The Most Important Thing I Learned in 2014

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Here is one thing I know about the Lord, He is not (nor has He ever been) in the business of ensuring my comfort. I mean, if you think about it, if He intended us to be constantly comfortable then what would have been the purpose in sending The Comforter (or the Holy Spirit as He is also known). Can you think of a reason? I sure cannot. If there was ever a year that I knew this idea to be true it was the year 2014. Early in 2014, I came across a familiar verse that seemed to burst from the pages of my Bible with new meaning. Second Chronicles 6:9 says, “The eyes of The Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him…”

Here is what stood out to me, the verse does not say that He is seeking to “deliver” those whose hearts are devoted to Him. The verse says that He is actively seeking for those brave enough to fully say, “Yes” to Him so that he can strengthen them in the midst of difficult things.

It is not the easy, the simple, or the predictable things that necessitate God-given strength in one’s life. I have found that true joy and fulfillment in life are not found when you choose the simple and the predictable things, but it is the times when the God things are where He’s calling you to be, so you walk boldly and courageously (by His power) to where He is.

In 2014 the Lord called me into some impossible things, but every time I found that He was more than enough. I found that He provides strength to the weak and power to the powerless (Isaiah 40:29). I found that I would rather be walking into the impossible at the right hand of my God than into the easy and predictable without His presence.

The year 2014 taught me to say, “Yes” in those moments when Jesus invites me into the impossible. When He looks throughout the earth, seeking those hearts that are fully devoted to Him, I want Him to find me. Some seasons are really easy, and some are so very difficult. I can tell you with certainty that when your attitude and heart cease to beg for deliverance, and they begin to seek to be strengthened in the battle, your whole outlook will change. Waiting for deliverance is often just grabbing the side of the cliff, digging your nails in, and waiting to be lifted from that place. Seeking to be strengthened speaks to a much more purposeful way to live life. In each season, the Lord is desiring to teach you something about His character–the very nature of who He is–that you simply cannot learn in any other season or in any other way.

So, this year, in every season, choose to seek the heart of God so that you can be strengthened through the twists and turns of life. Stop sitting in the season of the desert, begging God to “deliver” you. Start walking through the desert with Jesus so that you can learn a little more of who He is and that His heart is for you and for this world.

Mighty woman of valor (Judges 6:12), you have been prepared and equipped in every way for the battle that is ahead of you. Trust in who God says He is. Walk with Him. Know that He is for you. Trust that the difficulty of this season is teaching you something about the heart of God that He so desperately needs you to know. Trust that nothing is wasted when it is entrusted in the hands of Christ. Know that this season of preparation is not punishment. Know that He has a plan and a purpose for your life (Jeremiah 29:11), and He has not forgotten you. You have not walked through the fire, the desert, the valley or even the mountaintops in vain. Every season, every moment of your life, is specifically orchestrated on your behalf so that you might know the heart of God. Trust Him. When you feel too broken to walk or trust again, choose to turn to the embrace of the Lord. It is there that you will be strengthened, restored and redeemed for the greatest purpose of all: to know and love the Lord more fully.

Manda pic Manda Havens

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