(Here is a little glimpse at a wonderful year with Israel in 2010)
Last week I spent some time preparing my heart for the new year. I find that new years resolutions really are wonderful in terms of my heart gaining strength to go forward with my children in ways that are purposeful, practical and meaningful for the new year. If I don't set a goal or vision I'm often not able to track progress in terms of the kids character or growth in maturity. So each year I pray the Lord would give me a simple one or two phrases that I can apply in everyday settings.
In praying for Israel I felt an impression from the Lord that the 2011 was to be a year of surrendering. Israel is an amazing and wonderful little man. He is always full of life, curiosity & is NEVER lacking for words. He is like a little adult in a six year old body. His strength is in the fact that he expresses his emotions well, converses with any age & is always asking questions and figuring things out.
His weakness is that he is always asking questions, does not submit easily to authority & often times does not trust my words as truth or absolute. I have prayed and prayed that "surrender" would be a gift that he receives this year. That he would be able to easily bend to authority with joy and trust, that he would surrender his will to me as a parent and to other adults and therefore be able to translate that into surrendering to the Lord.
When I asked the Lord for a scripture for Israel this year he gave me the passage in Numbers.
"Not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times--
14:23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it.
14:24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.
The Lord really impressed it on my heart that surrender and this verse went hand and hand for Israel. Joshua and Caleb surrendered to the Lord the things that they did not understand (like going against everything that seemed logical) and chose to trust the Lord and His promises. Those with them did not surrender their understanding, logic, or will. They chose to not trust & the results were disastrous for not only themselves but an entire generation. As I raise Israel to trust me no matter if he understands or not & to surrender his will to my authority & that of his father & ultimately God, I am praying that he would be found to be one that has a "different spirit and follows God wholeheartedly".