Well, 2020 has certainly been an interesting year so far! How are you doing during this time of upheaval in the world? Between the Covid19 pandemic, political unrest, and now outrage over the untimely death of Georg Floyd, it certainly seems like the fabric of our society is being torn apart at the seams! Without the Lord, we would certainly have reason to live in turmoil and fear right now. But the truth is, none of this is taking God by surprise.
Remember back in January when we were all saying, “Yes! 2020 is the year of ‘perfect vision!’’ It all seemed exciting and wonderful back then. But the Lord’s way of clarifying our vision has been more challenging than any of us may have guessed. Please understand, I am not suggesting that God has brought about these tragedies and difficulties. What I am noticing, however, is that in the midst of all the suffering, our vision is being clarified! With all that we have relied on for security being stripped away, many of us have been forced to re-think our priorities and rely on the Lord more than ever before.
For myself, this has been a time of re-evaluating the “why’s” of my ministry. Why am I doing what I am doing, and what does the Lord want to change in my life? I remember going to a Christian music conference many years ago and hearing Margaret Becker speak about vision. She encouraged us to get out a piece of blank paper and write with our non-dominant hand what the Lord had asked us to do when we first started following him.
It was such a powerful exercise, and even if you are not a musician or in ministry, I invite you to try it! What did the Lord ask you to do? What is He asking you to do? By writing with your non-dominant hand, a part of your brain is activated which does not think or judge what you write. It helps the soul express what it really believes and knows.
When I first tried this exercise, I didn’t know exactly what to write. So I drove home from Nashville to Michigan in silence and prayed. When I got home, I knew the answer. The Lord was asking me to “bring the sound of heaven to earth”. In other words, He wanted me to use my life to express his heart through words and music. I am called to be a mouthpiece of spirit and truth while I walk this earth. Having that vision has helped me stay the course and be focused over the years, especially when things have been tough!
This year, I have sensed the Lord drawing me back to have my vision clarified, however. I can’t do ministry as I used to do it because of physical constraints. So what is He calling me to do during this time? How can I be faithful when all of my familiar tools have been stripped away? What parts of my life and ministry does the Lord want to change or purify? Well, just as the fruit trees in our orchard need pruning to be more fruitful, I believe that having certain branches “cut” from my vine could make me more fruitful than every before! If I can’t be recording, speaking or performing, then what is the Lord’s call to me in this moment?
God’s call to me is to “abide in the vine” and seek Him with all my heart. I sense that He wants me to learn to let go of the need to “produce” or “perform” for Him and just be. There is no wasted time as I rest and spend more time in prayer and in the word. There is no wasted time as I love my family, work in my garden or train my horse. Clear vision will come as simply receive my Father’s love and know that He is pleased with me, not because of what I do for Him, but just because I am His child!
Friends, this is not a time to get caught up in the drama we see in the news every day. This is not the time to be swept up in fear. This is a time to simply abide in the Lord. Rest in him. Listen. Dwell. Pray. Receive God's love and allow him to heal your heart. Stop performing and just be. This is the year of God’s perfect vision clarified in your life if you will receive it!
Will you, along with me, seek the Lord with all that you have this year? Let’s re-set our priorities by simply loving the Lord and loving those around us. As we “abide” in the vine, and He abides in us, God will change what needs to be changed in us so he can change the world through us.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Lord, thank you for reminding us that we can’t do anything of eternal signiificance in our own strength. Thank you for clearing away anything that was distracting us or hindering us from seeking you with our whole hearts. Help us use this time to receive your healing, your freedom, your revelation, and your strength so that we can become all you have called us to be. In Jesus’ name, amen.