Prior to entering the glorious New Year of 2018, I prayed and God spoke to me. He told me that he wants me to live a year of F.O.F; faith, openness, and focus. Although I am not completely sure what this new journey or year holds, there is one thing I know for sure, these are three things that are needed when impactful decisions and amazing opportunities are in store. Let’s begin with defining the terms.
First, there is FAITH
Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. This is clearly laid out for us in Hebrews 11:1 if you are a follower of Christ. Now the secular definition of this word means to have complete trust in someone or something.
Then there is OPENNESS
Openness in the adjective form of open which means allowing access, passage or a view through an empty space; not closed or blocked up. There are a few other definitions of this word as well that are very interesting. 2. Exposed to the air or view; not covered. 3. Officially admitting customers or visitors; available for business. 4. Frank and communicative; not given to deception or concealment. 5. Having a break in the conducting path ( an electrical circuit) 6. Not containing any of its limit points. 7. Unfold or be unfolded; spread out.
Lastly is FOCUS
Focus is defined as the center of interest or activity. 2. The state or quality of having or producing clear visual definition.
Now let’s explore what these words mean for my life as of today. I say as of today because the meaning of these words are subject to change as my year plays out. I know for a fact that God told me to live a year of faith because in 2017 I put my trust in everything (mostly me) except Him. I strived to make things happen and then they crumbled. I made my business pursuits more about remaining relevant by having an overflow of clientele than meeting a need that would, in turn, produce overflow. I tried to make love happen and ran into some men that meant me no good and ended up in spaces of disappointment, heartache, and heartbreak instead of keeping my eyes on God and allowing him to bring who he has for me into my life at the right time. I didn’t yield any of my financial decisions to him, which left me living from paycheck to paycheck and broke. Frankly, I was a total and utter mess, but thank God for a new year.
Looking back I can now see 2017 as a closed book, not just a chapter because the number 7 represents completion. Now I am beginning a new book, in 2018, which correlates with the number 8 representing new beginnings. This book will be one of FAITH. I know God is trying to get some amazing things to me and I now understand that many of these things will come in accordance with my faith. I will never forget my former pastor, Michael D. Moore teaching on faith. He made the statement that faith is the vehicle that brings God into the midst of our circumstances. This is so true. In Mark 10: 46 – 52, Jesus and the disciples travel to Jericho and they encounter a man by the name of Bartimaeus who is blind. Bartimaeus called out to Jesus and asked for his mercy. In verse 51, Jesus asked a specific question, what do you want from me? The man replied, “Rabbi, I want to see”. In the next verse Jesus said, “Go”, “your faith has healed you.” immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. Just reading that changed my life even though I have heard the story many times. I believe Jesus is leading me to ask for what I want, but when I ask I must have unwavering faith in him; not my circumstances, my finances or other people, him and only him. God has some mind-blowing things he wants to do in my life and in order for me to get them, I have to exercise my faith muscle. The only way to do that is through feeding my spirit continuously with His word, taking some action, and thanking Him in advance. Now God is no respecter of persons, so let me ask you, what do you want from God? All you need to do is ask and believe and it shall be done according to your faith and in His will.
Now, the one thing I know about openness is that you can be too open or not open enough, but I know for sure God wants me to be more closed to people and completely open to him. In reading the dictionary definitions, they really spoke to me on a spiritual level. It’s as if while I was reading, God was speaking. That’s the funny thing about God, he is always speaking, but we have to keep our ears tuned to always hear him.
In looking at all of these definitions, I am going to break down some of what I was hearing from God while reading them. The one thing I have learned is that if you want to know what God really means by what he says, the easiest place to begin is by picking out the keywords and defining them. The first definition references allowing access, passage or view. Now, with this God is saying to me that it is time to allow him in and lock everyone else out and then he will usher the right people in. This immediately made me think of Revelation 3:20 where Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and they with me”. Then in Revelation 4:1 it says, “After this, I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” That verse falls directly in line with the “view” portion of the definition. God wants to show me some amazing things lovies, but I have to be open. This also correlates with the second definition of being exposed to the air or view; not covered up. He desires to take me beyond the veil and expose me to things I’ve never imagined. The third definition explores the business attributes of being open and available for business. I believe God is saying that He is ready to take my business to a whole new level in him. When I say this alone brings tears to my eyes when I think back on how my business struggled in the past year. I literally can cry tears of joy. However, my business suffering also put me in a position to hear God because I was in such a desolate place. God has to break us sometimes in order for us to finally become vulnerable enough to hear him.
Definitions 4 and 5 go hand in hand for me. I did not assert myself when it came to people, specifically men in my life. I allowed them to use my heart as a revolving door. I was so hung up on marriage and family, that I would look beyond the red flags just to capture a dream. I was allowing the devil to deceive me by concealing what was bad for me in a light of good. This brings me to a scripture found in John 4: 1-5. It reads, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” You see, I was not taking the time to test these guys to make sure they were who they initially said or portrayed themselves to be. You see ladies, we aren’t asking enough questions and taking our time. Always remember, the guy you meet isn’t the real him, that is his representative. The real him shows up after. It can take a week or 6 weeks, but be patient and be wise. Listen carefully and again ask questions. You don’t owe these men anything. If he is not willing to do what it takes to earn your time, attention, and respect, then he is not the one sweetheart. I’m telling you what I know, not what I heard. God no longer wants me to be deceived. He wants me to be discerning. You see, now, I’m stingy with myself. I won’t just lend my time and attention to anyone. Everyone doesn’t deserve that opportunity. I am more selective now than I have ever been and when I say he will have to be God sent; He will have to be. This goes for friends too. All of those women who pop up in your life aren’t your friends’ ladies. We have to be like a break in the conducting path of an electrical current and cut those connections that mean us no good.
The last two definitions which entail taking the limits off and being spread out really hit home. I heard God say to me, who are you to limit me? I am
God, the creator of all. All things are possible with me and because you are born of my spirit all things are possible for you. I could just give the benediction right now, but I will continue for the sake of my lovies. I had been limiting God as if I was almighty and all-powerful when I am a mere human, but in Him, I am supernatural. All I have to say is God I am open. Unfold me and spread me out. I am available to you. I have emptied out my cup Lord so that you can fill me up. We have to learn to surrender lovies. Just let him have his way because his way is perfect. We must be open. Are you open to God and what he wants to do in your life?
We’ve finally come to focus. When we live in such a fast-paced world with so many things to do, focusing on the right thing at the right time can be super hard. However, we have to learn how to focus in spite of what is going on around us if we are going to accomplish these goals. God is telling me it is time out for being a slave to my emotions. When I tell you, if I am a mess emotionally it gets me so far off track, I can’t seem to get back on for sometimes days or a week. That is precious time being wasted and one thing about time is that you can never get it back. I thank God that I don’t look like what I’ve been through, but it is time for me to rehab my emotions and become whole again. Lovies, I am about to begin going to a therapist on January 10, 2018. I’ve needed this for a while now and I am excited about it. I need to purge all of those years of crud that lay dormant and impede my progress. Proverbs 11;14 says, “where no counsel is, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” I hate to break it to you lovies, but friends are not always the best source of counsel. They are wrapped up in their own lives and although they can formulate opinions that may help us, they are not experts. Don’t be afraid to seek counsel. When we have a clear mind, emotional stability, and open spirit, that is when God can do his best work.
I decree and declare that my latter will be much greater than my former. This year, 2018, is officially my new beginning. I am living in the year of F.O.F. and I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for me as I walk by faith, remain open, and keep my focus. What specific direction will you be taking in 2018?
Until next time lovies…cheers to new beginnings!