We are looking forward to the beginning of a new year - 2014. I was thinking about it as I prayed aloud. Many times I talk to Father out loud. No sense thinking it in my head when He's right here. And hearing myself verbalize what I feel makes a big difference to me.
Anyway, I had just watched a sappy Christmas movie. Well, it started out sappy - the kind that makes me roll my eyes and remark, "Oh Geez!" But, by the time it ended I was in tears and God had spoken to my heart.
The movie, The Christmas Tree (a 1996 movie directed by Sally Field), was about a woman that - as a child - had been orphaned and ran away to emotionally cling to a beautiful tree that she lovingly named, "Tree". But in the end they had addressed the fear of letting go of things we emotionally attach to. This woman had become emotionally attached to a tree - and because of fear - she couldn't leave it all of her life. Having a favorite tree is not a bad thing. Not being able to move away from it all your life - is.
The truth was highlighted that we can attach ourselves to anything to the point it becomes a stumbling block, a detriment. We can even attach to the fear itself. She had grown up and lived her entire adult life with the nuns at the convent where "Tree" stood. What she didn't know was that one trip away to the city would unlock the shackles of her life. It would reveal the truth she had suppressed surrounding her parents and the situations that caused her to become an orphan.
As I saw this story unfold before my eyes I heard God ask me, "What are YOU afraid of?" I wanted to crack back a glib retort and say, "You name it! I'm afraid of it!" (snicker, snicker) But, somehow I knew this was not a joking time. Father seriously wanted me to think about that and probably wouldn't think too kindly of me sloughing over it and passing it off as a nice thought for another time.
So, I was honest with Him. I told Him I am afraid of giving my life's dreams and ambitions all I have and still not accomplishing anything I think He wants me to accomplish. Then, I feel that He spoke to me in my spirit and said the 'One Word' that my 2014 is going to be about. He simply said, "Advance!" And He said it like a military command. Advance - as in move forward, get out of the rut, proceed!
If you have not read the book by Dan Britton - Executive VP of International Ministries of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes titled 'One Word That Will Change Your Life' - you are missing a gem. It's an easy read - but the concept can put your focus in the direction God wants you to travel for the next year.
2 Timothy 1:7
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
For some of us - God is saying it's our time. It's time we walked out of the shackles that keep us just out of reach of the "perfect" will of God for our lives.
Now I ask you - what are YOU afraid of? This article comes with homework. Let God show you what those fears are and how to walk away from them - even hidden fears. Then ask God what is His one word for you in 2014.
When we "un"-attach from things in our life that have us bound - what will our relationships and our worship be like?