AUGUST 2021: SHIFT
As I asked the Lord what was on His heart as a word for August, He reminded me to look at the word I’d written down for this month back in December when I had asked Him then for a one-word focus for each month of the new year.
I hadn’t looked ahead at the words I’d written down, so when I saw the word, “Shift,” it resonated so deeply with me in a fresh way. It felt so “right” and made so much sense to me because I realized in some ways, it built on the “Tipping Point” word He’d given me last month and it connected with some recent things I’d been growing in with Him.
What I sense the Lord saying is that August is a month when He wants to bring about long-awaited shifts in our lives, but they’re going to require conscious choices. Let me explain using a situation I recently walked through as an example.
Last week, I was battling a nasty, summer cold. I woke up from a long nap, knew I wasn’t in a great place with my health, and really wondered if I had pneumonia setting in. I asked Brian and our youngest son, Nehemiah, to pray for me and said, “I NEED Jesus . . .”
No sooner were those words out of my mouth, when I heard the Lord speak to my heart. He said, “You can choose health or sickness. Which do you want?”
Which do I want? Of course, I wanted health!
Isn’t that what I wanted???
Oh . . . I was teetering on wanting to be a victim – seen as one in need of extra care and love, having things being done for me, and wanting those I love to feel bad for me . . .
That came to a screeching halt!
NO! I did NOT want to be a victim and I didn’t want to be sick! I wanted to be well – totally healthy! I chose health and three times, I spoke out, “I choose health!”
That’s when the shift occurred, and I began to get well. But . . . I had to choose the shift I wanted and let go of the unwanted.
I believe this is the key to the shift that God wants to bring into our lives this month.
While processing this word with a dear friend this week, she reminded me of two things. First, she said it made her think of the scene in “The Chosen” when Jesus heals the paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda (Season 2, Episode 4). She suggested I watch that scene again because she felt there was something in it for me connected to this word. She was absolutely right!
In this depiction, as Jesus stood before the man and asked him if he wanted to be healed, the man came up with so many arguments as to why it wasn’t possible. After hearing him out, Jesus told the man to look at Him and said, “That’s not what I asked. I’m not asking you about who’s helping you. Or who’s not helping. Or who’s getting in your way. I’m asking about you.”
The paralytic responded with, “I’ve tried . . .” and Jesus said, “For a long time. I know. And you don’t want false hope again. I understand. But this pool – it has nothing for you. It means nothing. And you know it. But you’re still here. Why?” (I’ll let you watch the rest of the scene.)
Several things stood out to me in this depiction of John 5:1-15. Like the paralytic man, when we’re faced with situations and circumstances needing a shift in our lives, we can easily come up with so many arguments as to why it’s not possible – especially if we’ve been waiting on this shift for a while.
It can also be really easy to shift the blame to others, making them the reason why the shift hasn’t yet taken place in our lives. I believe the Lord is lovingly reminding us that the shift we’ve been waiting on and longing for rests with us.
Yes, we’ve waited and hoped and been disappointed countless times and we can become incredibly discouraged in the process. Sometimes it’s important to ask ourselves what we’ve really been putting our hope in. Has our hope been in a type of “pool” in our lives?
Sometimes, we need to ask ourselves why we’re still here . . .
The second thing my friend mentioned that came to her mind is the scripture found in Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
This scripture SO undergirds the shift that God wants to bring to us this month. Will we choose the things that bring “death” to our lives, or will we choose what’s life-giving?
Will we choose not to be a victim, grab hold of what’s wanted, and leave the unwanted behind? Will we stop making excuses, blaming others (or even blaming God), and will we place our hope in the only One who can bring about the shift we’ve been needing?
We get to choose.
What will your shift look like this month? I’m praying for you, my friend, and speaking LIFE over you!
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