In the Book of Revelation, we see the prayers of the saints coming before the throne like sweet smelling incense before the Lord, and heaven responding to this perfume. I wanted to capture a bit of that idea, and also remind us that 2019 is a great time to allow God to fully open our hearts to the place of deep worship again.
In any relationship, an open heart is so important. You can't work or communicate well with a person who's heart is closed to you. When things happen to strain a relationship, sometimes our hearts tend to close out of self-protection. God is the same way-- sometimes our hearts get hurt or we are disappointed by life, so our hearts are a little bit less excited about our relationship with Him. Yet God is constantly there for us and with us. His love never changes, and He's as excited about us as ever! Nothing can separate us from His love.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38, 39
As we start 2019, let's ask the Father to fill us with His love like never before! Let's bring before Him everything that's on our hearts, and ask Him to heal, restore, and refresh us so that we can open our hearts fully to Him and enjoy His love fully. From this place of worship, mighty things happen that change our world as we worship the King!
Prayer: Father, I love You. As I begin this new year with You, show me if there's any area in my heart that has become closed to You. As I bring my heart to You, please refuel it with passion so that I can worship with heart fully abandoned to You!
The term means: innovative, fresh, unusual, unprecedented, inventive, pioneering, radical. I created this picture with the idea of the ground being ready, even before the shovel actually starts to go to work. The soil is loose and soft enough to be worked, and it's time to start tilling. 2019 is a great year for "ground breaking," new things!
There are so many seasons in our lives. Sometimes we invest into something that doesn't produce the harvest we hoped for, and it can be disappointing. I remember one year where several of my ministry project failed, and I was frustrated,because I really believed I was obeying God by investing in these ways. During this time, God gave me a powerful picture of how to process this disappointment...
One day I was driving through Arkansas and noticed fields of golden wheat whose heads were hanging low with the weight of the grain. On closer look, the grains were bulging and starting to turn brown, like the wheat was starting to turn bad. Someone told me,
“Every few years, the farmers will grow a field of wheat, and instead of harvesting it, they'll let it over-ripen and then till it back into the ground as natural fertilizer. Instead of an immediate harvest, he nutrients of the crop is invested into the next season.”
This made so much sense to me, and I realized that God did the same thing in my life. Even though my creative projects hadn't reached the “harvest” I was hoping for, they carried a lot of learning lessons, and I was able to apply what I'd learned to the next season and get a “richer harvest” because of it.
God cares about the “soil” of our hearts-- even enough to give us seasons that produce less harvest than we hope for so that we can be more fruitful in the coming seasons. I pray that we'll be able to run after the Father and dream His dreams this year-- whether it's sowing and receiving a huge harvest, or learning valuable lessons that prepare us for what's coming next.
For me, I've got some new things that are “ground breaking” in my world! They are new and exciting, and a little scary! I 'm choosing to trust that God will use EVERYTHING for His glory in this new season... and even things in the past can become “fertilizer” if I ask God to help me learn and grow in wisdom so that I can have a better harvest in what is coming. Like this picture, I'm trusting God for good soil as I sow into His new season!
Prayer: Father, please take every piece of my past- the blessings and the hardships- and use them for your glory. In 2019, may there be many new groundbreaking moments that happen by Your leading!