We are in week 5 of the online Bible study, “What Happens when Women Say Yes to God,” presented by Proverbs 31 Ministries. My blog this week is about fresh vision.
Jesus said, “Remain in me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”John 15:4 (NIV) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22 (NIV)
This is a perfect time for fresh vision in my life. This week I hit a milestone in my life. I turned…sixty. It has been hard for me to admit that. (Isn’t that silly…as if it changes my age if I don’t say it.) Besides that is a worldly view of aging (pride, beauty, the worship of youth) not a biblical view. God says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2 Do you know what renews the mind? God’s word! This study has been awesome in helping me renew my mind and give me a fresh vision. I want to finish my life strong. One of the realities of turning sixty is knowing my time here on earth is short. I don’t have a lot of time to waste. However much time God allows me to have, I don’t want to have regrets when I leave this earth. I don’t want to say, “I wish I had said yes to God.” I want to be thankful knowing I gave Him my best.
God has been speaking to me about many things these weeks. But the underlying vision He has given me is that He wants me to walk in love towards others. I grew up in a Christian home and always knew about Jesus. I accepted Him as my savior by faith when I was 13. So, I have known Him for 47 years! (You would think I would be super-Christian by now, but I am on a journey like everyone else) I have always been a strong introvert and a shy, timid person. Therefore, it is hard for me to talk to people I don’t know or to talk much when I am with more than a few people. I especially struggle with talking to people I don’t know. For a long time, I have used this “personality” to excuse myself for basically being unfriendly and sometimes rude to strangers or people I don’t know well. Oh, I would be aware of it but would not overcome it. (There have been times I did better than others, when I have truly walked in the Spirit) During this study, God has been showing me that he wants me to walk in love to everyone and that to do that I must “remain” in Him. Memorizing John 15:4 and meditating on it has been very powerful for me. In order to produce fruit in my life (love, joy, peace etc.) I have to remain in Jesus. He is the one who produces the fruit. So, as I started back to my job as substitute teacher this week, I have been asking God to change me. I have asked Him to give me a fresh vision of who I can be. These past few days, I have had some victories! By remaining in Him and by an act of obedience, I have focused on loving each person instead of focusing on myself. I found myself speaking to people I would normally ignore, being the first to introduce myself to people instead of acting “shy”. I found myself obeying God instead of indulging my flesh. I think for the first time in a long time I have a #FreshVision of who I can be in His power. Does that mean I will do it perfectly? Of course not, there will be days it will be a struggle. But I am excited to see what He will do. I know He is going to give me opportunities to talk to people about Him that I normally would miss. I want to live with my focus on Him and how He wants to love others through me.
Father, Thank you for your great love and patience! Thank you for giving me six decades. Most of all thank you that I have known about Jesus since I was a baby and thank you that I have known Him in my heart for 47 years! You have always been there. I am the one who is fickle. Your love has never failed no matter how many times I have. You have been by rock, my security, my foundation, my hiding place. The one who forgives my every sin, helps me in all my weakness, is my port in the storm. You love me unconditionally and eternally. You always welcome me. I love you. Please help me remain in you and love others as you have loved me.