Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2015 in a few words

Instead of listing/making resolutions (which turn into overall achievement-focused stresses for this INFJ) I have chosen a word or phrase the last couple of years and am amazed how God unfolds that in ways I usually never expect. {2014: Be Still  / 2013: Grateful} I usually look ahead at hopes and goals for the year and focus on a word that will draw me near to God in the midst of crazy and challenges and joys. And then God usually shows me His definition of the word(s) and how much I don't know about them.

For 2015 I chose two:

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
~2 Timothy 1:7

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
~Psalm 27:14

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.
~Lamentations 3:22-24

Most often I feel timid. Doubtful. Fearful. Not enough. And it was laid on my heart that I am allowing those words to be louder than what God has to say. What God calls me. Courage kept coming around as the word. And ironically, that made me nervous. God has been faithful in responding to my words. In using them to shape me, challenge me, teach me. Do I really want to throw courage His way?! And it became so clear that the only way to tackle this year and this word is being steeped in prayer. Something I'm not so good at. Something I feel forced and strained and self-conscious about. But there is no other way I know than to abide in Christ and stop trying to do it my way...driven by my knowledge and motivation.

I've started this little adventure by picking up Prayer by Tim Keller. He so aptly reminds us:
"All prayer is responding to God. In all cases God is the initiator -- "hearing" always precedes asking. God comes to us first or we would never reach out to him...The power of prayer, then, lies not primarily in our effort and striving, or in any technique, but rather in our knowledge of God."
And because I'm a fan of writing and words and the art of stringing thoughts to paper I thought of something with a nice ring to it...courageous prayer...and other silly workings. Until I sat there and realized that this is about the power of the words and the point of choosing them. I felt inadequate and unprepared with just courage so prayer must come first. Prayer precedes the strength and courage to face whatever this wild world throws in your path. Prayer and courage. Plain and simple.

So here's to a year of courage only made possible by how much I am willing to abide in Christ - learning to pray without ceasing.

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