In the bible, there is a story about a man name Jonah who attempts to flee from the Lord after hearing clear instruction from Him. Jonah boards a ship with a group of sailors to head to a city name Tarshish. Once the ship set off to sea, the Lord sent a powerful storm so violent that the ship was in danger (Jonah 1:1-4 NIV). “All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship” (Jonah 1:5 NIV). Eventually, the sailors end up approaching Jonah,
"So they asked him, ‘Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?’ He answered, ‘I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.’ This terrified them and they asked, ‘What have you done?’ (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.) The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, ‘What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?’ ‘Pick me up and throw me into the sea,’ he replied, ‘and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you’. Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. Then they cried out to the Lord, ‘Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.’ Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm" (Jonah 1:8-15 NIV).
This month I believe that God wants you to take time to reflect on your cargo that must be thrown overboard before you enter into 2018. What are the things in your life that need to go because they have fault in hindering you from going where God has called you to go or doing what you are trying to do? Is it fear? Your attitude? Negative relationships? Certain people? Pride? Insecurity? Whatever it may be, identify it, and throw it overboard in 2017 because it cannot go where God has called you to go in 2018 and taking it is not part of God's divine plan for your life.
This month, once the cargo that is weighing you down reveals itself, don't try to take matters into your own hands like the sailors initially did (Jonah 1:13 NIV) but instead, seek God for confirmation (Psalm 37:23 ESV), pray over it continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV), and make a conscious decision to throw it overboard.
We love you, we adore you, we honor you, and we worship you. Glory for blessing us with the ability to be standing in the last month of the year. Glory for your faithfulness, glory for your consistency, and glory for being who you are. We pray that you forgive us for every sin committed up until this very moment Lord. Purify us and bless us with a new beginning. As we prepare to enter into 2018, begin to reveal the cargo in our lives that we need to throw overboard in order to go where you want to take us and live how you want us to live. We rebuke hinderance and call everything that may be holding us back to light so that we may surrender it to you and throw it overboard. Bless us with wisdom. Bless us with discernment. Bless us with clear direction. Bless us with open ear gates. Bless us with strength. Bless us with resistance. Bless us with spiritual prosperity. Bless us with protection. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.