Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
The New Year is a time when some make New Year resolutions. Others may choose a word that promotes change in action and thinking. Still others may choose a verse for the year. I cannot say how successful others are, but my history shows that I can be gung-ho at the beginning and then the resolve slowly fades away. Last year my word was Faith.
As the pastor spoke this past Sunday, he read 2 Corinthians 5:7 …for we walk by faith, not by sight…This was alongside Joshua chapters 3-4. Joshua is explaining to the people the procedure for going into the promised land. This is the second chance for the Israelites. The first time, led by Moses they drew back in fear. This time, without opposition Joshua gives marching orders to the people:
“When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place. Follow it, so that you should know the way you should go, for you have not passed this way before.” (3: 3-4) “Then Joshua said to the people ‘Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you'”. ( v.5)
The Israelites obeyed, crossed the Jordan on dry land and set up stones of remembrance to this miraculous day and the faithfulness of God.
Admittedly, I had gotten a bit off track! The details of life and how to manage them all had robbed me of the wonder of walking by faith and being in awe of what God does in my life.
Other verses jogged my memory:
“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…Romans 12:2
“…and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind; clothe yourself with the new self…” Ephesians 4:23
This was a wake-up call for me. I began to reflect. Am I walking by faith? Am I still committed to paying attention to what God is doing and where He is going? Am I ready for service? To say YES GOD? No matter what? Or am I fearful? Reluctant? Distracted? Do I anticipate the amazing blessings of God?
These questions are hard to face, yet so good to ask! Last night as I was lying in bed still awake, Mike asked me what I was thinking. Honestly, I was asking God “How are you and I?” Am I moving closer to you? Am I walking by faith?
My prayer for this new year is Psalm 51:10: “Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Prayer of Response:
“O Lord, draw us close. Be our vision. Be our all in all. Renew each of us with a freshness. Renew our strength like that of the eagle so that we will run and not grow weary, walk and not faint, no matter the path You lead.”
—Submitted by Stephanie Edsall