January 1 is approaching, and millions of people will make a list of resolutions for the new year.
Maybe they’ll finally lose that 10 pounds that has stuck with them for 10 years.
Or they’ll be kinder to people.
Perhaps they’ll set work goals, or family goals, or goals to do projects around the house.
I’ve made those lists. Have you?
And within a couple of weeks, or even a month, the list becomes a source of guilt because I’m not doing all of those things.
This past year I asked God to show me ONE WORD for 2013. I was surprised when that word was “forgive”.
You see, I write about forgiveness. I teach about forgiveness.
But God took me deeper into that ONE WORD. When I encountered a hostile conversation, or felt a situation was unjust. When I wanted to lash out, isolate, or put a person in his or her place.
Did you know that we have a thousand opportunities a year to be offended?
In the book, The Bait of Satan, author John Bevere confronts the impact of offense upon our hearts. He says:
Jesus said that, “it is impossible that no offenses should come (Luke 17:1).” It is not a question of opportunity to be offended, but what your response will be. It is an unfortunate fact that, not some, but many will be offended and held captive.
He goes on to say:
Offended people produce much fruit, such as hurt, anger, outrage, jealousy, resentment, strife, bitterness, hatred, and envy. Some of the consequences of picking up an offenses are insults, attacks, wounding, division, separation, broken relationships, betrayal and backsliding (going away from God, rather than to Him).
No wonder my Heavenly Father wanted this to be my ONE WORD for 2013, for I can’t just talk about it and write about it, but I have the privilege of learning how to live it out in all of it’s depth.
As January approaches, I started asking God for my ONE WORD for 2014.
No lists for this girl. No long litany of resolutions. Just getting alone with God and asking Him to show me that one word.
And it came: transformation.
Hah! What does God want to do in an ordinary girl who loves Him like crazy? What might this mean?
Continued intimacy with Him.
Journaling my heart with words on paper, yes.
Praying. . . oh, this is an area where I desire more in this aspect of my relationship with God.
But let’s be honest. Transformation can come through pain.
Transformation can arrive by peeling away layers that protect us from God’s touch.
Transformation comes through opening my heart to ALL that God has, whether it’s in my timing, or my comfort zone.
So, you see, sweet friend, asking God for ONE WORD is a little daunting, but what does God have in store for you? How will He grow you? What will He show you?
Today’s challenge (invitation) is to begin to ask God for your ONE WORD.
I’d love to pray with you over that word whispered in your heart.