by Jennifer A. Miskov, Ph.D.
I believe that 2019 will be a year marked by repositioning, realignment, and refocusing. This is a year that God wants His bride to focus even more wholeheartedly on the One Thing (Psalm 27) and to narrow in on the unique assignments He’s destined for us.
Many people are in transition right now. I believe that this is the work of God and that He is strategically repositioning each one to be aligned for what He’s about to pour out. It feels like God is moving lives around like chess pieces to set up for His next big move. For some, this is a physical move and for others it’s a shift in their hearts. Even though transitions are uncomfortable, be encouraged that the uprooting and shifting won’t last forever. He is repositioning us to play a key role in the current and new great awakening.
I believe that 2019 is a foundational year for many where He will let our roots go down deep. He wants to restructure some things and then deepen our foundation. It may feel like there’s a lot of work going into setting the new foundations in your life, family, and ministry. You may not be aware of instant fruit right away. However, it will be important to realize that this foundation setting season will be crucial for the next 5, 10, 20 + years. The more careful we are with building deep, pure, and solid foundations, the stronger and more long lasting what is built upon it will be.
We are entering into a strategic year for refocusing on our Ephesians 2:10 assignments from Heaven. We need to position ourselves to walk in the works He’s already prepared beforehand for us. This has nothing to do with striving toward a task but everything to do with throwing off anything that hinders and running full speed ahead into the arms of Jesus. In the midst of this race, He is also inviting us to slow down our pace in this busy world to listen to what He says and reflect on what He’s spoken in the past (Psalm 46:10, Proverbs 3:5-6). When we do this, we get clarity as we run deeper into His heart. When seek Him will our whole hearts as our only agenda, we will watch the divine assignments He’s prepared for us naturally be released.
I believe that Hebrews 12:1-2 is a key verse for 2019.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Since we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who have sacrificed greatly and paved the way for us (see Hebrews 11), “let us throw off everything that hinders.” This means everything that hinders, not just the sin that so easily entangles.
God is calling us to let go of even the good things that are no longer ours to carry into the New Year. What we were called to carry in one season may not be what we are called to carry into the next one. He is inviting us to lay everything before Him: every commitment, relationship, and plan, and to welcome the fire of God. Whatever remains will be refined like gold and emerge to the surface while whatever is burned away is not meant for us to continue to carry.
Many times the good is the enemy of the best. Sometimes we have to lay down the silver to embrace the gold. Metaphorically speaking, silver is not necessarily bad but if it fills up our lives so there’s no room for the gold, we may be missing out on entering wholeheartedly into our assignments in this season. We need to be led of the Spirit and respond to God’s mission upon our lives rather than led by need or even open doors. Open doors are great but we can only go through one open door at a time and not all open doors are God’s invitations or assignments for our lives. This is why it’s so important to fix our eyes on Jesus and remain close to Him so we will know which way to go.
Some questions to ponder as we step into the new season are:
What are you born for and what has God called you to carry in this season? Who are some of the people God has highlighted for you to run with in this new season?
What in your life does not align with God’s purposes for your life in this new season? What is He calling you to let go of and trust to Him as you enter into this New Year?
A commitment or relationship that brought life in one season but that is no longer meant to be a part of our future season (excluding the covenant of marriage) does not mean there was anything wrong with it. We need to acknowledge and thank God for the gift it was in that season, celebrate it, and then trust it to the Lord. I encourage you to welcome a fresh baptism of fire over your life so that God can refine what’s to remain in this new season (Matthew 3:11).
STAYING IN YOUR LANE
Once we have let go of weights we are no longer required to carry, we can run faster in the race marked out for us. It is important to stay in your own lane in 2019 even if that means saying no to other things that are important but not yours to carry. In Acts 6:3-4, there were many needs that had to be met including helping the widows. However, if the apostles continued to carry this load into their new season, it would have taken them outside of their calling. They made sure the needs were still met by empowering others to step in so that they could be free to run the race God set before them.
Life is too short to spend carrying other people’s callings and living for other’s expectations. It’s time to give ourselves wholeheartedly to the call He has placed on our lives, all for His glory (Romans 12:1-2). This world needs you and what you carry. It needs you to arise and shine and be the light in this dark world that you were uniquely destined to be (Isaiah 60).
FIXING YOUR EYES
While we all have different assignments, we all have the same ultimate goal. In this race, it says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…” Jesus is to be our focus. He is to be our One Thing. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He is our destination, destiny, and dreams come true.
In 1922, Helen H. Lemmel wrote the famous hymn Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. She was inspired by a poem by and the life of a missionary named Lilias Trotter. Trotter laid down everything to become a missionary in Northern Algeria. Her consecrated life was focused on the face of Jesus. More than ever with what we are facing this this world, our call and priority above all else in 2019 needs to be fixing our eyes upon Jesus and adoring Him no matter what shaking comes our way. As we keep our eyes on Him, and run wholeheartedly the race set before us, we will experience acceleration deeper into the heart of God and into our destiny.
THE JOY SET BEFORE
While our focus is to remain on Jesus, it’s also amazing to ponder the fact that we were the joy that was set before Him that caused Him to endure the cross.
In light of the extreme price that’s already been paid for us, as we dive into 2019, let’s consecrate the year by throwing off everything that might hold us back. Let’s choose in all circumstances to run after Jesus wherever we might find Him.
When we lock eyes on the One who gave everything for us and when we run unhindered toward Him with everything inside of us no matter where we see Him, whether that be in a storm, a valley, or a mountain top, everything else will fade away. It’s simple really, when Jesus is not just our One Thing but our Everything and the all consuming desire of our lives, everything else falls into place and perfect alignment with Heaven (Matt 6:33). Let’s fix our gaze on the One who loves us more than we could ever comprehend, and let’s run with total abandonment into the arms of Jesus with a relentless passion that stops at nothing until we have taken hold of Him.
Blessing you as you welcome a fresh baptism of fire and focus over your life. May you see Jesus like never before, may the gold emerge and sparkle in the radiance of His glorious presence. Even now as we close, lets take a moment to turn our eyes upon Jesus and look full into His glorious face...