I turned 50, which is a very significant number in the scriptures. Every 50 years, the Lord decreed a "Year of Jublilee"--a time when all debts were cancelled and all slaves were set free.
I felt like the Lord blessed me in both of those ways this year.
He set me free from the spirit of fear, which has tormented me since childhood. Right before Easter this year, the Lord called me to fast from fear. With His help, for 40 days I refused to listen to Satan's fearful lies and chose to walk in God's truth. (My very first blogs deal with my deliverance from fear. See the February archives). During that time, the Lord "lifted me out of the miry clay and set my feet upon the Rock" and gave me a new perspective. Of course, I can always (and sometimes do) fall back into fearful patterns of behavior, but for the first time in my life, I know I have a choice not to go there.
When I gave my heart to Jesus in 1973, His blood covered my sin and my debt was paid in full. While I've grasped this truth with my mind, for some reason it never penetrated my heart. I've struggled with guilt and shame, always striving to be the "older brother," while secretly lamenting my prodigal heart. I have desperately tried to earn God's approval, with the awful awareness that I will always fall short.
This year, maybe because the veil of fear was stripped away, I have finally experienced God's grace in the core of my being. I discovered how to "cease striving and know that He is God." This revelation has transformed me--it has re-wired my thinking and rejuvenated my soul.
How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed . . . I'm just sorry that it took me 33 years to fully appreciate this amazing gift!
As I enter 2007, my cup of blessing overflows. My prayer this year is from Isaiah 50:4: " . . . that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary" . . . to encourage others the way He has encouraged me.
Blessed New Year to you all!