TURNING POINT: A point at which significant change occurs
As each year comes to an end and a new year dawns, I always spend time praying about what the next year will bring, and I like to share any insights that I have gained from that time of prayer.
I believe the key emphasis for 2015 can be summed up in the phrase, “Turning Point.” I sensed that this year would be a crucial year in which significant change would occur for many people. Specifically, that Christians who had been praying for change in certain areas of their lives for years, would find that 2015 would be their “Turning Point” year. However, there are always conditions for prophetic words to come to pass, and the same applies here.
A committed decision always precedes a “Turning Point” in someone’s life. If you look back upon your own life, you can mark the historical turning points in your personal journey and note the decisions that corresponded with those turning points. For example, you may have chosen to get married or move to another state to attend school or take a new job, and those decisions resulted in dramatic turning points in your life.
In 2015, there will be “Spirit-led” or “God-directed” decisions that you must make in order for the significant change to occur that God wants to bring to pass in your life. God never forces anyone to do anything. He invites everyone to accept His help, direction and His grace to walk out of hard situations into better ones that He has planned. But each individual must make the decision to follow God’s guidance. For example, I have known people who have prayed for years for God to change their circumstances, in which they are miserable. God longs to help them but they will not make a decision to follow His prompting to make certain changes. They are too afraid to move or leave a certain comfort zone (though unpleasant) due to fear of the unknown and an unwillingness to trust God for their future. So they remain stuck.
One of the most common reasons people don’t make the decisions they NEED to make in their lives, has to do with perceived social pressure. They fear what others, especially family members, will say or think of them if they make a decision which has life changing consequences. Yet if they looked at the BIG picture, they would realize that it would be wiser to fear living a life without fulfilling your God-designed destiny, than to worry about temporary disapproval from others.
When I was a young woman in my senior year of college, I was engaged to marry a certain man. Exactly six weeks before the wedding, with my wedding gown hanging in the closet and the invitations already done, I woke up with the intense feeling that I was making a terrible mistake. Up to that point, I had not entertained any doubts in my mind. But I could not shake this overwhelming feeling of dread that if I went ahead with the wedding, my life would never become what it should be.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, it was God trying to warn me and give me direction. But the social pressure that plagued my mind over cancelling the wedding was very intense. What would everyone think? What about the loss of money that my parents had paid as a deposit for the wedding reception? Also, it was not so easy back in that day without cell phones, Facebook or email, to get the word out after you had made such an announcement. All those thoughts flooded my mind. But I did make that difficult decision to cancel the wedding.
Today I can look back on that decision as one of several major turning points in my life. I guarantee you that I wouldn’t be writing this article today or working in Africa with orphans, if I had let social pressure keep me from making that critical decision. Don’t let fear of disapproval prevent you from making an important decision that could precede and usher in your TURNING POINT.
Some of you who are reading this, know EXACTLY what decision you need to make – but for one reason or another, you have been reluctant to commit to making that decision. I want to encourage you to trust God for the strength and courage to make it and stick to it – so that the Lord can bring to pass the year of TURNING POINT for you! Others may not know what decision they need to make, but need to take the time to seek God for wisdom.
We can see a scriptural example of this pattern of a committed decision preceding a turning point, in the life of Paul the apostle. Before he encountered Jesus, Paul’s life was headed in a certain direction. He was very religious and arrogantly confident that he held a perfect understanding of the scriptures. He zealously persecuted those who followed Jesus for being religious heretics. But then he a dramatic encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus.
At that point – he had a decision to make. He could continue on with his life as it was – persecuting Christians and having the respect of the religious community – or he could decide to believe and obey the vision. Paul’s decision to believe the vision and ask Jesus, “What would You have me to do?” was the definitive TURNING POINT in his life. (Acts 9:6) From that time forward, Paul stepped into the true destiny for which God had created him. And before his life was over, God had used him to pen nearly half of the New Testament.
God wants 2015 to be the year of the TURNING POINT for you – so that you can fulfill the destiny for which God created you. But like the apostle Paul, you must continually ask: “What would You have me to do?” And be determined to follow every instruction. This will bring about the TURNING POINT you have been waiting for!
You are one decision away from your Turning Point!