I love the idea of the one word focus at the beginning of each new year. I spend some time thinking about it in December and usually I have a strong sense of what my word should be. This year was different. I prayed about it and got my answer…only I didn’t like it. I kept trying to change. Surely I heard the Lord wrong. I wanted something warm and restful sounding, like Rest, or Well, or Grace. And this is what the Lord gave me:
What? Surely not. I kept praying. I really wanted Rest to be my word, but there was no mistaking my word for 2019. VOICE.
It took me a while to get comfortable with this, which is why I am only writing this post at the end of January. VOICE seemed very active and powerful to me, and I often feel overwhelmed and tired. My word for 2019 was kind of opposite what I was hoping for. But I kept feeling the Lord impress this so much on my heart, that I finally took some time to think about how this might look in my day to day life.
Listen to God’s Voice above all else. This is the voice to listen to. Nothing else matters. This means more time studying His Word and letting His voice be the one I hear above all of the noise and clatter of life.
Pay attention to the voices I let in. I need to watch the influences that I allow into my mind and my heart. This means what I watch on television, what I listen to for podcasts and music, and the books that I read. It’s time to be discerning.
My Voice. Our voices are powerful- what we say and what we don’t say. Ephesians 4:15 tells us to speak truth in love, and that is one of my primary goals in 2019. Speaking up, speaking truth and doing it with love. We can use our voices for good, or for destruction. Setting healthy boundaries, having healthy relationships…these are all based on good communication, spoken with confidence and love.
The Voice I speak to myself. You know, that endless chatter and criticism that runs a loop in our minds? I am confident that I am the worst kind of friend to myself, constantly berating myself for all I have failed to do to meet an impossible standard set by myself. The Lord has impressed upon me to change this- to recognize those thoughts and actively replace it with scripture. I need to speak to myself the way that God sees me: beloved, precious, loved and redeemed. I am redefined by His Love and that should be the loop that runs through my mind.
So, with 2019 underway and my word being VOICE, I feel a little bit like Moses when he questioned God. When God told him to lead, Moses argued back about how he was not eloquent, or equipped to do what God was asking him to do. But the Lord told him “…I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say.” Exodus 4:11. You see, Moses may not have been equipped on his own, but with God working through him, he was fully equipped.