ATLANTA (BP)–One should never enter a new year carelessly or casually but, rather, with passionate intent and great care! How should we do this? Most importantly, by giving special attention to the activity of God in our lives during 2004.
As Christians, we must look to see what is on the heart of God for His people and respond in obedience. God spoke clearly in 2004 in regard to the sins of our nation and the consequences we can expect to endure in the years ahead if we don’t return to Him. Sin left its mark on the nation in corporate scandals, sports scandals, public office corruption, divorce, domestic abuse and cultural immorality of all kinds.
Sin has a pervasive influence on any nation and will, in turn, affect each of us as well. Therefore, it is critical that we keep this at the forefront as we look to 2005.
In all of 2004, events must be seen -– in the presence of God –- for His interpretation — the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; the terrorist bombing of the train in Spain; the global threats from Islamic terrorists; the U.N. scandals; Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of The Christ”; court decisions concerning same-sex “marriage”; the Ukranian elections; and our own presidential election. In fact, some of the natural disasters we have seen in our nation and around the world may very well be “remedial judgments of God” on His people: the unprecedented series of hurricanes and the unprecedented tsunami that has devastated so many countries in Asia.
Many other 2004 factors will carry over into 2005 as well. How are you handling them? How are they affecting you as you enter into the year 2005? What “word from God” has He given to you that will determine how you set priorities, and adjust your character and choices in 2005?
I think God is giving us another chance to return to Him, and He’s marshalling His people for revival and spiritual awakening in the land. His love and compassion was clearly evidenced in the ministry of His churches all across America this past year. We also experienced the working of Billy Graham, his son Franklin and daughter Anne; the incredible heart-cry for revival; the nationwide calls for prayer; and the increase of marketplace ministries seeking to bring the Kingdom of God (the rule of God) to the workplaces of the nation and the world.
How, then, are you going to face 2005 and the future? First, with God, and always with HOPE –- that is, “constant expectation” of the sovereign presence of God and His eternal purposes and love. You must receive and incorporate His presence and love in all of your life -– especially any choices you must make during the year. Second, plan renewal thoroughly with God, repenting of neglect and sin in 2004 that God has now revealed to you. Third, intentionally focus your prayer life all during 2005 that God will raise up spiritual statesmen/women for not only corporate America, but the entire nation — especially in the courts. Pray also that God will give you insight and discernment throughout the year in knowing and doing His will, for His glory.
2005 is a “new page” on which you will be writing. Let God clearly write on it for your life!
You can register now for Blackaby Ministries’ January online courses, Listening to God’s Voice (10 weeks) and A Passion for God Who has a Passion for Souls (4 weeks), at www.blackaby.org. Henry Blackaby is the author of “Experiencing God” and numerous other discipleship resources.