For the last few years, my wife and I have kicked off the New Year by identifying a WORD that points in the direction of where God seems to be leading us.
Just a few weeks ago, my friend Tim Lindsey suggested on social media the following three reasons for choosing a WORD for the coming year:
It encourages you to seek God’s will
It empowers you to take small steps in the right direction
It brings focus to your day-to-day life
Elyse and I have definitely found this to be true. In fact, in 2016 we shared the word CONNECT as we sensed that God was calling us to open our lives and invite a larger number of people to journey with us in our predictable patterns.
During 2017, for me the word COVENANT seemed in order as I was sensing that year ahead was about intentionally developing these relationships focusing on our identity in Christ and as a family on mission.
As mentioned in my most recent BLOG, during December our family on mission considered the journeys of lesser-known people whose stories are included in the Christmas story. In doing so, we were seeking a glimpse of our own story in the midst of the gospel story.
As I looked at these stories, a consistent element stood out in Luke’s account of the journeys of Mary (1:35), of Elizabeth (1:41), of Zechariah (1:67), and of Simeon (2:26). While each situation and response has differences, the consistent element was the Holy Spirit’s presence that led every person into a state of being that demonstrated confident obedience to God’s new direction for their journey. Everyone was at peace with the journey ahead.
The stories of everyday people in the gospel were speaking to me and meshing with events in my own story to provide a Henry Blackaby / Experiencing God clarity that was pointing me to my WORD for 2018 = PEACE.
The recent years have directed my journey to invite and CONNECT with others in COVENANT identity focused relationships. The recent months of the journey have included a number of Holy Spirit “nudges” telling me that a season of pruning is on the horizon. The more I reflect and pray – the more I sense that the season ahead will be one where I need to demonstrate confident obedience as I follow the example of those in scripture who demonstrated PEACE as a state of BEing … as opposed to a destination.
As I continue to reflect, more and more peace passages for the journey come to mind. In particular, I have long appreciated the opening verses of Proverbs 3. In this season I have found myself focusing in particular on Proverbs 3:1 & 2:
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you PEACE ...”
What is your WORD for 2018?
It is my prayer that we will look back in the coming December and celebrate the journey of God guiding our feet into the path of peace.
Celebrating the Journey!
To learn more about Resources and Coaching related to being a Small church on a BIG Mission – go to www.smallchurchbigmission.org.