By nature I am a list maker and a planner. I like to be one step ahead of what I anticipate coming my way. The first of the year accelerates this desire. It is a brand new year, a new slate, full of promise and expectation. So how to prepare and what is coming? We all want to know what lies ahead of us so that we will be ready to grasp the victory, see the challenges through and grab the most of what we might experience.. Today I simply want to highlight a key principle that will go a long way in securing our future in 2018 and long beyond.

Jesus gives us the key to securing our future in this passage in Luke.

Luke 6:47-48Amplified Bible (AMP)

47 Everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words and obeys them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 he is like a [far-sighted, practical, and sensible] man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and yet could not shake it, because it had been securely built and founded on the rock.

I wish I could predict that there will be no storms in 2018 but I can not. What I am sure of is if we will determine at the first of this year to simply make it a daily habit to come to Jesus and read what his word says, listen for his instruction and then obey we will not be shaken. I listened to one of my favorite teachers recently, Tammy Sevcov of the Rock Anaheim. She spoke about digging deep. She shared that when you build a fence those posts have to go down 30% into the ground or of course the post will fall over and not hold the weight of the fence. Ok, I got that but then she talked about how hard some ground can be when you dig deep…Haven’t we all experienced that? When we let the word penetrate and ask like David did to create a clean heart in us, we find there are a few rocks in our way. We have to identify them and them get them out. That often takes time in His presence and courage to look and then do the work to extricate them! Last week I was praying David’s prayer on the way to church, which seemed like a great thing to do so that  I could ensure getting all He had for me in the next couple of hours. It was a bit of a surface prayer because I really didn’t think there was anything of significance to deal with as I had been dealing with “stuff” a lot through the last couple of weeks and figured I was in fairly good shape…Suddenly the Lord brought someone to mind who had offended me quite awhile back. I had forgiven her and moved on. But…the Lord said; “what is preventing you from really loving her”? I know it sounds odd but I laughed out loud and said “NOTHING”! The rock at the bottom was dislodged so fast it flew out of that post hole! I was free from something I did not even know was keeping me in bondage in that relationship.  I had held on to that rock as protection. I would be gracious and polite and loving on the surface but hold a safe distance. Honestly had I never prayed I would never had guessed…

Digging deep this time was easy but often times it is not and requires hard work. Those rocks of un-forgiveness, bitterness anger, self pity, fear, or even those blind spots that we need God to show us may take a lot of time to deal with but it is worth the effort. The thing is that regardless of how beautiful the house appears on the surface if the foundation is faulty that house will fall in a storm so time preparing the foundation and what is below the surface is vital.

I often share about the power of daily devotions. It is the best preparation we can have. When we daily come to the word and then stop and ask what He is saying it prepares our heart and our ears to be a continual dialogue with him throughout the day. It is a great way to start to DO THE WORK.

One great tool to use is a daily reading and then journaling. You can choose any you like but I like this because I can always find it on my phone on the bible app. Just go there and look up devotional plans and type in Solid Life “Whole Bible” Reading Plan.. It gives you the reading every day. Then grab a new journal and write down the Scripture or passage that impressed you the most and then a note about what you OBSERVED and then a note on how you want to APPLY it and then PRAY. SOAP journaling!

The first of the year is such a great time to get started! Dig deep and listen. We have the greatest counselor there is available to tell us what needs to go and what lies ahead so that we will all be able to SECURE our Future.

Much love and Happy New Year in Jesus!