One year is closing and another begins. As we contemplate life, we remember how times of celebration enrich our lives while times of sorrow and hardship challenge us. In all seasons of life, however, we are meant to grow in our understanding of the Lord and in our intimacy with Him. We must make it a priority to grow in our faith and allow God to open our eyes to see the things of His Kingdom. It is time for increasing our pursuit of the Holy Spirit and His anointing to help us grow in the gifts and fruit from God's Kingdom.
On Saturday morning I was sitting on my sofa looking out the glass doors into the clear blue sky. A pilot was having a fun time skywriting. He went back and forth across the sky laying down lines of white smoke. I noticed that when a line was first deposited it was a narrow streak. As time went on the line expanded and filled up more of the sky. It is fascinating to me that the "writing" is composed of a special combination of oils. The anointing oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, and He is the one we must count on to help us expand our vision.
My desire for the new year is for an expansion of my spiritual insight so that I may be more like Jesus. He is described by the prophet Isaiah: "A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from His roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him--the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding; the Spirit of counsel and power, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord--and He will delight in the fear of the Lord." (Isaiah 11:1-3) He was anointed to bring the Kingdom of God to us and to help us grow in faith and sight. When He went to heaven, He sent us the Holy Spirit as our Helper.
It is as we grow in faith that our spiritual eyes will be opened. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says that we must "live by faith, not by sight." Here is the truth: God has already prepared gifts and experiences for us that are meant to grow fruit in our lives. "As it is written: 'No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him'--but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God...We have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us." (1 Corinthians 2:9-12)
We are at the beginning of the year 2019. Nine is the number of gestation or pregnancy and of fruitfulness. 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 tells us that there are nine gifts of the Spirit while Galatians 5:22 lists the nine fruits of the Spirit. It is God's desire that we grow in faith so that we will have spiritual eyes. In Galilee, Jesus preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God. He said, “The time has come...The Kingdom of God is near..." (Mark 1:15) It is time for us to open our eyes to the extraordinary aspects of the Kingdom of God. He told His disciples, "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last..." (John 15:16)
Grow in faith by stepping out of the earthly realm and into the Kingdom real. The Holy Spirit has been given to us to cause us to accomplish this. It is time for us to take risks which means exercising courage. We are made to live in the atmosphere of the impossible, because our home is in the Kingdom of Heaven. Bestselling author Cindy Trimm wrote an article for "Charisma Magazine" in September. Here is her encouragement to all of us--one we should grasp for the year 2019. "Most people never break free from the status quo because they are unwilling to risk going out on a limb. But the end of the branch is where the sweetest fruit lies." Amen!
Joan E. Mathias