I used to think choosing one word for the year was so limiting. How could you really narrow down your focus for the entire year in one word? But then I tried it a couple years ago. The first year my word was PEACE. Last year, God gave me the word SEEK and put Matthew 6:33 on my heart . . . “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” It served as the perfect reminder to SEEK God in everything, not just first in the morning, first in all things.
The past couple months God kept weaving the word ABIDE through my days. It would show up in His Word, in a church sermon, a devotion, or through a friend’s wise counsel. And John 15 was everywhere, particularly verse 4: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” My prayer is this word will remind me that I cannot do it all on my own, nor do I want to do it all on my own. I love how John Piper explains abiding, “It is trusting in Jesus, remaining in fellowship with Jesus, connecting to Jesus so that all that God is for us in Him is flowing like a life-giving sap into our lives."
I wanted to give you a list of words to help stir your heart for the coming year. BUT, beyond what I’ve written about these words, get intimate with God—ask Him to reveal how He wants you to grow in 2018. Open your Bible and see what seems to jump off the page or repeat itself regularly.
GRACE—a word that will give you permission to give yourself more grace, or perhaps the people around you need more of your grace.
CULTIVATE—a word that symbolizes what a garden needs in order to flourish: tenderness, patience, and time. Who or what needs cultivating in your life? A precious child or friend, a talent or skill? When you are rooted in God, you will be fruitful in all things.
FAVOR—a word that will remind you to look at God’s favor over your life and circumstances throughout the year, being thankful for all that He does in your life.
HOPE—a word that will have you “looking up” when you face hard and uncertain times, knowing that your life isn’t marked by chance, luck, or fate, but by an attentive, wonderful, and personal God who lovingly controls all things.
SEEK—a word that will challenge you to see God in everything, seek more of Him in His Word, seek more of Him in your prayer life, and seek more of Him in your quiet time.
LIGHT—a word that will remind you to shine Jesus’s light brightly in our dark world.
SURRENDER—a word that reminds you to “give it to God” when you realize you are leaning on your own understanding and not His. It will loosen your tight grip on things—reminding you everything is in His hands.
PRESENT—a word that will keep you mindful as you become more conscious of life as it happens, minute by minute, knowing every moment is a gift from God, reminding you to be fully present.
PROMISE—a word to stand upon, keeping you grounded as life fluctuates and feels uncertain, for every single one of God’s promises come true.
GRATITUDE—a word that acknowledges our God is a giving God, not a withholding God, and a tender anticipator of every need. Nothing is too small or ordinary to bring before Him in thanksgiving. And, joy naturally flows from a grateful heart.
SOAR—a word that speaks of great confidence and strength, only made possible by hoping in the Lord. Then, and only then, can you “soar high on wings like eagles,” navigating through life’s twists and turns with renewed strength.
REST—a word that will bring moments of stillness and calm as you realize the source of true rest RESTS on your heavenly Father. Because of Jesus, you don’t have to strive to earn God’s love and approval—a truth to rest your pretty little heads on!
EXPECTANT—a word that will fill you with hope as you eagerly await for provision, healing, or a change in circumstances, trusting that God’s timing is perfect, for it’s never a second too soon or too late.
GROW—a word that will have you looking more and more like Jesus every day. God’s desire is for you to grow in relationship with Him and others, in love and patience, and in wisdom and knowledge.
LISTEN—a word that has you seeking God before acting, worrying, and jumping to conclusions. What does He want to reveal to you? What does His Word say? The way to truly find out is to be still before Him and . . . listen.
INTENTIONAL—a word that compels you to live-out each day with focus and purpose—making good use of the time God has given you—doing it all to the glory of God.
I am specifically praying God will reveal His "one word" to you that will help grow you closer to Him in 2018! Make sure you are following our Instagram and Facebook feeds next week as we are doing a fun giveaway in regards to YOUR word you choose for 2018!