I love new years. While it really is just a new start from the calendar perspective, I love the sense of freshness that it brings. I’m not big on resolutions (why does it have to be January 1 to make a positive change?), but for 2011 I’m going to be working hard to shift gears and refocus on what really matters.
I really am a busy body–hence all of the projects I’m constantly starting. But eventually, in time, it catches up to me and I just need to sit and “be.” I need to process where I am, who I am, what I’ve accomplished (or haven’t!), what areas I can improve. I call it my processing time and today is one of those days.
I’ve poured out my heart here once before and I’m here to do it again. As I get older and experience more of this “real world,” I’m learning more about the person God made me to be, the cycles I need him to break, the areas I need him the most…and the areas I need to surrender to him the most.
Gosh, I am so in love with this God.
I’m overwhelmed just beginning to think about all that he does in my life each and every day. This morning, I was standing at the window watching the world do its thing and I began to wonder how many things he protects me from daily that I never even have a clue about. All I could muster up was a whispered “thank you.” Such an ordinary and underwhelming response to such a grand gesture. I know he sees my heart and it means just the same to him, regardless of how many/few words I use, but really, I want to offer Him so much more.
So when I opened up My Utmost to His Highest tonight to start at January 1 again, I knew I couldn’t not share. In case you don’t have a copy, I’ve included it below.
“. . . my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death” —Philippians 1:20
My Utmost for His Highest. “. . . my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed . . . .” We will all feel very much ashamed if we do not yield to Jesus the areas of our lives He has asked us to yield to Him. It’s as if Paul were saying, “My determined purpose is to be my utmost for His highest— my best for His glory.” To reach that level of determination is a matter of the will, not of debate or of reasoning. It is absolute and irrevocable surrender of the will at that point. An undue amount of thought and consideration for ourselves is what keeps us from making that decision, although we cover it up with the pretense that it is others we are considering. When we think seriously about what it will cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He doesn’t know what our obedience will mean. Keep to the point— He does know. Shut out every other thought and keep yourself before God in this one thing only— my utmost for His highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and Him alone.
My Unstoppable Determination for His Holiness. “Whether it means life or death-it makes no difference!” (see Philippians 1:21). Paul was determined that nothing would stop him from doing exactly what God wanted. But before we choose to follow God’s will, a crisis must develop in our lives. This happens because we tend to be unresponsive to God’s gentler nudges. He brings us to the place where He asks us to be our utmost for Him and we begin to debate. He then providentially produces a crisis where we have to decide— for or against. That moment becomes a great crossroads in our lives. If a crisis has come to you on any front, surrender your will to Jesus absolutely and irrevocably.
I would pick out quotes that hit me the hardest, but I can’t just pick a few. The entire entry hit my soul so hard that I felt it move. I daily try to surrender my life to Christ, but I’ll never reach a point where it’s “enough.”
I want to be remembered not for the things I accomplish, the salaries I make or the places I travel. I want to be remembered for showing Christ like a mirror’s reflection. Actually, I don’t want you to remember me at all. I just want you to remember the Christ you experienced while I was living life. (Don’t worry, I plan on living life for awhile.) 😉
So for 2011, “I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and Him alone.” Who else deserves my very best more than he does? No one.
Lord, I give 2011 to you. Regardless of where it takes me, who I’m around or what happens, I want to give you my utmost for your highest.
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