This is the fifth year I've asked the Lord if He has a word for me for the new year. It all began the year my husband and I were headed toward the new phase of life called "empty-nesters". As 2011 came into view, I continually heard the word "adventure", and so I began to ask the LORD, "What do You want me to know about this word "adventure"?
All year, I learned from the Lord's perspective in prayer and through His Living Word, the meaning of adventure - following Jesus on the journey of my life. The next year I asked again, and He gave me the word "believe", which truly became an anchor for my soul in one of the most storm tossed, turbulent years of my life.
The following year I longed for a new word, and received one I wasn't so sure I wanted..."surrender". That was a year of pruning, which was truly painful, and yet without it I could not have grown with such depth of roots and fullness of gratitude into a more intimate relationship with my Savior and friend, Jesus.
Even after the challenging years of "believe" and "surrender", I longed for another word from the Lord; my trust in His goodness toward me was growing. This past year, He gave me the word "LAVISH". In addition, Holy Spirit highlighted two Scriptures (Ephesians 1:8 and I John 3:1) and then exceedingly, abundantly more, He gave me an acronym to remind me who I am as His daughter.
I believe this past year, 2014, I've experienced more deeply the meaning of God's LAVISH love, but not because He loved me more lavishly this past year. God's love doesn't fade in and out. He never loves us more and never loves us less! He is the definition and fullness of love.
Love is Who God is!
Rather, because of His great patience with me, and His healing grace, the veil is lifting from my spiritually weak eyes. Holy Spirit has been my comfort and my teacher, my guide toward Jesus. In this past year, Father has shown me that He keeps His promises; He is faithful and true, even when His promises take years to come to fruition.
Holy Spirit has taught me to pray -
I give thanks to You, Father, for You are good and Your love endures forever!
I Chronicles 16:34. Psalm 107:1
Throughout this most recent Christmas season, there was one word, favor, which most frequently created, within my heart and mind, a pondering. I've been drawn to the words of Luke 1:26-56 regarding Mary, the young virgin who having found favor with God, conceived of the Holy Spirit, and bore The Son of God, Jesus.
The angel Gabriel called Mary, "O favored one", and told her not to be afraid because she had found favor with God. (Luke 1:28 & 30)
I've meditated long over Mary's real life circumstances, coming to the conclusion that favor does not mean luxury or ease.
I have just this Christmas season recognized this amazing truth; God chose Mary, His favored one, before Joseph knew about or agreed with God's plan. An angel of the Lord visited Joseph, but the message was a word of confirmation; Mary was telling the truth.
Do you see it? God didn't consult with Joseph or get Joseph's consent before implementing His Sovereign plan. Nor did Mary ask the angel Gabriel if she could have some time to consult with Joseph. No, Mary chose God first, and submitted to His Sovereign will.
I believe it was the favor of God on Mary, His Grace sufficient, which enabled Mary to stand in obedience to her LORD, against the accusing eyes and humiliating taunts of her community as they assumed her guilt and shame.
Not until the day after Christmas did I even think to ask Father if He had a word for me in 2015. Suddenly, I realized the new year would be upon me in days, and so I asked. In return, I heard the word...favor.
So, Holy Spirit enlighten the eyes of my heart with Your wisdom and teach me what favor means...the favor of God. I believe at least as a beginning point it has to do with God's Grace being sufficient to walk the path He's designed for me.
And so the adventure begins...
I wonder, have you asked Father for a word for this year - 2015?
Is there a whisper of something Holy Spirit wants you to know as you journey through this next year? Ask, listen, and receive, grateful for His desire to grow you up...His lavishly loved child!
Blessings of Greatest JOY on your amazing adventure journey with Jesus!