From the moment you read this title, you may be thinking how are we already talking about 2024?
Yet, the Lord has already been showing me day by day that He wants to restore His people in this new year. Can I be honest, so many people I talk to are STILL recovering from “that one year.” You know the year I am talking about..2020. The truth is that 2020 shook things up and made the whole earth pause. The atmosphere was full of chaos, confusion, division, loneliness, and death for many. No matter where you stood on the COVID debate, racial divide, or political unrest, you felt the repercussions of the sudden rattling of the nations. And many of us, if you are like me, are still recovering.
The truth is, I have reached a place where I finally feel like enough is enough. How long will I allow that frustrating year to be the reason that things feel a bit unsettled? As I think about this coming year, I feel stronger than ever that God is restoring relationships, business ideas, and dreams. I believe that the Lord desires to blow a fresh wind on what was lost during the pandemic. And, I stand as one who is ready to receive, how about you?
I feel like the time is now to get ready for what God wants to do in our lives in this coming year. We can believe that God wants to restore us (and He can) but we must also ask ourselves our part in the matter. However, I love to see God’s work in our lives as a matter of faith and action. We can look throughout the Bible and find that many times God will promise something amazing but requires corresponding action. These often take place in the form of “if-then” statements.
“IF My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; THEN will I hear from Heaven and heal their Land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
“IF you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, (THEN) you may say to this mountain, “Remove from here to over there; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
Today, I am asking you, what are you willing to do differently this coming year?
I believe the Lord would have us do this right away. There’s no need to wait for the calendar to change to get things right now!
My friends, I believe the Lord is asking us to do the following.
Seek Him Continually
Can I be honest? I have become almost obsessive about seeking God’s answers for my life. If my children are sick, I am reaching out to the Lord for healing. If my bank account feels strange, I am seeking God for my finances. If want to pursue an opportunity, I am asking God in prayer. And outside of all this, I have reached the point where I find His presence to be my resting place. If you don’t have a habit of seeking the Lord. Start now with praying daily! Read the Word. Study topics that He is ministering to your heart. Worship Him with music, in writing, and with your life.
Let us never go days without talking to our Father in Heaven.
As obvious as it seems, we need to be okay with removing what distracts us. For me, this means being more intentional about what takes up most of my time. As of late, social media and binge-watching television shows have taken away from my time with the Lord. At times when I should be working on my business or ministering to others, I have found myself occupied with meaningless things that bear no fruit. Of course, I am not saying that social media, the internet, or television is inherently bad. Instead, I want to encourage us to get serious about seeing God move in our lives and our relationship with Him. If you are anything like me, I believe you will find that the enemy has a way of making our minds wander instead of being focused. I love the verse found in Song of Solomon,
Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. 2 Solomon 2:15
When understanding this verse, imagine if a small fox entered your backyard. Chances are they would start to eat away at any fruit, vegetables, or overall vegetation. Although you may not notice it at first, before long you will see a difference and the yard could be ravished. This is how distractions work. They start off as innocent and steal only small moments from us. However, the small foxes (aka distractions) ruin the entire beauty of what God has for us. I don’t know about you, but I refuse to let this be this year’s testimony!
I want to encourage you to dream again. The funny thing about 2020 is that many came into the year with fun catchphrases like “20/20 vision” and were excited about the new decade. They believed the new decade was a fresh start. Although they could have never predicted the onset of the pandemic, they went into the new year with high hopes. Sadly, many left those hopes behind in March of 2020. Yet, I want to encourage you to ask the Lord again.
God, what would you have for me?
What plans have you called me to go forth in?
Show me Lord, your heart for me…
God, can you give me dreams and visions of your next step for me?
Lord, how can my actions give you glory?
Lord, do you want to birth something through me?
Remember God can do anything! Don’t cheat yourself on what God wants to restore and rejuvenate in your life. The enemy has stolen enough from you, don’t allow him to continue in this new year. There is victory in seeking God and walking in His plans!
Father God, I thank you for your unlimited knowledge. Lord, nothing catches you off guard or by surprise. I pray that you will open my eyes to know your perfect plan for me. Lord, I pray that any provision that is needed will be sent. I pray that strategy, wisdom, and insight be provided. Lord, help me to walk out every plan you have for my life. Help me to be a living testimony of your goodness and mercy. In Jesus name, amen.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6
For more on living a life of everyday victory, I invite you to purchase my new book Warrior Mother: Equipping Your Heart To Fight For Your Family's Faith or the Victory Walk: A 21 Day Devotional on Amazon today by clicking here. While you await your new book, head over to itunes, Spotify, Youtube or Amazon Music and sing out your victory with my latest single, "God Has Not Forgotten You."
Victoria Riollano is an author, blogger, and speaker. As a mother of seven, military spouse, Psychology professor, and minister’s wife, Victoria has learned the art of balancing family and accomplishing God’s ultimate purpose for her life. Ultimately, her desire is to empower women to live a life of victory, hope, and love. She believes that with Christ we can live a life that is ALWAYS winning.