My students keep asking me what my New Year's Resolution is. It's not really a Japanese thing to be honest, but I think that because they've heard it's an English thing they're just super curious into what my thing is for 2015.
And well, honestly, I hadn't really thought about it.
I know, I know, that makes me some kind of failure as an English person, but I just hadn't really sat down and paused to think about that particular question until it began to get fired at me this week.
Two years ago now, I began to write this blog. And it was actually prompted by a New Year's Resolution. Let's have a throw back to the first post I ever wrote back in January 2013… Because this is cool. And I can now say that 2 years into tithing my time to God… You should seriously all do it!!
I just want to be His.
Before I am a manager, a worship leader, a speaker or a student. I just want to be His and to be with Him. To know that intimacy.
I was listening to a testimony yesterday about a woman who tithed 10 percent of her day to God, in the craziest season of her life. And I was stirred! I love the secret place. I’ve got to know God there on my knees, in the Word or at my piano since He first called me to that dedicated daily time at 15 years old. I’ve sung to Him my whole life. But going into this year, my resolve is renewed.
My commitment for 2013 is this: to tithe at least 10 percent of my time each day to Him. To give Him at least 2 hours and 40 minutes of consecrated time every day. And, amongst all the other activities, opportunities and ministries that are opening up for this year, it is this commitment that I’m most excited about. That Holy Spirit would remove everything that hinders love; that there would be no distance between us, and that Jesus would remain my first love and my complete vision.
So anyway, I was thinking about this and thinking specifically that this year I want to be more beautiful.
Now before you think I've suddenly gone really narcissistic on you, let me explain.
I read a quote the other day that said something along the lines of, 'If people could see hearts in the same way they see faces they'd judge beauty really differently.' And that actually really struck me.
Because if I'm totally honest, like most people, I like to look okay before I leave my house. I mean, I wear bright clothes, but I also do my best to tame my lion hair, keep healthy and wear make up on occasion. I don't think there's anything wrong with those things.
If people tell me I look nice it's really kind of them and it gives me a little boost in my day.
I think that's pretty normal.
But I guess what I got to thinking is the heart thing. Like, if the depths of my heart were displayed as obviously as my face, I wonder what people would see.
Because that's what God sees.
And that's what Holy Sprit was to keep making more beautiful as I am formed into His likeness.
And those thoughts reminded me of one of my favourite phrases and one of my favourite articles, so I'm going to re share these thoughts with you.
So what's my New Year's Resolution for 2015?
To be more beautiful. In the ways that matter. To fall more in love with the God who is everything to me.
As I sat down last night to pray through what I was going to share, God reminded me of a phrase I’d read in an article by Benjamin Nolot a little while ago and I just couldn’t shake it out of my brain…
Prophets of beauty.
Prophets… of… beauty.
Think about it. Wow.
As an intercessor I daily consider the pain of the world. I reach out to the throne of God through my prayers. I reach out to the broken through my actions. I join with others in community. I fast. I weep. I plead with Holy Spirit to intervene in situations that are just-too-big-for-me and to move in our world.
And sometimes I am overwhelmed.
But, last night I was reminded that while heaven weeps, heaven also rejoices.
That just as God shares our pain, He also brings restoration and beauty for ashes.
That just as the pain of the world, and the pain of individuals should move me to my knees; so my faith in God’s ability to restore laughter, and dreams, and dancing, and wholeness, should cause me to rise again.
When we look out at the world, it’s all-too-easy to be a prophet of doom. To see just the pain. Just the suffering. Just the injustice. To feel overwhelmed by the depth of the darkness.
But we are called to be prophets of beauty.
Prophets of beauty.
Because I can’t put it any better, here’s a quote from the original article:
Papa, make me a prophet of beauty.
One who literally speaks Your words, and Your will, and Your heart, and Your beauty into the atmosphere of a world that is so incredibly desperate for the hope of Your Truth.
Change my heart.
Teach me how.
To be a prophet of beauty means to be motivated by Beauty.
To first and foremost, see Beauty.
When we are interceding for and working in the dark-darkness-places of the planet, it can be easy to let our gaze drift and become fixed on the wrong things.
But I am not called to be fascinated by darkness; I am called to overcome it.
I am not called to exploit this world; I am called to be part of the just-God-ordained solution.
I am not called to be sustained by human zeal, a feeling of heroism, my own good intentions or some self righteous behaviour; but by being rooted and fascinated with the Beauty of the Beautiful God.
I long to be founded and grounded in the reality that He can love me more in a moment than any other lovers could in a lifetime. And to be sustained by right things.
As Psalm 90 v 17 says, ‘Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; and establish the work of our hands for us, yes, establish the work of our hands.’
The Gospel beautifies.
And here are some photos from the last few days 🙂