The Quiet before the Conquest

I sit in quiet, rare and a bit odd after holiday flurry.

But welcomed.

I have heard the words that are to be my footing for the coming year; I’ve embraced them and pondered them and they will become my daily portion for the year ahead.

Each year around this time He gives me a focal passage for the coming year and 2011 is to be The Year of Conquest.

I wonder if this is how Joshua felt? Did he sit in stunned amazement? After waiting so long, undergoing so many years of training and preparation?

Did he give in to fear? Did he ponder the obstacles…the fact that Moses was gone and the full responsibility fell to him…or did he find his faith-footing right off? Did he wonder at the timing, trying to make sense of it? Did it seem to “fit” or was it out of place, like words on a thick tongue? 

I think when we realize God’s plan for our lives can be lived by no one but us… well, it has a way of strengthening our faith if we will let it. If we don’t turn around and run. If we don’t keep looking for our Moses to show up and realize instead that I am up to bat. Only I can carry out my portion of His story. I cannot expect Moses to do Joshua’s job.

And this… To think that we, in some way, will lead others to take possession of God’s promises…that is our calling. That is part of why we are here. That is a slice of our “good works” prepared before the foundation of the world. That is what each of us have been given the privilege of doing.

And when God speaks this to a person’s heart, courage is the command. The task will not get done by shrinking back.

All our lives we have prepared for this moment, for this coming year. We have been trained and shaped and readied for what God is going to do in us, with us, through us, and to us in 2011.

So had Joshua. He had been Moses’ assistant and now Moses was dead and Joshua’s life purpose was at hand. The very reason for his existence stared him in the face, stretched out before him in the form of vast territory stretching from ocean to mountain, and he was told to conquer it!

What must it be like, to have such a moment of clarity? To realize that this is what everything in your past has been for, this is what God had in mind when He formed you in the womb?

I believe such times come throughout our lives. When we are allowing Him to shape us, make us, hide us, create us in those secret places and seasons, there comes a time when He brings us to the brink of a vast territory and says, “Be strong and courageous, for you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to give them.”

Joshua’s success depended on one thing. One thing. So does ours.

Here is the challenge: To take everything 2011 has for us by conquest, as a possession given us from God, AND lead others in doing the same.

If we do position ourselves to take 2011 as our possession, will we do the one thing required for success? Or will we be deceived into thinking we need the Word PLUS {…fill in the blank…} until the Book becomes marginalized into nothing of real significance?

What will I do? What will this time next year say of me, of how I lived 2011?

Do I really want the conquest? Then I must center my life on the key.

His words must be my life, my breath, my thoughts, my dreams, my wisdom, my eyesight, my strategy. More than mere words, they are my bread, my sustenance, my movement, my activity. They are my all and I don’t have anything in any given situation until I have His word.

This is how I want to live 2011.

And so I sit in the quiet before the conquest, pondering His words and praying them back to Him and asking Him for the miracle of them becoming part of me. Because when the conquest begins, this mere woman needs a Book to stand on.

UPDATE **After posting this, I read of Ann Voskamp naming her year today too…read the others who are discovering what 2011 is for them?


9 Comments on “The Quiet before the Conquest”

  1. Jenny says:

    Such a strong word…such a strong call…Have a great new year!

  2. Lynda says:

    What an interesting and compelling choice of word for 2011. This will be an interesting year of growth, and I look forward to taking the journey with you. Have a blessed day.

  3. michelle says:

    Hi, I just glanced at this and am printing it up for later as I have time. I too usually get a word or focus. It is usually something serene, but this year after being sick for a long time and being healed! I feel the pull to ‘take back’ ‘restore’ ‘conquer’ ect. So, I am looking forward to reading this, maybe I will come back again and comment fully on it! Blessings

  4. Angela says:

    No. You didn’t know about Ann asking the community to name their year? How IRONIC is that? That’s God for ya!

    I love your writing. As a matter-of-fact, I think Ann’s and your writing are so similar…sometimes when I’m reading your post, I think I’m reading her writing.

    When is the Biblestudy starting?

  5. […] gold is won by shooting the right target and the promises of God are possessed by seeking the one thing. I don’t have to go in a hundred different […]

  6. […] so I know. The Year of Conquest begins here, pursuing humility. I know what to focus on beyond the mess, the noise, the chaos. I […]

  7. […] so I know. The Year of Conquest begins here, pursuing humility. I know what to focus on beyond the mess, the noise, the chaos. I […]

  8. […] Could trample be to “tread” over and over? My breath quickens as Spirit gives wisdom and I think of this year and the focus scripture. […]

  9. […] I go back and re-read the letter. What I find there is even more surprising, the un-mistakable “God print” that speaks of His authorship of this generous gift: Joshua 1:8-9, part of my key passage for 2011. […]

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