2016: A New Chapter Begins

 

It was almost midnight on New Year’s Eve. Soon, our sleepy neighbourhood would be loud with happy cheers and bursts of fireworks. But for a few more minutes, there was silence.

The year had been long and it felt good to turn the page. Spread out before us was a new chapter. No mistakes yet. No marks to mar the pages. Only God knows what our story holds.

In the brief quiet before midnight, my husband and I began to pray together. “Lord, lead us into this next chapter. Give us wisdom and direction as we head into a new season of life.”

I love when the Lord speaks. And, clear as a bell, He spoke to our hearts in that moment: “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1).

Every year, I ask God for a verse to stand on. For 2016, this is it.

00DSCN9974.jpg“Unless the Lord builds the house…” What does that mean? As we were praying about it last night and as I continued to pray about it today, God showed us some specific areas to focus on:

1. Our Foundation

“No man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
(1 Corinthians 3:11)

“…And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus Himself.” (Ephesians 2:20)

It’s time to strengthen our foundation. Not just in our individual times with Jesus, but as a couple and as a family.

2. Our Walls

“Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.” (Isaiah 58:12)

It’s time to rebuild our walls. The last few years have been filled with immense pressure. Small cracks have appeared. God’s heart is to restore.

3. Our Gates

“For He has strengthened the bars of your gates and blessed your children within your walls.” (Psalm 147:13)

 It’s time to strengthen our gates. The enemy would love nothing more than to bring disunity to our home. We need to make sure that we do not give him a foothold.

4. Our Roof

“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

We need the covering and the anointing of the Holy Spirit if we are ever going to fulfill God’s plan for our individual lives and for our family.

My husband and I have determined that, this year, we are going to be more intentional about turning our plans over to the Master Builder. God’s plans are far better than the ones we can dream up. So we are looking to Him for direction as we continue to build our home together.

Isaiah 54:11-13 says,

O you afflicted one,
Tossed with tempest, and not comforted,
Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems,
And lay your foundations with sapphires.
I will make your pinnacles of rubies,
Your gates of crystal,
And all your walls of precious stones.
All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
And great shall be the peace of your children.

I’m excited about the next chapter of our lives. Because, no matter what happens this year, we can stand unshakable in God’s beautiful strength when our house is built by Him.

 

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