Consider beginning 2016 with this wonderful verse.
2 Thessalonians 1:11, The Message
"We pray that our God will make you fit for what he's called you to be, pray that He’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so it all amounts to something."
Jesus, thank you for continuing to teach and equip me for what you've called me both to be and to do for your honor. Continue to give me ideas and the ability to act and implement those ideas as I am energized and empowered by you. I want it all to resound to your glory and honor…to bear lasting fruit for you.
I love this verse in The Message. It is increasingly becoming a go-to verse for me that encompasses so much of what I pray for myself, and what He allows me to be part of:
1. Jesus calls us and then makes us fit. I don’t have to be fit before He calls me. Most of the people He called in scripture weren’t fit and they knew it. As leaders we want to train the called, as opposed to calling the trained. Calling comes before training/equipping/being made fit by the Lord. Calling is more important than training. Every called person will need to be trained, but every trained person has not necessarily received a call. Calling always trumps training!
2. Good ideas coming from Him and then stepping out in faith on those good ideas. Having ideas from God is one thing, actually stepping out in trust and doing something with those ideas is very different. Ideas and steps of faith should go hand in hand.
3. As I receive those ideas and step out on them, it is critical that I am energized by Him and don’t go under my own steam. Paul says something very similar in Colossians 1:29: “For this I toil struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” His energy not mine, his ideas, not mine, steps He is leading me to take.
4. And what is the end goal of being called, made fit, having both ideas and steps of faith and being energized by Him? So that it all amounts to something…something for his kingdom, not mine, for his glory, not mine, his plans and purposes, not mine!
Lord, as we all soon start a new year, continue to fit and develop us for what you’ve called us to both be and do. Fill us with ideas and acts of faith. Let us draw on your infinite energy and bear lasting fruit so that it all amounts to something that honors you. Amen!