Today’s Theme – New Beginnings!
As we enter a new year, with high expectations of new beginnings and new normals, I felt God draw me to Moses instructions to the Israelites just before they entered the Promised Land. The prayer he taught them, known as the “Shema” (Hebrew for “Hear and Obey”, and pronounced “shma”; Deut. 6:4-9) is recited by all devout Jews twice daily – in the morning and evening.
Jesus called this the greatest of all the commandments. (Matt. 22:36-38; Mark 12:29) so I believe we should make it our prophetic focus at the start of this year. NOTE: As Christians, the promises given to Israel in the Old Testament are completed and fulfilled for us in Jesus.
After the Annus Horibilis that was 2020, I feel that God wants us to reorient the way we think and act, in preparation for the harvest that is to come – and that will be sooner than we can imagine.
Read Deuteronomy 6:1-25 – all of it!
Yes, I know it’s Old Testament, but focus and meditate on the essentials, which are:
- The fear of the Lord (faith-filled awe and wonder, not terror) is of first importance (verses 1-2, 13, 24)
- Hearing and obeying God is paramount (verses 3-6)
Hearing from God and doing what he says is the most important characteristic of being a Christian. Commit to reading your Bible every day. Pray at all times;
- Loving God is the fuel that empowers obedience (verse 5)
We obey best when we love Jesus first and fully, rather than from a sense of religious duty.
- Share your experiences of loving and obeying God with others (verses 6-9) When you’re in love, you can’t help but tell others about it. It should be the same with our faith.
- Trust God to provide you with all you need (verses 10-12)
- Don’t be afraid – you’re safe in his hands (verses 18-19) God himself takes care of the enemies of his people
- God has set us free to enjoy his good things (verses 20 -25)
Prayer Focus – 1 – Opportunities for God to transform you, your attitudes and actions
Ask God to:
- fill you with his Holy Spirit and to increase your love for Jesus. This should be a regular request;
- speak peace to your heart and fill you with love for others;
- make you more trusting every day and help you relax in his provision;
- fill you with a hunger for the Bible, his word to you;
- set you free from whatever holds you back;
- bring more and more sharing opportunities to you.
Prayer Focus – 2 – Speak to my heart Jesus.
Root within me the truth of your word. Mould me in your image. Your word to me is a rock and stronghold.
Watch this a couple of times and then ask God to lead you deeper into his presence, using the words to centre your spirit.