Every new year, I receive a promise verse, by random. Most churches do this by passing around a basket with folded pieces of paper to which you pick up a piece and are assigned your promise. I guess to an outsider this can be seen as a fortune, but for me, it’s something I always loved and looked forward to in the new year. This year, however, my church did it differently, envelopes with a new years card and inside the card, you would find the verse. I picked my envelope and waited till after I got to the car after church to see what my promise of the year would be. I eagerly opened the envelope, hoping that I would get a promise of faithfulness or love. When I read my verse, however, I did not understand it.

“And I will give you a new year with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command.” (Ezekiel 36:25-27)

Did I have a stony heart of sin? This verse seemed like a very stern promise. I decided it was only right that I look into the context of the verse. I opened my bible today only to find that the portion with these verses in Chapter 36 were highlighted by me on February 1st, 2014. Makes me think maybe I didn’t fully apply to what God was telling me four years ago and here I am today being reminded of the same portion. This scripture speaks on what the Lord says to the people of Israel. The Lord promises to provide sprinkles of clean water in other translations to clean them of the impurities and from their idols.
When I think of this scripture and how it correlates to my life, I realized that maybe I needed this stern reminder to turn away from my personal idols. For me, that is devoting more of my time to social media or Netflix binges before I think to open my bible or talk to God. My attitude of thinking about myself before I think about others, the desires of worldly love before Christ-centered love in my life.

When I think back on 2014 when I first found this verse I remember the place I was in, my relationship with God was still in a soft place where I just had surrendered myself again to him and felt new in Him. Maybe that is where God is taking me again.

For the last few months, I have been having trouble on what to post on, not because I didn’t have things to write on but I just felt this overwhelming fear of discouragement. Every time I opened up my laptop and began to type I would get halfway through a post and question why I was even doing this. Why I felt like I even had to share my thoughts, my experiences. I began to think that no matter what I said it wouldn’t be worth sharing. I was running away from God so I felt as if I didn’t even have a place to share my voice anymore. Recently a good friend of mine, who became a faithful reader asked me why it has been a minute and I told him just as it is:  I been having a lot of things I wanna talk about but I been scared to talk on so it’s a battle with writing lately. He responded by telling me just what I needed to hear, “You are not doing the blogpost for the validation of others. Do it for you and share it!! It’ll speak to someone if it’s coming from a real place.” He pushed me with these words because not only was he right in the sense of this blog but in a way, in my own life. I was seeking validation of things in my heart that were of sin.  I guess it goes to say, everything came into a full cycle when I picked up this verse and decided to write today. Funny enough when I signed into wordpress today I got a notification of saying  it was my anniversay with this blog. One year ago I started this blog with the mindset of being fearless, so why stop that now?

2018 is the year of NEW.

A new attitude: “new spirit in me”

new obedient heart: “replacing the stony heart of sin”

obedience: to what God commands.

“And I will give you a new year with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command.” (Ezekiel 36:25-27)

-J

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