Did 2014 turn out to be all you’d hoped it would be? New Year’s is a time when people review the past year and look forward to the days ahead. Pam and I usually take some time on New Year’s Day to pray through our journals. We consider what God has said and what He has done, listening for His voice of guidance.

I’m telling people that this Christmas is going to be my “Zechariah Christmas!” On December 11th, I had jaw surgery and am now eating through a straw and not talking for a couple weeks.

King Jehoshaphat’s humbled spirit led him to further postures that allowed him to experience God’s deliverance. The end of verse 12 in 2 Chronicles 20 reveals posture #2: lifted eyes.

So often we struggle because we cannot get our eyes off our circumstances and onto God!

Over the months, a common theme here has been the soul-lifting idea of our God-given destiny. We are adopted children of the King of the universe and heirs of all that is at His disposal. And yet...

Not long ago, I blogged of my coming to terms with God’s purposes in our lives through the wildfire that turned our home to ashes. We are still in the process of working with insurance to settle on prices for repurchasing our belongings, and working on another front to rebuild our home.

 
You can imagine that on many occasions Pam and I wonder, “Just what is going on! God, what are you doing? Did you really need to do it this way?!” I love the phrase in Luke 2, describing the young teenage girl who woke up one morning finding herself to be mother to a King and Savior.

After a June Colorado wildfire destroyed our home, my wife, Pam, and I settled into a rental. We are grateful for the place God has provided. One of the first mornings there, as I spent time reading and praying, I lifted my head and found that the house backed into a full view of the burned out mountainside. “Ugh! Really, God? I have to stare at that for the next year?” My heart sank, my soul was weary, and I wondered “why” on so many fronts.

I was out for a run recently, listening to worship music on my iPod. I was talking to the Lord, asking why I was feeling distant from Him. I acknowledged that my times with Him had been rushed, and I had been feeling the distance that comes with lack of contact.

 
As I ran, it was as if He replied, “You feel distant from me because you have been relating to me in the third person.”

The last couple of blog posts have focused on where we can find courage. Without a doubt, how we view our daily circumstances plays a huge role in whether we approach the day with courage or with fear.

 
Of greatest importance in how we each view our circumstances is how we personally view God and ourselves (what we considered in the last two posts).

In past posts I’ve mentioned Matthew 6 where Jesus speaks strongly about how important it is to “see” and how devastating it is when we don’t see clearly. “The eye is the lamp of the body…” (Matthew 6:22ff).

Without a doubt, if our “eyesight” is “poor” and our view of God is distorted, it impacts everything!

The landscape of the Body of Christ is littered with examples of the consequences of fear. In some cases, fear can cause us to fight with those closest to us—whether our family members, friends, our spouse, or others in the Body of Christ. We can fear people with different opinions or who do things differently than we do. We fear those with different backgrounds or perspectives. In some cases we fight and other times we just run away from our fears.