Do you have a ‘word’ or ‘theme’ for the year?
What represents the longings of your heart? What do you hope God will do in you to thrive and flourish? How do you sense God calling you to change and grow?
Reflecting on a word or theme for the rest of the year will help you change, grow and deepen your character. You will awaken clarity, a sense of direction, a pathway of focus. Results will be more powerful for lasting growth and change than random ‘new year resolutions’ – that only about 8% of people are able to keep anyway. This is a great way to make progress in a definite area.
Here are a few ‘words’ I am pondering for the upcoming year.
Within the first five days of this year, a few ‘amazing’ things happened in life around me. I found myself saying – “Wow. That’s amazing”. I want to be more open to this wonder and expectation of God’s amazing love and presence in daily living.
I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, love and more love. Jer 31:3 The Message
Lets look ahead and say: the present year can and shall be better.
Anticipate An Amazing Year.
Philip Yancey says – faith is paranoia in reverse.
A paranoid person orients life around fear. Mature faith works the opposite, orienting around love.
Faith reassembles all the events of life around anticipating trust in a loving God – always pursuing you. Expect God to always be out to love you, bless you, encourage you, guide you, restore you, heal you. Anticipate amazing love!
Love and fear are our most primary emotions that continually fluctuate within and without. It’s a constant battle to allow God’s Love to win, isn’t it?
It takes surrender and focus to strengthen awareness and trust, anticipating God’s love. Despite the chaos of the present moment, God’ eternal redemptive love does and will reign.
Mature faith believes that regardless of how worthless you may feel, you do truly matter and God loves you.
God is love. God is joy.
To be near God and the Holy Spirit is gladness and everlasting pleasures. Jesus came to reveal His love to us so that His Joy and gladness may be in us. Spending time in the presence of God will fill you with His true gladness.
So lets aim to open our hearts to receive this gladness and let it radiate around us. When we daily walk with God, staying connected to Him, He promises that we will flourish and be the most glad people around.
God wants you to be glad and do the things that authentically make you happy and bring a smile on your face. Let’s be ‘glad spreaders’.
Learn to discern and listen to the loving voice of God.
This is the voice that says: “I love you. I always have, I always will.” “You are my Beloved, my favor rests on you.” “Go this way. It is my will for you and it will be better for you.”
Prayer is listening more to the loving presence and voice of God within you, guiding you. Always praying and being thankful is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. It requires being intentional to quiet the other voices within and around your life.
Instead of busyness and your own unceasing thinking, aim for unceasing prayer. Create times of quiet and silence. Make your inner dialogue a continual conversation with your loving God. This kind of prayerfulness is what produces peace and true fruitfulness.
Aim to pursue goodness and beauty in all areas of life.
I especially aspire to ‘a beautiful mind’ this year.
Like Alice in Wonderland, I would like to think six impossible ‘good’ things before breakfast, rather than face the dragons of six automatic negative thoughts.
What do you intend to do with your one,
beautiful and precious life?
How are you going to live fully alive
– vibrant, vital and strong?
Therefore I have set my face like a stone, determined to do His will. Isaiah 50:7
We need to be strong and resolved to do the hard and necessary things in life as we move towards our goals, doing what is right.
Isaiah. Daniel. David. Paul. Mary. They all had defining moments when they made decisions. They were ‘determined’ after they heard the voice of the Lord. When they had to be strong and courageous. That’s what it takes for us to keep progressing forward, keep growing.
I have resolved that I would succeed better this year with my experiment of filling every minute full of the thought of God…
And I added another resolve – to be as wide open toward people and their need as I am toward God. Frank Lauback
Share your response: What is your word or theme for this year?