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Hello 2013 (part 1)

 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid. ”Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. (Matthew 14: 25- 29)

It had been a stormy night for the disciples out on the lake in the boat. Far from the shore, they’re at the mercy of the wind and the waves in the dead of night. Just before the dawn, Jesus walks to meet them on the lake. He knows exactly where they are. At first fear grips their hearts; was this a spirit bringing disaster as their traditions and superstitions suggested? Was this the end?

Jesus tells them to take courage, He is with them now. And that would be miracle enough, wouldn’t it? Jesus comfort and presence in the storm; Jesus meeting the disciples where they’re at when everything is sinking, when the water fills the boat, and the fear fills your heart in the darkness? Then Jesus. However, this time it wasn’t the end. Who knows why Peter said what he did? Bravado? Fear, a really odd extroverted moment? But he asks Jesus to command him to come.

“Come.”

 I once heard a preacher say that Peter didn’t walk on the water; he walked on the word that Jesus gave him, he walked in response to His call.

Jesus met the disciples in the ultimate storm, and miraculous though that was, it was only the beginning. There was a word spoken and as long as Peter walked on Jesus’ word, the water was irrelevant. Indeed it was transformed; Peter was transformed. The wind and the waves couldn’t drown or overcome him, Jesus ruled and it was miracle territory. It was only when the wind and the waves seemed (quite understandably) more powerful than Jesus word to Peter that he began to sink. Even there Jesus catches him, and together they climb into the boat, and the storm is over.

I’d recently asked my huddles: What is God calling you to say goodbye to in 2012?

It was the story of Peter walking on water than prompted my second question:

What is God calling us to say hello to in 2013?

As I mentioned in my previous post it’s tempting to think that to say hello to 2013, you simply reverse your 2012 goodbyes. Sometimes that is the case; and he certainly meets us and comes alongside us in that place. But perhaps God wants to do something else, something more. Something at the dawn of a new year that might call us to step out of the boat, box? Something that takes faith?

For that, we need more than bravado, we need the word. We need to hear God’s word for our lives.

In order to receive the Lord’s word for our lives it requires that we don’t just react or scramble around for ideas, we abide. So it’s been back to the semi-circle for my huddles and I ( Here are my thoughts on abiding from our mini sabbatical, and a summary of the semi-circle tool can be found here.).

It’s a tool that for me has proved  to a great antidote for the striving prove-myself-to-God-so –He-approves-of- me underbelly that sometimes accompanies my best intentions,  New year’s resolutions,  my well- meaning pursuit of  excellence in every areas of  life. We abide/remain in him (John 15) and the relationships He’s given us and there, receive the word that leads us forward.

 

What might you receive as you abide?

It could be a single word – COME that refines and redefine your sense of purpose. It’s a word that’s so much bigger than you, impossible even. Yet because He speaks, its brings you strangely alive and you want to obey. You want to step out in faith and walk…

Sometimes  God communicates through a picture, and image in your heart and mind. Through the image he beckons you to step out of your past, your comfort zone, your timing your terms. He uses the picture to illustrate the life you’re used to,  you environment that  imprisons you  and the call and to follow Him in spite of the wind and the waves that surround you.

There might be specific verse of Scripture  that you just can’t escape. And why would you want to? His Word is living and active, God breathed. You might have read the verse before; this time it’s reading you.

Sometimes  God speaks  through the details  of your life. You’re hanging out with your friends, spending time with your family, serving the Lord at church or at work and even though you’ve done these things a thousand times before, there’s something different about this time. It’s as though God is highlighting something through the ordinary stuff of life. A breakthrough, a blessing, a battle, maybe even  an opportunity.

Often it’s a combination of all the above.Whatever way He to speak to you, He’s also inviting you to respond.

 

What is God calling you to say hello to in 2013?

And when you receive the word, what are you going to do about it?

 

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4 Responses to Hello 2013 (part 1)

  1. Lisa Bergren 2013/01/05 at 10:31 am #

    Thanks for this great pondering fodder, Jo. Praying it over. And planning to use the goodbye/hello angle with my huddle next week. Blessings on your head!

    • Joannah Saxton 2013/01/05 at 12:42 pm #

      Thanks Lisa, I hope huddle goes well next week. And may you head be mightily blessed too!

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