The Invitation

The whole world seemed to sigh as 2016 drew to a quiet close. I won’t agree to the media’s shouting that it was the “Worst Year Ever.” I cannot sweep all the good aside for the glorification of the negative, the hard, the flat-out crazy.  No. 2016 felt like a banner year for me . . . filled with joys and disappointments with better perspective. I found my surest footing in Christ and turned a corner to more freedom while living out my word for the year Expand.  Here I am again at the periphery of a new year, praying over a word for the year, statements to light the way to more freedom, and bigger dreams. It’s time to begin again.

Hebrews 4:16 says, So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (NLT)

The word ‘boldly’ is expressed differently between translations including, freely, safely, confidently, with privilege, and forthrightness. However, the most compelling translation I found is in the Orthodox Jewish Bible. Bitachon. Bitachon is a concept of faith in God that He really does work all things out for good (Romans 8:28) A faith that accepts an invitation to a certain kind of invitation from the Father to trust His loving-kindness (Another Hebrew word included in the Orthodox Jewish translation is Chesed, covenant based loving-kindness)  . . . okay, stick with me here, it is a faith that trusts that God is present, compassionate and intentional in our lives and that if we could but understand where He is taking us, we wouldn’t change a thing.

He invites us to approach His throne with this kind of faith born only out of a deep love relationship with the Father and the saving grace of Jesus. It’s the spirit led release of the control, relaxing from the white-knuckling and fist clenching. It’s me laying down my desire to control and manipulate for my own interests. It’s a panoramic view of grace that ushers in joy.

My word for this year is Adventure.t

For many years, I have been held hostage to a locked-down cell I created. I called it safe, normal, comfortable. I thought if I could just have a normal, yes – boring – life, I could be happy. I could breathe that sigh of relief. I thought the only way to find rest was to quit fighting. That’s just not it. The thing is that nowhere in scripture . . . NOWHERE . . . does God ever-present a relationship with Him as a comfortable, convenient, leisurely stroll through life. Jesus talks about having no place to sleep, promising it will be hard. Paul talks about literally being in chains. The church is messy. People struggle and even suffer. Job grieves. Abraham strains to see a promise fulfilled. The story of God is crazy, you guys. And wonderful. It’s adventure and risk. It’s peace not gained but given. Grace not earned but lavished. It’s hard and beautiful.

The invitation stands for you, too. Come boldly. Be more free. Ask Him what and where. Ditch the why.

Click Here for Words to Live By

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