Welcome to the New Year!  I am excited and energized as I think about the possibilities the New Year holds.  With the turn of the calendar, it is wonderful that people’s hearts and minds are refreshed and ready for a new beginning.  I pray that you are encouraged this year to walk with God more closely than the previous year.  I missed my devotional yesterday, but when I read it this morning it was exactly what my heart needed to hear and be reminded of as 2012 kicks off; so why not share it with all of you?

It comes from the devotional “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young.  Each day is written as if Jesus Himself were speaking to you…. because He is.

“You can achieve the victorious life through living in deep dependence on ME.  People usually associate victory with success: not falling or stumbling, not making mistakes.  But those who are successful in their own strength tend to go on their own way, forgetting about Me.  It is through problems and failure, weakness and neediness that you learn to rely on Me.

True dependence is not simply asking Me to bless what you have decided to do.  It is coming to Me with an open mind and heart, inviting Me to plant My desires within you.  I may infuse within you a dream that seem far beyond your reach.  You know that in yourself you cannot achieve such a goal.  Thus begins your journey of profound reliance on Me.  It is a faith-walk, taken one step at a time, leaning on Me as much as you need.  This is not a path of continual success but multiple failures.  However, each failure is followed by a growth spurt, nourished by increased reliance on Me.  Enjoy the blessedness of a victorious life, through deepening you dependence on Me.”

The Word of God is very clear about the strength of Christ.  And those who wait on the Lord, who are humble in Spirit, and ask in dependence on God, will not be denied strength.  In Luke 11, Christ reassures us that He knows how to give good gifts as a father would give his son or daughter.  What an exciting way to start off the New Year, not on your own strength, but on the incredible strength God has to give.  Let Him plant a dream within you, far beyond your own reach.

2 Corinthians 5:7 “for we walk by faith not by sight”

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”

2 Corinthians 12:9 “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”

Isaiah 40:28-31 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will SOAR with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”