by Daniel Lowe
The first week of January for us it still holidays and recovering from all the festive fun of Christmas and new year’s (and my birthday!) Increasingly present though is the preparation going on in my thinking about the first month back at work, kids school/Uni, connect groups and what we are generally wanting to achieve this year. Suddenly, I find myself thinking way too much and the challenges of the year are already occupying my mental agenda.
Right here I purposely remind myself that it is no use trying to avoid conflict, difficulty or opposition, it’s a fact of life. I remind myself that Peace is not the absence of conflict or persecution but the presence of overcoming. The Holy Spirit helps us overcome, His anointing on my life coming from the promise that He will never leave me or forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6). There is no place I can find myself this year that God has not equipped me for to succeed if I stay close to Him.
There are many promises and scriptures that are useful to declare here and I hope you do because we need them, but I can’t go past reminding myself that I am the one that God is with, after all His name is Emmanuel (God with us). Because He is with me then it is all ok. I don’t dream about an easy year or a year without challenges, but rather one of staying faithful to Him and following His lead.
I purposely seek the Kingdom as he instructs us in Matthew 6:33 and I draw much strength and anticipation from what that Kingdom contains for me, Righteous Peace and Joy IN the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Did you see that? The Kingdom of heaven is in the Holy Spirit! Righteousness Peace and Joy are the finger prints or the result of encountering the Kingdom IN the Holy Spirit, the helper.
Spending time with the Holy Spirit or seeking the Kingdom can be different for all of us, but my main qualifier is that when I experience Him in some way and He shows me something about Jesus. It is more than agreement, mental ascent or a positive confession, it is an experience. He is to be discovered through experience.
Looking for Righteousness peace and joy this year? It is found in the Holy Spirit.