Core scripture: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
Message: Where do you want to go in 2018? What word is God laying on your heart to revolve your year around? It is time to relive a tradition I enjoy doing this time of year by choosing one word to focus the new year on. When you find the right word, all those New Year’s resolutions that you strive for will fall into place. It makes things simple. It boils everything down to one tangible goal that can be achieved. Maybe it is one of the Fruits of the Spirit. Maybe it is a word that stands out from an impactful scripture you have read recently. The point is to devote your life to that one word that God knows you need.
In mid-December I discovered my word through journaling. This past year was a roller coaster for me. It was a plethora of ups and downs that left me cherishing the past two weeks of Christmas Break to clear my mind, rejuvenate, and ready myself for 2018. By the end of the journal, one word stood out to me. That word was submit. I struggled with that this past year. There were plenty of times I was challenged to submit to God, and I either did so reluctantly or did not do it at all. Now when I am faced with decisions that weigh on my conscience, I yearn to choose the right thing. The good thing. The Biblical thing.
Sunday afternoon was my first test. My family had spent three hours at church, rushed home for a quick lunch, changed clothes, and taken my youngest to his first fencing lesson. By the time we got home, I was spent. Cooked. I craved some couch time, but my boys thought otherwise. They wanted to play “fun time with Daddy” in the basement. It was amazing what happened. I knew God wanted me to spend that quality time with my boys. So I submitted. I stretched my back out and romped in the basement with them for 45 minutes. I felt the Holy Spirit working inside me, giving me purpose and energy to keep up with my boys, and they loved me for it.
Three years ago I was beginning to think too highly of myself. My word became humility. Two years ago I began to lose belief. My word became faith. Last year I found it difficult to wait on God’s timing. My word became patience. What about you? What word do you need in your heart in 2018? Think about it. Pray about it. Be bold and share your word and your purpose for the word by replying to this blog below. Make a commitment to keeping that word at the top of your list, and allow God to mold you. Isaiah 64:8 reminds us that, “We are the clay, and you are the potter.” Imagine the wonderful things He can do through you in 2018 if You allow Him to work His magic!
Challenge: Brainstorm ideas for words that you need in your heart in 2018, and choose one that you want to revolve your year around.
Song application: “One Step Away” by Casting Crowns
You’re one step away from surrender
One step away from coming home, coming home
One step from arms wide open
His love has never let you go
You’re not alone
You’re one step away
Journal/Accountability: Need help finding a word for 2018? Pray about it. Journal ideas. Bounce ideas off an accountability partner, spouse, pastor, or a Christian friend.
Prayer: Lord, I pray that we might all submit to You and what You need from us in 2018. May this be a year that we grow with You. Amen.