A new year.
I can hardly believe that it's already 2012.
Remember when everyone was freaked out that the world was going to stop when it turned midnight on December 31, 1999? A new year, a new century, a new millennium was looming. All the computers would blow up, there would be massive black-outs, a technological Armageddon was supposed to occur.
Well, it didn't.
And now it is TWELVE years later.
Sometimes I feel like a modern-day Rip Van Winkle. Did I sleep away the last 20 years? That must be it – there is no other explanation for the fact that I am closing in on 60 years old…(thank goodness for smaller fonts!)
So, as I write these words, I am ending another year in my life. I am reflective. I ponder the last months. I think about the many things that have happened. There has been some wonderful stuff, for sure. But overall, it's been a year of challenge.
Truthfully? I'm entering 2012 a bit frayed around the edges – a little down, a little anxious, a little weary.
I hope I make it to midnight – so I can stick my head out the front door and mumble, "Happy New Year!" (Will "The Hub" make it so I can at least kiss him?? To be determined…)
So, I have done today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" with a desperate need for a word from the Lord. A timely word, an apropos word, a word that speaks to my need. A word that ushers in a new year with hope.
God does not disappoint.
Here are His words:
"And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened…how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him." (Luke 11:9-10, 13)
I ask myself my year-end questions in view of this passage.
What am I asking for?
What am I seeking?
What doors am I knocking on?
It's difficult sometimes to get this straight in my mind. It's harder to get it straight in my heart.
Because there were many things I asked for in 2011 that did NOT happen. Many questions that I was seeking answers for, that were NOT found. Quite a few doors that I knocked on that were NOT opened.
So, what do I do with that?
I will not question the Word of God – especially when the words are written in RED! Jesus speaks – I will listen!
Therefore, I must question my questions, I think.
It's all a matter of perspective.
Am I not receiving things that I ask for because I'm asking for the wrong things? Or am I asking for them in the wrong way?
Are my questions not being answered because I want a certain answer? In a certain way? At a certain time? (Read: my answer, my way, my time)
Are the doors I'm knocking on not being opened because they are doors of my own choosing? Am I leaning on my own understanding for direction and guidance?
Is God really and truly answering my prayers – but I'm just not recognizing it?
I believe that there is a clue here in these verses.
And it has nothing to do with the end results. It isn't about the things, the answers, the doors.
It's all about the asking, the seeking, and the knocking.
You see, God is making something happen to me in the process. Persistence overcomes MY insensitivity, not God's.
He is changing my heart and mind. I am not changing His.
He is all about my relationship to Him. So my persistent, bold prayers help me understand and express the intensity of my need. They make me focus on the bottom line of my need. My need for Him – alone. For Him – only.
There's another very important element at the end of today's "Bible Pick 'Ems."
What does God want to give us?
Good things – yes. Answers – sometimes. Open doors – often.
But what does He really want to give us?
Actually, He has already given it to us – the Holy Spirit.
The Lord wants us to be more and more filled with Him. He wants us to let Him live through us. He desires a closer relationship with us. He wants disciples that resemble and reflect His Son.
Change the perspective of those verses – and it changes everything.
Ask for more of the Holy Spirit…and you will receive Him.
Seek the Lord with all of your heart, your mind, your soul, and your strength…and you will find Him.
Knock on the door of His presence…and you will find the Kingdom thrown wide open.
Lord, as I enter a new year, may I look at You in a different way. May my asking and my seeking and my knocking be directed to You – alone. You – only.
And as I draw close to You – draw close to me.
Happy New Year, Lord.
Where are you asking, seeking, knocking as you enter the new year?
"When in doubt, search God out!"