Girls, would someone explain to me how it is already July 8th? We are now into the second half of the year. Is it just me, or does it feel like 2013 just started? I always feel like I’m just starting to get a hold of a year when it slips through unnoticed and wham, another year has come and gone. In fact, July 4th always tries to throw me into a tailspin, because I know I have as much time from now until the end of the year, as I did from then to the beginning of the year. Does that even make sense? Sheesh. Basically, I’m either depressed or elated depending on how the year is going thus far based on what I thought it would look like, or what I wanted it to look like. Seriously, are you following? I think I’ve confused myself.
Which is what brings me to this post.
Do you remember at the beginning of the year when I tried, not so gracefully, to recap Passion 2013? If you don’t, here’s the post. (Listen, I realize it’s been six months since that post and it’s something I can barely even remember.) Anyway, what I haven’t forgotten that I think of nearly everyday is what Louie Giglio challenged us with the last day of Passion, and then a few days later, what my pastor Curtis challenged us with the first Sunday of the year.
Would you allow me to remind us all? (I’m not a fan of the bullet-point in a blog post, but I will use if necessary. Grin.)
1) Louie asked us, after throwing the Word down on Isaiah 61, “If THIS is the year of the Lord’s favor, what would you like? What would you ask for?”
2) Then Curtis Jones, my pastor, that following Sunday after boldly proclaiming Ephesians 3:20 challenged us that “2013 was the year of getting things done. Why? Because He is able, you are able according to the Spirit and after all, God gets the glory.”
Both to which I so boldly exclaimed, “Amen!” and went along with my day. However, my amen wasn’t a light one, as I knew exactly what it was I needed to get done this year. I knew exactly what I would ask the Lord’s favor over. But after all, knowing and actually doing are two completely different things. One takes intention, the other takes boldness and action.
I’m not saying I’ve excelled in this, but I can tell you I’ve made progress, and I hope I know some people who could testify to that. I mean, let’s be honest, one simple thing was getting my wisdom teeth removed after putting it off for FOREVER, and boom, just like that, they’re gone. And I survived. I realize that’s a really silly example, but I’m so proud of myself for not letting fear take over again! Of course, there are some other action items and conversations I’ve had, but that’s another post for another day.
So why am I even bringing this up?
Because all last week I was reminded that if this was the year of getting things done, I had six months left to do the work. At least the work for 2013.
And then I went to church. And boom. Curtis, our beloved pastor, nailed it. I think I told him once before that it’s one thing to hear a message on Sunday, feel a little conviction from the Spirit and go on with your day. But it’s another thing when you leave church and know what you need to do, without a Spirit of condemnation, but one of grace. That’s a beautiful thing. To me, that’s what yesterday felt like. Convicting enough without condemnation to do the thing.
Why? Because, “Intention isn’t valued in the Kingdom of God. Obedience is.”
“Intention is not the same as faithfulness.”
Thank you, Curtis Jones, for those nuggets. (If you’re curious where this comes from, read about the parable of the two sons in Matthew 21:28 – 32. And I promise that when the podcast is up, I’ll link it here so you can take a listen if you so desire. I think I have permission to do that, but I’ll ask. For goodness sake, you might as well hear it from him instead of me giving you just some nuggets.I might as well go ahead and thank him for this post, too. After all, I feel like he wrote it. Laughing.)
As the old saying goes, we can talk the talk, but are we walking the walk?
Can we all just be honest and admit that we have a lot of good intentions? We intend to do a lot of good things. Even since January, we’ve all had a lot of good intentions about getting things done. But have we done them? I’m not saying obedience and boldness is easy, quite the contrary, actually. But in 100 years, our fruit will be the only thing that matters. So let’s bear a little fruit, y’all.
We have six months to do the thing. Time isn’t out yet. And praise God our God is a God of patience, compassion, slow to anger, rich in mercy and abounding in steadfast love. But let’s just ask ourselves what we’ve put off thus far? Your God is able, Sister. Let’s turn our intention into action. The longer we all delay, I promise you, the harder is gets!
I love y’all. I’m on this road WITH you.
Remember, it’s going to be a GOOD year. Grin.
“You crown the year with Your goodness; Your ways overflow with plenty.” Psalm 65:11 (HCSB)