Who’s ready for the New Year?? If you’re like most people, you probably have specific new goals you want to reach in every area of your life. Everything from number of pounds to shed, to traveling destinations, to professional aspirations are on most people’s new year’s resolution list. There’s something refreshing about knowing that an entire year has come to end and that a fresh start with new possibilities awaits you. And even if you’ve had a greatly blessed year, it means you now have an opportunity for an even better one! Whatever your aspirations may be, it’s important to remember that God wants to be at the center of them. Will you put Him first and consecrate yourself unto Him this New Year? The Hebrew word for consecrate is “qadash,” which means to be “set apart” or “sanctified.” We are to live lives that reflect our creator and that ultimately glorify Him. This might require some change and/or form of discomfort for the upcoming year, but it will be well worth it! In Exodus 32:29, Moses says to the Israelites, “Consecrate yourselves today to the Lord…that He may bestow upon you a blessing this day.” Did you get that?! Consecration reaps blessings! From this same story in Exodus we can glean three promises God bestows on those who Honor Him in this way:
Presence- The presence of God will be with you wherever you go. When the Israelites were rescued out of Egypt and on their way to their promised land, they were lead by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:20). God always made His presence known to them, lead them, and constantly reminded them that they were not alone. Life can be difficult to navigate through without God’s direction. So allow the promise of His presence and guidance in your life to give you a sense of peace and reassurance in this new season. It’s a blessing to know that He is in control, and that He will make His presence known in a very real kind of way; in the way that you need it. And as long as you look for His guidance, you will receive it. Although the pillars of cloud and fire were always near, it was up to the Israelites to seek and follow after them.
2. Provision- God showed up and showed out in miraculous ways for His people, the Israelites! He allowed supernatural food called manna to fall from heaven, and made water flow from rocks! He supernaturally kept their shoes and clothes from wearing out so that they could continue on their journey without a single need unmet. Your Heavenly Father knows what you need and is faithful to provide even when you are going through the wilderness. You can rejoice in the promise of His provision! If it’s been a season of “manna,” for you, I pray that your promised land comes into full fruition in the New Year!
3. Protection- Sometimes the journey seems turbulent or prolonged beyond our understanding, and it very well could be! Did you realize that God purposely chose to lead the Israelites down a long, desert road instead of a shorter one through the Philistine country? He did that to prevent them from facing war and thus being tempted to return to Egypt (Exodus 13:17). He was protecting them physically and emotionally even when they didn’t realize it. Upon reaching the Red Sea, God once again protected them by parting the waters so that they could walk through on dry land. Imagine for a second how it must have felt as each person took their first step onto the floor of the red sea; with massive walls of water reaching seemingly endless heights on both sides, able to come crashing down at any second?! I’m sure they were anxious and frightened, amazed and alarmed, all at the same time! YetGod not only protected each and every one of His people as they safely made it to the other side, but He also saved them from the hands of their enemies, the Egyptians, whom the waters swept over.
A bright, new future awaits you, beloved! But it requires stepping out of your comfort zone. It requires doing some things differently. And it will always require you to press in to God more fervently. Consecrate yourselves today, and experience the power of His presence, provision, and protection over your life in a fresh, new way this year!