As we look ahead to what is in store for 2017, we believe it is important to reflect on this last year. We encourage you to take the necessary steps to give yourself that space to see the wheat and the weeds, and really process your last year with God to give you sharper vision on how to dream for what is next. Below is a blog written by Liz Griffin, who is one of the lead pastors of Antioch in Austin, TX. She is an incredibly gifted writer and communicator and I believe her picture is in the dictionary next to perseverance.
Liz loves hearing other people's dreams and helping them make a plan to see those aspirations come to pass. We can't think of a better person to help facilitate our time dreaming with God for what is to come in 2017.
"When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed." - Psalm 126:1 > What part of my life feels dry/numb and needs an encounter with God? > What are some areas of disappointment or pain that I need God to heal? > List out realistic steps for ways to meet God in this place?
SEEK THE RIGHT THINGS
"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." - Matthew 6:33
> What are some goals for your spiritual life with God? > Are there any particular things you'd like to study in scripture or grow in this year? > List some areas you need to see freedom from sin or more discipline in. How will you pursue that?
"Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." - Proverbs 19:21
> Spend time reflecting on your skills, giftings, passions and interests. What has God created you to do well practically? > Start the process (it's okay if it takes awhile) of asking God to clarify God's purposes for your life. Who has He made you to be?
DEAL WITH YOUR FEAR & EXCUSES
"For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." - Isaiah 41:13
> What lies have you been believing about God or yourself that are holding you back? > Think through all the fears and excuses you play in your head. Pray over them and ask God to give you faith in those areas instead of fear. > What are practical steps you can take to turn your excuses into action?
"Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession." - Psalm 2:8
> What would you do if you knew you could not fail? > What are you going to ask God to do this year in your marriage, family, school, finances, industry, career...? > Think even bigger for a minute. Is there a social issue or people group that you want God to use you to impact? > Write all of these down and pray for them each day.
"...and after you have done everything, to stand." - Ephesians 6:13
> What are the promises or dreams you are standing on right now? > How will your find rest for your body, mind, spirit and emotions while you wait? > Who do you need to share these with so they can stand and believe with you?
There is no doubt in our minds that God is going to do amazing things in and through you. Our city and generation will be changed as you surrender your life to God's purposes for you. When you are done, we highly encourage you to share your answers with a friend or your Lifegroup! We believe the best is yet to come in 2017!