A Strategy for the New Year

My friend, it is a new year and a new day. I am eager to bring fresh thoughts, insights, and strategies to this year. We may all be weary of the conflict and uncertainty in our world, but there is a strategy for success that I see ahead.

Maybe you are like me and you lean toward auto pilot. We all value some kind of routine and we try to streamline our decisions. We often want to use last year’s strategies to solve this year’s problems. But check this out: “And David inquired of God, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?” The Lord said to him, “Go up, for I will deliver them into your hand.” (1 Chronicles 14:10) Time and time again, David inquired of God what he should do in new situations. In this story, the Philistine army had gathered to fight David as the new king over all of Israel. David followed what God said to him and defeated the Philistine army, saying “God has broken through my enemies by my hand like a breakthrough of water.” (v 11) 

Was it one and done? Nope, because the Philistines attacked again. “Therefore, David inquired again of God, and God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; circle around them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees.” (I Chron 14:14) The first attack by the Philistines David asked God if he should go up against them and God said yes. It happened again and David asked God again but this time God said no, don’t go up but go around. David obeyed what God showed him and he won.  The chapter ends with this statement: “Then the fame of David went out into all lands, and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations.” (1 Chron 14:17)

Does it matter what God said yesterday? Yes, and what is He saying TODAY? We can’t make God fit a formula or a system. Each new day brings new challenges and new opportunities. We must inquire of Him every day, Lord should I go up against this enemy? Lord should I spend time and energy in this direction or should I invest somewhere else? I’ve inquired of God when I faced challenges in parenting or in my marriage and I’ve gotten different marching orders. Sometimes He will reveal that I need to take a more gracious approach; other times He has whispered this isn’t even the real problem. Walking with God is not a formula! We enjoy a relationship with Him where we hear His voice and we follow His lead. God alone knows the best strategy for our business, our marriage, our health, and even our nation.

In the coming months I will be adding some structure to my blog so that you as a reader know what’s ahead and so that I am sure to cover what’s important. Each month I’ll answer questions that I’ve gotten from you, my readers as well as focusing specifically on how to hear from God. I’ll continue to share what has encouraged, inspired, or challenged me recently. I’ll end each month with an interview of someone God has used in my life.  I’m hoping to post the interviews in video format– I’m telling you now so that I have accountability to make it happen!  I’ll also be sharing what music, books, or podcasts have been rocking my world. Please go to http://www.MargaretAllen.org and scroll to the bottom of Mondays with Margaret to sign up for the blog as an email every Monday morning rather than catching it on social media.

It’s a new year to discover new strategies! Get my book Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion on my website or anywhere books are sold. Take the time to invest in your spiritual journey this year.


God’s Thumbprint

In what feels like day 666 of this stupid year I am searching for hope and direction. I wonder how to reflect the love of God in this climate. I ask myself, am I truly changed by Christ; do I look like Him? Now I want to touch a deeper truth, so hang in with me! God showed me something so darn cool. 

 He brought to mind a seed. A seed contains the complete imprint of what it produces. In one tiny apple seed lies all the genetic and cellular information needed to produce an apple tree. Nothing needs to be added to that imprint of a seed other than favorable conditions of water, soil, and sunlight.

Now consider this:

1 Peter 1:23 “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” I am reeling from the implications of this truth. Add to it John’s words:

John 1:12,13 “He gave the right to become the children of God to those who believed in His name; who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” It’s like we carry the thumbprint of God in our heart!

We are born of imperishable seed. We are born again not by the will of flesh but by the will of God. When we said yes to Jesus Christ, we were born again to become a brand new being. In that seed contains the complete imprint of who God designed us to be! Our part is to partner with the process by choosing favorable conditions to life. We can choose to spend time in the Word, prayer, and service.  We can partner with honor, love, and compassion. His life has been planted in every believer. No matter our highs and lows, closeness or distance with God or people- we bear His image because we are born again, not of perishable or corruptible seed. God was actually delighted to bring us into this new relationship of being His children.  He is excited to lead us to fulfill our destiny, not of our own effort, but by partnering with the treasure He has already planted in us. This is great news.

My friend, do you wrestle with doubts about your spiritual growth? Do you question how you reflect His life? I would love to hear how this picture of being born of His seed is transforming for you. It may feel like day six-hundred of this year, but we can learn to rest in God’s goodness. We can trust His gracious design.


Have you gotten your copy of Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion? Get it today on Amazon or http://www.MargaretAllen.org