearts, souls and minds on the altar of the Most High, the only One who is worthy of every sacrifice and offering we could give.
Christine recently graduated from the Bible College of Wales in Swansea and currently works as a teacher in Singapore. She is passionate about pursuing the presence of God and preparing the way for the return of Jesus.