Each January I ask the Lord for a new spiritual focus for the year. I pray the theme will increasingly permeate my life as the months go by. Here are recent themes... A Slave of Christ (2013), Better to Give Than to Get (2014), Keep in Step with the Spirit (2015), Listen and Love (2016), Join the Dance Procession (2017), Make Disciples (2018).
My theme for 2019 is "Lift Up Your Eyes.
Lord, you are saying "lift up your eyes." Thank for speaking these words to me during my retreat at Mission San Luis Rey. This phrase encompasses the three themes you impressed on me.
1. Live aware of your imminence, your constant presence.
2. Follow you Spirit when you prompt me.
3. Expect you to do big things. Believe big. Because you are big.
You want me to see above the natural. Here there is brokenness, disobedience, idolatry, self-centeredness and lack of vision. Every time I rise to my feet I should pull my shoulders back and lift my eyes up. When my head is down I focus on a single thing, but when l look out I see the larger panorama. You invite me to stand up tall, look across the horizon and...
"Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’?
"Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest."
"I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."
"I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven.
As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy."
"Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing."
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke,
the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies.
But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail."