By Lisa Allen
As I sit at the dawn of a new year, I am aware that I have two choices. I can see opportunity or obstacle. I realize that I’m naturally wired to see opportunity. Yes, I’m a glass is half full kind of gal. But, I do believe that facing a new year requires self-leadership to focus on the opportunities God is creating in the messy, unresolved baggage I carry from 2016 into 2017.
How can I move into 2017 with contentment and confidence? How can my successes and accomplishments from 2016 serve as a foundation for desires and dreams yet to be realized heading into a new year? The best thing I can bring forward from my 2016 is perspective. Perspective helps me see fresh possibilities but balances realistic expectations. Today let's consider 4 disciplines – “the 4 R’s” - that I’ve learned from my 2016 that can be used as tools in my toolbox for 2017 to shift my perspective from obstacle to opportunity. They are:
The word remember is used in the NIV Old and New Testaments 166 times. In order to experience the peace of God in 2017, I need to remember his faithfulness in 2016. One area that I recall God’s work is in my relationships. Some of my relationships are stronger than ever facing 2017. Others are fragile.
By remembering God's faithful provision from years past when certain relationships have been strained or broken, I’m strengthened with courage to pray for the areas of my heart that remain disappointed at the pace of restoration relationships need. What are the ways God provided for your relationships in 2016?
The discipline of remembering his faithfulness builds a bridge into 2017 for you to walk confidently upon. This discipline of remembering doesn’t just apply to relationships. What about our finances, emotions or health? Walk through your 2016 asking God to highlight special meetings, unexpected blessings, strategic encounters and anointed healings you’ve experienced. Flip through your calendar to trigger memories long forgotten. Write out a “remember” list for 2017. Use this list as a reminder of what God has made possible in past fragile areas that will build strength into the places in your life that are wobbly.
Psalm 77:11-12, "I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
Resisting is standing against or withstanding something. There are so many ways that I've been challenged In 2016 to resist… resisting to believe lies that lead to defeating self talk, resisting temptation to disrespect my husband, resisting a cynical, fleshly world view or even resisting pride, entitlement and resentment.
As I reflect on so many temptations I faced this past year, my heart is grateful that God’s power is perfected in my weakness. Though I've failed to resist many temptations this past year, I'm aware of how God has given me strength by the power of the Holy Spirit to resist areas that could have sidelined me.
Ephesians 6:13 punctuates the importance of learning to resist and withstand: “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."
One of my favorite promise verses in the Bible is Joel 2 :25, "I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…"
Have you noticed how fascinated we are with HGTV? We love to see a breathtaking before and after project, don’t we? As I face unknown paths in 2017, I draw strength in knowing in faith that the Lord is in the restoration business. He takes my broken down paths that seem beyond repair and turns them into beauty that matches his best plan for me.
Examples of past areas of restoration are health, finances, relationships, addictions, ministry calling and more. What are you facing in 2017 that needs restored? There is power in the word restore as you tether it to faith and trust in God’s plan and timing.
Every situation we will face in the year ahead will include a choice to show up in faith … to remain. To remain in strong relationship with our Father. To go to him with our hopes, fears and dreams. To pray in faith to him. To draw strength from his word.
John 15:2-4 illustrates HOW we remain trusting when he takes out of our life and brings into it. “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also 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.”
I am learning to be still with Him. I am learning to run to His word quicker than allowing my mind to worry. I am learning to trust what He’s removed from my life. Let’s make Jesus our “go to” for all we face. The old hymn says “all I have needed, thy hand has provided…” Let’s learn to remain rooted and grounded in Jesus this year.
As much as I wish for a crystal ball to see what awaits me on the road ahead in 2017, I accept only what today brings to me. I am ready for the journey knowing that God will provide daily manna and knowing that my toolbox is packed with remembering, resistance, restoration, and remaining. Happy New Year.
© 2017 by Lisa Allen. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Lisa Allen is a Jesus loving, coffee loving, leopard-print loving woman. She has a passion for and connection to women and uses this passion as Executive Director of Ministry Training at Proverbs 31 Ministries where her leadership portfolio includes oversight of the She Speaks Conference, Speaker Team, Online Bible Studies, F5 App, Social Media and Ministry Training.
Lisa’s experience as a Board Certified Life Coach, Ministry Consultant and Certified Speaker has uniquely prepared her to facilitate training and workshops for church staffs and leadership teams. She also has extensive team coaching experience with organizations locally and internationally facilitating DISC and Gallup Strengthsfinders. She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and has grown children and a darling Yorki.
Learn more about Lisa at www.ljallencoaching.com
Twitter & Instagram: @ljallen20