Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Standing At The Portal Of The Opening Year"1 (Lyrics)
I had once given up on making New Year's resolutions, because I never kept them. I now realize that the problem was that I had not consulted the Lord. They were my ideas of what I should do, or what other people thought!
The image of a star comes to mind, because Epiphany, when we observe the arrival of the wise men, is in the first week of January. When they followed that star, it was because the Lord had placed the goal of doing so in their hearts.
Matthew 2:9b-11 – The star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of frankincense and of myrrh. (NIV)
We each have a star to follow as well. The Lord has placed within each one of us hopes, dreams, and goals, but we often push these aside.
My experience has been that the quiet voice of the Spirit gets louder and more persistent until I start listening. Even then, my response is likely to be, "I'm busy now. I really don't want to do this" or "I am a senior; I am past that sort of thing."
Then, I am reminded of the story of Abraham, who was told that his ninety-year-old wife Sarah would have a son.
Genesis 18:13-14 – Then the Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son." (NIV)
Indeed, nothing is too hard for the Lord. We are not too old, too young, too inadequate, if it is the Lord's idea. The Lord knows what gifts we have to offer, and like the wise men, He will direct us to the place where we need to give them.
Some years ago, I left a secure job because the Lord was calling me to work in the community. I was scared because it involved becoming self-employed and operating with no paycheque. All my life, my greatest fear was financial insecurity. Not only was I challenged to face that fear, but He has always provided, to this day. I have also had a lifelong fear of public speaking, and although I have a good singing voice, I have been terrified when asked to do a solo.
Once I said "yes" to the Lord, however, over a six-month period, both fears not only disappeared, but now I also enjoy both public speaking and solo work. So my New Year's resolution will be to listen carefully for the Lord's direction, then to follow my star wherever it leads. That feels sort of scary. However, I am determined. Why not join me in this prayer?
Prayer: Lord, I ask You to take over. Help me to listen for and hear Your direction for my life, and to trust You, knowing that You will always be present to help and guide me as long as I seek to do Your will, and follow my star. Amen.
Forward this devotional Share this devotional on Facebook Like PresbyCan on Facebook
May I join you? Thanks!!
Thank you for the inspiring words. Happy New Year.
Valerie – a great message. Thank you for sharing this “whisper” from God.
Thanks for this. I needed to hear it today as I recuperate from recent surgery.
Thanks for a good and encouraging word to start the New Year Valerie.
May the Lord continue to bless, keep and guide you.
What a lovely devotional of hope with God’s help for all of us as we start a new year. Thanks for sharing so honestly from your experience.
A beautiful devotional, well-written.
Valerie, you have challenged me to ask God to energize me and many others to do our very best for Him with His power and guidance.
Thanks for sharing this devotional with us. You’ve challenged me to trust God’s guidance through the little thoughts that I’ve previously dismissed as being unattainable for someone my age. Again, thanks for writing this devotional. Blessings.
Thank you for the wisdom you put down on this page for all to read. As I took in the struggles, many of my own came to light. Your prayer is mine and eye trust God will give me the strength to carry on in His care to do His will.
Thank you for your message! It is a form of “public speaking” although you don’t actually “see” the persons who hear it! Yes, I remember you singing and believe that God has made you a great soloist. We don’t have a choir but we enjoy our music anyway.
Blessings to you and those you love, this new year and always.
What beautiful, wise and sound words! Thank you and I pray God blesses you and guides you through this new year.
I can certainly relate with your story in so many ways including leaving a safe job and going out on my own. It actually led me to God after I had done this. The same goes for public speaking; the confidence came when I made my Profession of Faith. I had not spoken in public since Grade 9.
I am a senior as well, but I would still love to go snow-tubing with the kids from church next month!!
A blessed New Year 2017 to everyone, I pray for daily inspiration to all the writers, you are all doing an excellent job, may God continue to guide and inspire all of you as you continue to minister your daily devotion.
It gives me great pleasure knowing that every morning when I wake up I can look forward to a daily devotion that will give me courage and strength to carry on my tasks each day from such talented writers as all of you and I really enjoy reading the stories at the beginning of each devotion.
Thank you and keep up the good work.
Thanks for the words of encouragement Valerie.
Thank you for your thoughtful inspiration in this devotional, Val. I appreciate it very much!
Have a blessed and joy-filled year in 2017!
Thank you for your devotional. We do indeed need to let God guide us and lead us on the path of life.
Wonderful information which gives hope that when I ask the Lord, I know I will not be forsaken.
Continued blessing to you in all your daily endeavors. God Bless You.