I'd had visions of God fulfilling some things in my life that had a tangible and concrete measurement. The things I was counting on fulfilling and being fulfilled were things I could clearly see outside of myself.
Of course, God had another plan in mind.
Turns out there were some things fulfilled within me instead. God has done and is doing a inner work in me that I could never have imagined for myself. Instead of giving me things, He has done a new thing in me. There was been a renewed hunger for His Word and His presence alone. I've enjoyed time spent just relishing in His presence: Quiet mornings in the Word. Late nights spent in worship and prayer. Building myself up on my most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.
This year, God has ignited in me a love for my enemies. Instead of retaliating, I've learned to walk in love...no easy feat in my own strength. It's all been the work of the Holy Spirit in my heart. It's easy to spew out hateful words when you're wronged. Hard to bite your tongue when your toes are stepped on and you are continually wronged.
Luke 6:35-36: But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
God promises to fulfill His promise that our reward will be great and that we will be children of the most High if we do good to them who aren't so good to us. I don't take lightly that this is being fulfilled in me.
And then there's the purging work that I hadn't anticipated. Jealousy in the hidden closets of my heart. Fear and anxiety lurking in dark corners. And unbelief rearing its ugly head when least expected. Crazy how God set it up that more time spent in His presence reveals all the sin and impurity in our lives.
Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.”
God can't fulfill things on the outside until He completes a work on the inside. That stripping process, though not cute and often very uncomfortable, is quite necessary for progress.
2 Timothy 2:19 & 21, “The Lord knows those who are his, and those who claim they belong to him must turn away from all wickedness…If you keep yourselves pure, you will be a utensil God can use for his purpose. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master’s use for every good work.”
While, I had a vision for this year that didn't pan out exactly how I'd seen it in my head, God's vision has exceeded mine in ways I didn't quite expect. Thanking God for all the times this year that I faced those ugly things that rose to the surface and dealt with them head on. 2014 was indeed the year of God fulfilling a purge in me. It will be exciting to see what God fulfills in and through me in 2015.
Happy New Year to you!