What's on your mind as you head into 2016? Are you feeling overwhelmed with all that lies ahead of you or uncertainties in your job, family and relationships? Are you fearful of the unknowns in our world today—who will win the elections? Will terrorism increase in the U.S.? Will the economy collapse? Will our borders remain secure? Will we lose more of our freedoms? Will immorality get worse?
Well, I've got good news for you! The Lord wants you to focus on only one thing in the new year—and that is intimacy with Him! To gaze upon His beauty!
You are worried and upset about so many things; but only one thing is needed (Luke 10:41-42).
"One thing I have asked from the Lord, that will I seek after—for me to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to see the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple" (Ps. 27:4).
I wish I could find adequate words to express just how intensely He desires intimacy with you. It's the very reason He took death upon Himself even though nothing was more contaminating than death! Intimacy with God is your primary purpose for living, it's the only thing that can't change or be taken away from you, it will shield you from the last days' deception, and it will give you the identity and security to stand strong in the face of persecution.
Daniel 11:32 says that even when things seem out of control all around us, the people who know their God, (that is, know Him intimately, not just with head knowledge) will stand strong!
"But the people who know their God will be strong and take action" (Dan. 11:32).
Intimacy with God is the No. 1 anchor that you will need in 2016 for standing strong in these uncertain times in your personal lives, nationally and globally.
I believe God's desire for you in the new year is that you would not be obsessed with all you need to get done or accomplish, nor on the elections, news reports or even all of the end-time predictions and words of prophecy for 2016. Instead, He wants you to become obsessed with your focus on Him and knowing Him more deeply—who He is as He has revealed Himself (all aspects of His character), who Jesus will be when He returns, what He will do and what you will do with Him; His love for you, how He sees you and who you are in Him. He is obsessed with you! His eyes are always upon you, His thoughts are always on you, He loves 100 percent of you—even the parts you don't like or have always hidden, your insecurities, failures and imperfections. You bring Him delight and make Him smile! He enjoys you!
Intimacy with God is not something you just "wake up with in the morning!" It doesn't blow in with the wind nor is it as unpredictable as a weather forecast! You are not passive receivers who sometimes "get it" and sometimes don't. You have to make a conscious choice to seek intimacy with Him each day, actually every moment of the day, and to be aware of and deal with anything that blocks intimacy with Him (such as fear, stress, anger and negativity).
The more you "connect with God's heart," the more you will experience intimacy with Him. "Connecting with God's heart" means you are thinking His thoughts, feeling His emotions, speaking His words and seeing what He sees concerning yourself, others, your circumstances, the nations, Jerusalem, Israel, the end times, the millennium and the biblical feasts!
For example, let's take a look at God's heart toward you: He never condemns, accuses, criticizes, speaks condescendingly toward you or puts you down. He never puts pressure or burdens on you, gives up on you, or focuses on your weaknesses and your mistakes. Rather, He rejoices over you with singing, you bring Him great delight, and His heart is ravished (or enthralled) by you. You are beautiful to Him even in your weakness (Is. 62:4-5; Zeph. 3:17; Ps. 18:19; Song 4:7,9; Rom. 8:1; 1 Cor. 13:4-7; Col. 1:22; Eph. 1:4; Heb. 13:5; Matt. 11:30)!
When you see yourself the way that God sees you, when you think and talk about yourself in the same way that He does, you connect with His heart. By doing so, you grow in intimacy with Him. However, when you criticize and put yourself down, focus on your mistakes and weaknesses, compare yourself to others or make negative declarations (e.g., "I can't take one more thing, I'm not going to make it, I can't do this!"), you are not connecting with God's heart toward you. In fact, you are aligning with the enemy's thoughts toward you. Accusing, critical, negative thoughts are always from the enemy—he is the accuser, not God (Rev. 12:10).
The start of the new year is the perfect time to shift your obsession away from what you need to get done, the news, and end-time predictions and onto a focus of growing in intimacy with Him! This will mobilize you out of fear and stress and into action—partnering with God to release His power, plans and purposes in these end times! Make it a goal to get familiar with His end-time plans in the books of Revelation, Daniel, Zechariah and Isaiah. Stop looking just like everyone else—fearful, confused and stressed out! Get excited about how you can increase Jesus' millennial kingdom now, even before He returns to rule and reign with you!
Jeanne Nigro is a frequent speaker at conferences, churches, and retreats worldwide. Her teachings are relevant, practical, and life-transforming whether she is bringing Old Testament truths to life, healing strongholds of the heart, or preparing believers for Jesus' return. Her latest book, Unshaken: Standing Strong in Uncertain Times, will be released by Destiny Image in the fall of 2016. All of Jeanne's teachings and blogs are available on her website at jeannenigro.com.
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