Friday, March 20, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Arise

Arise: Learning to be comfortable with what God has called you to do
A devotional by Alexis Newlin

"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” 
– Isaiah 60:1 (ESV)

Since 2014, on January 1st, God has given me a new word to define my year:

Hope (2014)

Change (2015)

Authority (2016)

Restore (2017)

Victorious (2018)

Trust (2019)

And every year, on New Year’s Eve (December 31), I try to cheat by trying to find out what my word will be before New Year’s Day (January 1) or by giving God ideas of what I think my word should be.

This year (2020) was no different. I found myself asking, “God, will my word be Brave? Can you give me a hint? What difference does a few hours make?”

God never gives in to my attempts to cheat. I imagine Him smiling as He tells me, “You know the drill. You’ll find out at midnight on January 1.”

This year I brought in the new year with friends. We ate an enormous amount of food, played board games and had an indoor “snowball” fight. It was so much fun that I forgot about my desire to know my word for the year. As I got into the car to go home past midnight, God said to me, “Your word for the year is Arise.”

This word stopped me in my tracks. “Arise?” I asked, quite stunned.

“Yes. Arise.”

I pondered this word for a moment, still not quite sure of what to think about it. Then I smiled.

“Okay, Arise it is. I like it!”

Since January 1, this year has felt like a whirlwind. I didn’t have much time to sit down and study my word out of the year until recently.

I love to break words down and study them out. When I found a free moment, I plopped down in my favorite chair, grabbed a chai latte and dug into all things Arise. Here’s what I discovered: Arise as defined by my favorite gal pal (Merriam Webster) means, "to begin to occur or to exist: to come into being or to attention, to get up or stand up, to move upward."

Arise requires movement. A stepping up. Not staying in the same place.

Renouncing the old and embracing the new. Changing levels.

Arise scared me.

I don’t know about you but I love being comfortable. I love routine and LOVE when things don’t change. There is a sense of safety in all these things. To arise, to walk out the word that God gave me to define my year, would require movement. Stepping up. Change. Things that I feared. Things that weren’t comfortable or required a ton of trust. Things that wouldn’t allow me to hide anymore.

As I fleshed this word out, God brought this verse Isaiah 60:1 (ESV) to me: “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.”

We can be so tempted to stay hidden for fear of failure, or what others think. We can embrace remaining comfortable or disdain change because we fear moving forward. I think what causes us to feel this way is that we forget who is inside us. We forget God is walking with us, lighting our way.

God is our light.

God fills us with His glory.

Therefore, we must get up, move forward in what He has for us and shine so that others may see Him.

When God is asking you to arise, whether it is a new job, relationship or parenthood, He knows the plans he has for you and He knows your potential. With God, we can’t fail. So friend, take that step. Move toward that scary thing that you want to do. Arise. Shine and remember, the glory of the Lord is with you.

Author Bio:

Alexis is a 36-year-old lover of Jesus, loose leaf tea, roller coasters, writing stories and going on adventures. Originally from Marietta, GA, Alexis now resides in Fresno, CA. 

You can always find Alexis outdoors enjoying a walk in her neighborhood, scoping out the newest food truck, hanging out with friends or planning her next trip.

Her church, The Revival Center, and family mean the world to her. They have supported her through the loss of her mother and her own cancer diagnosis.

Alexis enjoys encouraging others by reminding them not to look at what they see, but to always look to God, who is working in the unseen.

Alexis currently writes for several online ministries and hopes to launch her first podcast – The Brave Podcast – in January 2020.

Connect with Alexis:

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