Goals? Resolutions? Plans? How do you look ahead into 2014?
Years ago I gave up the resolution idea. All it did was make me feel guilty all year. I never lived up to my yearly dreams of developing a beach body, memorizing chunks of scripture, becoming a great prayer warrior, or changing my personality so that being patient and less outspoken would become natural qualities.
I never abandoned the idea, however, of doing some self-assessment as the New Year begins. Inventorying the past year, my habits, and my sins is a positive. It’s easy for me to just go along forever without taking a good hard look at what needs to change, so it’s imperative that I schedule regular times of inventory and confession. The beginning of the year and Lent are two great opportunities for me to slow down and consider what God wants from me and where I fall short of his best.
For a number of years I have asked God for a theme verse in the coming year.
This year I decided to incorporate the One Word 365 idea as well. Here is its description:
“One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live. One word that you can focus on every day, all year long.”
I don’t intend to forgo the verse because it’s essential that it be something God wants for me, but I did decide that I won’t require the word itself to be in the verse but only related to it. I hope to pray the verse and the word for myself all year long.
I considered the word TRUST because I know my faith is small, but I need to move beyond trust to somewhere new. I looked at the list of words on the ONE WORD 365 website, and that was helpful. I read a blog post from Faith Village from 2013 that explained the words chosen by the editorial team there. And I just sat and talked to God about it.
I narrowed it down to AWARE and DARE.
Aware is the basis of faith and comes before Dare. The only way I can dare is to be aware of God, his power, his presence, and his leading. The pastors I need to contact are those in whose churches God is at work to open their hearts to partner with us. I need to sense God’s direction and recognize his work to prepare for us.
For the word AWARE my verse would be Psalm 145:19: “He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them,” because it focuses on God’s presence and listening ear. I want to be aware that he is there, hearing, and responding to my cries.
Dare is faith in action, which fits well into what I must do for Beyond Ordinary Women Ministries this year. I need to contact numerous pastors of under-resourced churches and ask them to trust us to help grow their women. Not being a marketer or a salesman, and I am uncomfortable with strangers so I must put my faith into action and dare.
My verse for DARE would be Isaiah 6:8: “And I heard the voice of the LORD saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am! Send me.’” I want to respond to God just as Isaiah did, without knowing exactly what is involved but agreeing to follow God anywhere.
My choice—hopefully in response to God’s voice—DARE. I don’t want to just sense God’s presence and his guidance but I need to actually step out and do it!
Please share your ONE WORD with us!