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Tuesday Thoughts 1-2-18

Happy New Year everyone!  I’m fresh off a week’s vacation and eager to dig into 2018!  You can’t help but wonder what a new 365 will bring, right?  We approach the blank twelve months in different ways.  Some will resolve to take the year by force through planning.  Plans about meals, clothes, exercise, relationships, jobs, finances, and more fly around the first two weeks of every year (the following fifty weeks are usually very different!).  Others will face the four quarters of ‘18 with nail-biting anxiety, wondering when whatever is going to go wrong, will go wrong.  Perhaps you fall in between somewhere.  I see a common thread in all these approaches, the desire to control.  You might disagree with my assessment and insist it’s only a desire to know more, to be wise so that we can make the most of every opportunity (that has a biblical ring to it, right?), but please think again.  Our desire to know is a cloak for control.  Eve, the first female ever, was also the first to make this mistake.  In the third chapter of the Old Testament book Genesis (the book of beginnings), we read how she did exactly the opposite of what the Creator wanted, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” Genesis 3:6 (NIV84).  All our troubles trace their ancestry back to this seizing of control masked by a desire for wisdom.  This act resulted in death, exile from Eden (the perfect place), and sin as a master of all humanity.  We just ended the season of celebrating Jesus coming as a child to set us free from all that, but we still struggle with wanting control.  God has a better way!  It is expressed in many ways and places in the Bible, but for today, from the wisdom book of Proverbs found in the Old Testament, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5–6 (NLT).  Here we see the struggle identified: our understanding versus God’s.  The irony of our quest for control is also highlighted.  If you give up seeking for wisdom, knowledge, and control, the One who knows all paths will show you yours (which will bring to you the right kind of knowledge & wisdom!).  Jesus boiled this concept down to the simplest (and best) terms when He said, “Follow me” (Matthew 4:19 and 22 other places in the New Testament!).  Do you want a resolution that impacts every other possible, positive resolution?  Then resolve to make this year one of following Christ!  Our Creator has provided everything we need to be able to participate in His call to follow! This not the easiest thing to do, but it is the most rewarding!  It isn’t something you can do alone either.  Here at Gaylord Family Fellowship, we’re going to be spending the first few weeks of 2018 rediscovering the resources for following that the Holy Spirit uses to keep us close.  If you don’t have a church home, join us!  If you do have a church home, invest time in your spiritual family and follow Jesus!

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