For many people, 2017 has been a mixed bag of highs and lows; ups and downs; challenges and victories. And yet, even though life can be demanding at times, we can all agree that our God is faithful. His word is true. And, we can certainly depend on Him. So today, because of His faithfulness and love toward us, I want to encourage you to conclude the final weeks of 2017 by "giving God permission" to do three things in your life.
1. Give Him permission to evaluate your life. Ps 139:23 states, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts." Every now and then, we need to stand still long enough to allow God to check our motives and our mindset. I have discovered over the years that our hearts can be extremely deceptive. In fact, Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful about all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" In other words, scripture teaches us that our hearts can lead us astray. Add into the mix the fact that our feelings can be fickle and unreliable. That’s why it’s so dangerous to make decisions based solely on how you feel. Instead, allow God to evaluate your daily decisions with the principles of His word. Because, you don’t want your feelings to lead you down the wrong path.
2. Give Him permission to point out ungodly behavior in your life. Psalms 139:24 says it in this manner, "See if there is any offensive way in me…" In other words David asks God to point out anything in his life that was hurting or upsetting God. We have to be vulnerable and transparent enough to allow God to probe the darkest corners of our inner most being. We want to give Him permission to investigate not only our behavior, but also our attitude. We want God to feel free to explore and research our habits and our hangouts. We don’t want to take anything in 2018 that is hindering our relationship with Him.
3. Give Him permission to lead you to the appropriate resolution. When the examination of our life has been complete, we want to have a clear pathway to change. We want God to lead us to a place of victory over the hindrances and character flaws of our past. I think the Apostle Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians 15:57, "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Yes, 2017 has been a mixed bag of challenges and victories for God’s people. But regardless of what you’re currently experiencing in your life right now, I want to encourage you to finish the year spiritually strong. Give God permission to evaluate your life. Give Him permission to point out any ungodly behavior that you need to eliminate. And give Him permission to set you on a path to victorious living in 2018. 2018 can be a banner year for you and yours, if you give God permission.