The past 3 months have been a time of heavy reflection and as I sum up my whole year, I can unapologetically say that every step I have taken this year has been one orchestrated by God. There is absolutely no way I could have planned it to be where I am today.
It is that same confidence that I am taking to 2020. The assurance that God truly cares for me; and that He is intentional about me and I will be intentional about knowing Him more.
As we finish 2019, I come away with a powerful understanding of who God is. His reality and power are the two major things that presented themselves heavily in the last 3 months. It came out of a feeling of been ‘far’ from God, the realization that I was not hearing Him and that His voice was not so clear anymore. I also understood that if that was the case, I was the one that moved; I was the one with the wrong ‘focus’. I was looking at the wrong things when my gaze should be toward Him.
As a worship leader, the presence of God has always been something I consciously need to be sensitive of; no matter what I am doing or who I am with – believer and non-believer. Earlier on, I understood that would be a big part of ministry for me.
The reason why I felt far from God was because I had let the ‘affairs of the world’ take over. It was now front and center even though on the peripheral, I thought I had things under control. I had no need to be in control though because like one of Jonathan McReynolds’ songs says ‘what I let go, God controls. A peace comes with letting go and letting God.
The journey to closeness with God
Earlier in the year, I was at a place where all I had was frustration largely because of unmet expectations. One situation comes to mind; my contract was ending on a job and I became eager to find another job as the end of the current one was in sight.
As I was struggling through that, I recognized that my complete focus was on what I could get from God. The lesson here was that by just focusing on what I could get from God’s hand rather than just being content in my relationship with Him and enjoying the blessings of His presence, I was missing so much!
That is when I rediscovered a few scriptures and my ‘turn around’ started. One of them is from Jeremiah 29:13-14 MSG
“When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. “Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” GOD’s Decree. “I’ll turn things around for you.”
I did just that because I realized when you focus only on what you can get from God; your heart truly echoes that. Your heart posture is all wrong, your heart is not longing for Him; it is yearning for His hand.
You are all about what you have or don’t; instead of what God has already done for you. That affects every area of your life. It did mine! Turn that around, seek Him first and watch all other things added to you.
Letting go of me
When I started to understand that if I truly believe that God is all things and everything in between; it would become easy for me to rest in His presence. I also rediscovered a second scripture Matthew 6:33 (MSG)
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I am trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
This scripture means ‘Put your life in God’s hands and stop sweating the small stuff’! Stop overthinking things; stop paralyzing yourself with over analysis. You need to match your beliefs with biblical thinking. This part did a number on me – Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Do not worry about missing out. You will find all your everyday human concerns met.
I went looking for the definition for the word ‘steep’; one definition stood out ‘Steep also means, “to soak in,” as in steeping a tea bag in boiling water. Other definitions include infusing, marinating, soaking in, immersing, absorbing, plunging, drinking in – you get the gist?
Steep Your Life
This is what I have been doing the last 3 months. That was my one-degree change if you would call it that. I made a conscious effort to spend time in God’s presence every day. By doing this consistently, I have seen ‘all the other things’ added to me.
Listen, I get it! You want to be in control, you do not want to fly blind but can I just tell you – if you give all of it to Him, you’d be flying ‘high’. These days, all I need is clarity from God and I get that in my daily connection with Him. It does not matter if I see something different five minutes later; there is no panic. Instant praise is my default!
My prayer for you as we go to 2020 is that you will remain in the presence of the Lord because in His presence is where you receive strength to take on the world. I need you to understand that God is too faithful to fail you! Trust Him and you will see His goodness! I am determined that there will be a steady stream of praise from these lips in 2020.
I leave you with three songs on this last post for 2019 – two by Dunsin Oyekan and the other by Cody Carnes. Everything you need is at the feet of the master, stay there and you will get all you need. See you in 2020!