During my reading and journaling this morning I found myself – dare I say it – complaining. ::gasp:: Yes, on the first day of the new year, I was rattling off all of the problems I was facing. I was quoting to God HIS own words and promises and demanding He tell me where He was in all of my problems.
Imagine my surprise when He literally cut me off mid-sentence, “I know about your situation. You made the decisions that put you in these circumstances. I did my part. I upheld my word. Now do your part!”
I sat for a while in silence. Ironically, or at least unexpectedly, I was grateful for His candor and response, even though it pinned the blame squarely on me. And as I sat there, repenting and walking through how He’d have me to right the ship, a peace washed over me.
But somewhere, in the darker recesses of my mind and heart, I still felt pangs of anger and frustration and accusation. A victim mentality that was bubbling up seeking to usurp the peace I’d just had restored.
So I asked God, “What about this anger? This frustration?”
I didn’t actually have to ask really. He saw me struggling and offered this answer:
Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
…and I read on, with verse 25 hitting me like a ton of bricks:
Galatians 5:25 AMP
 If we live by the Holy Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.
It said I IF we live by the Holy Spirit.
Look, this may not be the “new year! new you” message you were looking for, but the truth is that I don’t believe we can simply and cleanly walk into 2014 by forgetting 2013. There are people like me who still are learning from 2013. Who are still waiting on promises from 2013, walking through tests that began in 2013, and are still seeking truths and new direction from decisions we don’t want to repeat this year.
If this is you, you could be, like me, finding yourself feeling left behind, left out of the jubilant celebrating of the new year of those around you. You could feel frustration and wonder where God is in your new year when you lost sight of him last year.
If you aren’t seeing the manifestation of God’s promises in your life, I’ll ask you like God asked me this morning: How ya living?
Are you seeking his kingdom first, striving to show others and yourself the fruit of the Spirit?
Or have you, like me, found yourself mired in what feels like unending fatigue, frustration, impatience and overall blahness?
If we live by the Holy Spirit…
If you closed out 2013 feeling like God was far away, know that it is you who moved. Somewhere along the lines your focus shifted and we met a new calendar year stuck in our last spiritual year.
But we don’t have to remain stuck. I took God’s loving rebuke this morning, accepted that I’d stopped chasing him to pursue other things. And realized that those pursuits are what caused the distance and the darkness.
I am excited this morning to know that although I may not have rang in a new year in my Spirit when the clock struck 12, I have now turned the page on 2013 in my heart and can move forward in peace and with expectation now.
I walked away from my quiet time this morning with these takeaways:
God’s promises and plans for our lives don’t change because we walked away/got off track. He’s still faithful and still wants to bless me.
The only thing standing in the way of
God manifesting me seeing God’s blessings in my life is me.
IF I live by the Spirit, I am seeking Him first and He WILL add all good things unto me.
God wants to demonstrate his immeasurable, limitless and surpassing grace and blessings in my life. (Ephesians 2:7,10)
Per Joel Osteen’s I Declare, ” I will see an explosion of God’s goodness, a sudden widespread increase.”
You can have all of this, too. In fact, I believe God wants you to. But you’ve first gotta do some real soul-searching to find out…
How are you living?
Because how you’re living will dictate what you see manifested of God’s giving.