For a few years now, I have been trying to focus on one word for the year. Typically I start out pretty strong and then by the time Easter arrives or just after it passes, I lose all steam and motivation. I am not really sure why, but that seems to be my pattern. It's kind of like the school year. I'm really good until December, on top of keeping up with all the happenings and then by the time February 1st hits, I'm over it completely and start counting the days until summer break.
Anyway, if this is not something you have ever done, it's something to consider. And while you can just pick a word out of a hat or your dictionary, the best option is of course to listen for God to speak. As I shared the other day, my word for 2018 is breathe. (On a funny side note, in 2012 my word was healing. I thought it would be emotional healing more than anything else. And then by the end of February, I'd had abdominal surgery and my husband had knee surgery. We were off to a great start.)
1. I was considering a book purchase that I haven't made and while reading the first few pages, the author put forth that life begins in Genesis when God puts breath into us. This was a spark.
2. Realizing His breath gives us life, I also know that without Him continually putting breath in our lungs, our life would not be sustained.
So now, through breath, God starts us and sustains us.
3. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we find that all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking, and training in righteousness so that the servant of God is equipped for every good work. (Just so you know, I believe whole heartedly that the teaching, correcting, rebuking, and training is meant to reach our own eyes and hearts first before we ever even think about pointing something out to someone else. #divineplankremoval)
4. Therefore, it is only through God's word that we can go from existing to actual living, because even though breathing might be an 'automatic' function of the body, breathing ≠ living.
5. Additionally, I have begun to wonder if when I feel overwhelmed it's because I am trying to catch my own breath instead of turning to God's Word to let Him put His breath fully in me, a kind of holy CPR. Why? Because Ezekiel 37:5 says, This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life, which can't happen unless I am constantly turning to His Word to let His breath enter my lungs, heart, and mind throughout the day, not for just an hour in the morning.(I think that last part is a misapplication of collecting our manna for the day before 7:00 AM and actually believing we can eat it all at once and be good until the next morning....it's supposed to be for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.)
If selecting a word for the year is not something you have ever heard of, done, or considered, you can learn more about the idea at My One Word.
Now, something I am doing new this year is reading through the Bible chronologically. What's so interesting about this is that if we do in fact select a word, going through the Bible chronologically, is going to give us our words from start to finish. If this sounds intriguing, you can download the plan I am using here. And I know some days have what seems like an overwhelming amount to read. My plan is to focus on reading through chronologically, not necessarily finishing it in exactly 365 days. I might, I might not. Either way, I am releasing my perfectionist tendancy on this. I can check the box for the day when it's done whether the date matches completion or not.
I hope you had an incredible Christmas filled with memories to cherish through the years. Now as we watch 2017 come to a close, I pray that the anticipation of what God will do before it ends and the mighty things we will witness in 2018 fill us with joy at the wonder of who Jesus is and why He came.