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“You crown the year with Your goodness, And Your paths drip with abundance.” Psalm 65:11 Whatever happens and however it may happen, God ends with the placement of His crown of goodness. That is why He is called good even when things happen that are difficult to explain. When there are valleys there also must be mountains. The deeper the valley indicates the higher the mountain must be. Valley experiences are not always fatal. They can be but not necessarily must be fatal. His path is frightening to the fainthearted. Every wall in the valley contains a message that you have reached the point of no return. But as long as you are aware that He is leading you, you can trust Him throughout the journey. A crown awaits you at the end of the season of testing. Not only is there a crown, but there are rich blessings to be gathered along the way.

“For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.” Psalm 36:9 The initial light of God leads us to greater light. We see Him as Redeemer and we are saved from the penalty of sin. The entryway into His grace has been provided as His light has shined upon us. But there is light shining on the path inviting us to enter in. It is not enough to enter in a park at the gateway of all that has been provided for us in Jesus Christ. The things that accompany salvation is awaiting us within the vast areas of exploration of blessings and joy that can only be experienced once we have passed beyond the Outer Courts and are will to enter into the Holy of Holies. The further we are willing to be led, the deeper the level of intimacy we are enabled to experience. His light leads to the fountain of life. We are able to drink from the fountain that spring forth into everlasting life. When Jesus Christ becomes life to us, we can then live the abundant life. The pleasure of knowing the Father as He is known by the Son…

“Think of it! One solitary man when I called him, but once I blessed him, he multiplied.” Isaiah 51:2 (MSG) Abraham was blessed to be called and called to be blessed. He was one man standing alone but obedient to God. He was awaiting his assignment after having received the promise of blessings. When our future is in His hands, we can rely on His promises regardless of the current circumstances. God calls us alone. He calls us to Himself to personally respond to whatever He commands. Only then are we in the position for increase. Some are waiting for the party to join them before they move beyond their present state. The blessings accompany us along the way even if we have to travel down the lonely road less traveled. He is with us to guide us along the way. Then He will bless with blessings that none can take away. The continual blessings of God will go from generation to generation.

“And yet I show you a more excellent way.” 1 Corinthians 12:31 The order of the Church and our lives is to be arranged by the Holy Spirit. He guides us through the gifts that were given to the Church on the Day of Pentecost. Though many gifted people have not fully understood what it would take in order to get the most out of what was left after Jesus’ ascent into heaven. We are to earnestly desire to be endowed with the blessings, which are the extension of His work on the earth. He works through His Body, which is the Church. When gifts are given, the potential for change is present. The gifted are the called, which are endowed to be a blessing to others. But the way they are used may be to the best of their abilities yet they may still fall short of the intended results of God. When the gifts are given, the way to exercise them must be shown. A way that is more excellent than the best we are within ourselves able to offer. It is the way of love. Only then can we flow in the gifts without trying to take…

“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.” Hebrew 10:35 Once confidence has been attained, there is nothing standing between God’s promise and the fulfillment of the promise. To trust in the Lord with all of our heart comes as a gift to the believer. This is a level of trust that does not demand further evidence, but stands on God’s integrity as our guarantee. The only entryway available to the adversary is when we cast aside what we over time have attained. We must guard what is most precious from the allurement of the enemy. His objective is to cause us to surrender what is able to bring us into the promised reward. It may be closer than we think, thus the attacks may escalate. Don’t treat what is most precious as being useless because the promised blessings are not in sight. Reaping His promised blessings lie ahead if we do not lose heart.

”Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” Hebrews 10:22 We are invited to come closer to God as we meet the conditions of spiritual intimacy. His blessings are as the result of our moving in His direction. Many may attempt to confiscate the benefits without the relationship, but God will test the purity of our hearts. He knows when true love is the motive of our actions, and His Spirit will give witness that we are in agreement with Him. Then we can boldly approach the throne of grace and obtain mercy to find the grace to help in the time of need. Assurance of faith is a blessing reserved for the pure in heart. As we are being purified by the Holy Spirit, our passions will continue to conform to His will. We will want what He wants for us when we have been drawn to the place where He abides.

This year, as never before, we are invoking and anticipating God’s Manifest Presence – – invading the scene and filling the void left in those attempting to manage life without Him. Emptiness resonates in every arena of life leaving a trail of failed hopes and dreams. Setbacks and failures are not always negative, for they often sound the alarm that awakens one to face reality. God is real and has always been real, but unless we invoke His Presence, many will not even know that He exists. In light of this, I invite you to read the following speech by Benjamin Franklin during the Constitutional Convention on June 28, 1787: Mr. President: The small progress we have made after four or five weeks close attendance and continual reasoning with each other — our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ayes is, methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the human understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government, and examined the different forms of those…

“You shall eat the old harvest, and clear out the old because of the new.” Leviticus 26:10 Eating the old harvest is not a call to gluttony, but rather a challenge to release and dispense all that should be used. It is when we hoard what ought to be distributed that disqualifies one from full participation with God. His intention is to use each of His servants as conduit to reach others with what flows through us. As we enter into this New Year with and open heart and a clear conscience, room is available in us for an abundance of blessings from God to reach us. Yesterdays promises made and commitments are the opportunities to prove ones integrity when we rest at the end of the day with completed tasks. A fresh vision is given to visionaries who provide the impetus to see the old ones come to pass. The Spirit of God will grace the soul who is led to believe His Word and act accordingly. God wills to do a new thing among us. The New is before us, while the old is awaiting our consumption in order to make room.

“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” Philippians 4:11 When there is a convergence of our state and our contentment, evidence of spiritual maturity is made manifest. There is a steadiness in the life of the individual that lives on that level of confidence knowing that God is not limited to circumstances. The contentment that Paul speaks of is not inactive contentment. He participates with God in what He is doing. If something is lacking, he is confident that God will provide. If he has an abundance, he know that God as provided. The credit is given to God for blessings received and his dependency on God alone to meet his need settles him down and frees him from anxieties. Yet no condition can hinder God from doing through him what has been assigned. His earlier years were more than likely more frantic. He had to learn how to yield to the Holy Spirit in all things. The rush of life accomplished very little and oftentimes would make matters worse. He learned to wait on the Lord and to be patient. The virtue of faith and patience…

“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:4 The trials that we face have a far greater purpose than the aggravation and pain that we often suffer. Isolated from God’s intent, some would think that we had been abandoned to face the giants of perplexities alone. It is when nothing is left but God’s promises that faith is called into action. What we received during those moments when could clearly see Him and experience His blessings must keep us when we enter into the fog. Faith to endure is the patience that must further develop us. We learn to wait on the Lord and not attempt to rush the process. God has more to teach is in these dry cold winter seasons than we could ever learn in the springtime of life. This is when our faith is tested as to its authenticity. How would we ever know whether we love God for who He is or merely love Him for what He gives? On the other side of the test is a faith that endures. We can then see Him for who He really is and not just image…