Saturday, January 25, 2014

New Year, New Creation

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (II Corinthians 5:17 NKJV)

My life has been overwhelming. I can't even begin to explain. But I can share what God has been doing lately in my life and my family. Back in 2013 just last year, I saw no hope or redemption in my family and in me. We had "family issues" as most every has. In a nutshell, we don't have a spiritual leader in our house. In fact, the plan was that he moved out of the house to give us space. It was difficult for me because I looked up to him in many ways. He has a lot of knowledge but lacks in action. But who am I to judge because I am just as guilty. 
So it was hard on me coming from a broken family and me being the next guy in line to get a job, pay for bills and eventually move out.

Anyway, throughout the year, the theme that God was giving to me was to break every chain that my dad and grandfather have had SO THAT it would stop with me. A lot of families have their own traditions but for me, it was to start a new tradition. To be the next David. To be a man after His own heart because if I have a family one day, I want them doing the same thing. Chasing and running after God's own heart.

So I've been trying to focus on daily devotion and prayer which I really suck at but always improving. But also talking to God throughout the day and listening to music to keep my mind and heart focused on Him. That was the key factor for Him to change who I was. I was depressed at times. I felt condemned and lost but I know that was not God. I kept meditating on who God really is and I began to see the big picture. To wrap it all up, this last few months He was given me strength to see who He is in the darkness and trials. I've been overwhelmed with joy and peace in my life. I am free from the chains that had me bound for so long. I never understood redemption until I experienced freedom in Christ. I talked about it all the time to my friends, and I understood the meaning but, now I know what His death really paid for.

Starting the new year, everyone has their resolutions. I didn't care to be honest. I just wanted to focus on a few things. The night of the 1st of January I heard God's voice saying "take baby steps in my will." Every day since then, my prayer has been "what is your will? What is your heart?" And I've been blessed so much through that. The verse that God showed me tonight as I was typing talks about mustard seed faith and that if you have faith like a mustard seed you can move mountains. I believe with my heart that "baby steps" was profound. As soon as I applied "baby steps", God has been moving mountains for me. He has blessed me with my business, given me a strong relationship with my parents and siblings, and put me in several opportunities at work to be Christ to people. He was given me energy and passion for my work and coworkers, friends that I can rely on and they can rely on me, and a lot of personal, financial and emotional coaching through my company and my mentors. At where I am at, to ask for more would be insane but God loves to give and I want to use what God has given me to influence others and to overflow and pour out into my piers lives.

One of my passions is to pray and interact with my generation. It has been that way since I was around 14. God has given me a heart for this generation and it's because He cares about us. He cares about you! My request to God is that He would give me opportunities each day where I have to be Christ. I don't expect God to hand me a situation and then when it comes up, expect Him to handle it. I'm asking that God would give me a situation where I have to step outside of my bubble and in complete faith in Him, do what He wants me to do. Hope that makes sense.

I want to see a generation that understands who God is and how much He loves us. Of course, we don't and won't completely understand Him and His love, but my prayer is that we get a glimpse of it. Because if we do, the would will be set on fire.

I wanna end with these lyrics from Matt Redman. Today I was completely overwhelmed by all the blessing God has given me and this song came on and reminded me where I came from.
"Where sin runs deep, your grace is more. Where grace is found is where you are. And where you are, Lord I am free. Holiness is Christ in me.
I've heard this several times but today when I heard the words where sin runs "deep", I thought of a deep cut or deep ocean. It doesn't stop there. His grace is more. Tears literally ran down my face in gratefulness and a humble heart. Normally tears take a few seconds to collect before streaming down your face but these tears went straight down my face as if someone turned on the facet really fast.

I know that was a lot of bunny trails and zig zags but I hope and pray that you got something out of that. I don't want to hog my experiences, I want to share for the sake of hope and encouragement.
Hope you all have a great new year! Baby steps!

Your brother,
Michael Gracier