Saturday, January 1, 2011

Prepare for What?

What if there is more to this year that meets the eye? What if there is more than we could have ever planned for, expected, or attempted to reach for in 2011? For me, there is only one way to find out. For the next couple of days, I plan on starting out this new year, this new season of life, with fasting and prayer.

Jesus, prior to entering into his public ministry and living out the calling for which He was sent to this earth, spent 40 days of fasting and prayer after which he successfully triumphed over the temptations of the devil. Before Jesus ever healed the sick, opened the eyes of the blind, sent the lame walking, or set us free from sin and death, he made preparations for His passion by His persistence to tap into the power and purpose of the one who sent Him. Just how exactly did he do this? Take a look at Matthew 4.

Jesus who was now filled with the Holy Spirit, was ‘led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.’ (Matthew 4:1). He was taken to a ‘training facility,’ to a proving grounds, so to speak. It was there that I believe His purpose was refined and that He was able to tap into the power with which to accomplish it.

Jesus was tempted and proved victorious in 3 places: a desert, a mountain, and at the highest point of the temple. I wonder if, perhaps, we are tempted and may prove ourselves victorious in those 3 types of places too... when we are at our lowest, driest, and hungriest; when we have ascended to great heights and are prone to fall; when we have reached the pinnacle of a divine situation or a holy, sacred moment or position.

Why are we tempted? We are tempted not only to sharpen us and prepare us to reach our destiny, but to realize that the power with which we need to get us there is not our own. We are tempted that we might utilize that power and enjoy sweet victory.

I wonder how many opportunities we miss simply because we are unprepared- whether intentionally or unintentionally. Consider the 2 farmers suffering from a drought yet hoping for a harvest... only one showed his expectation of rain by taking initiative and preparing his fields for the opportunity to meet the rain when it fell. He actually planted his seed while the other one did not. It is obvious which farmer enjoyed enjoyed the abundance of his harvest. Jesus Christ prepared for the opportunity of His lifetime through taking the time and initiative to cultivate the necessary determination, physical and spiritual discipline, and strength required to accomplish the harvest He expected.

As you craft and work towards your goals and resolutions for the New Year, I challenge you to take some time in prayer and fasting in order to align yourself with the One who can provide you with the power to achieve dreams and provide you with providential opportunities to propel you toward your destiny. You never know what you may be in for this year...