In past years, my practice has been to ask the Lord for a word, theme, or phrase for the new year. This year is no different in that regard.
As I pondered and prayed this year, three words came to mind:
Seeing these three words, I remembered my grandparents talking about the three “R’s” of education a hundred years ago (phonetic “R’s”, of course) – Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. While my three “R’s” this year are certainly educational, they are much more than that – they are spiritual, and deeply personal.
Renovation is the key to these three R’s, as it starts with a new design. Renovation assumes that something is there already, but needs changed. To begin the renovation, I need to yield to God’s design for me and my life. Instead of bringing my plans to Him and asking Him to bless them, I need to bring myself to Him and ask Him where He is working and where He would want me to join Him in what He is already doing.
One new thing this year that the Lord has also shown me is to confess and break any unholy alliances that I may have unknowingly made with the enemy of my soul. These often come in the form of presuppositions, agreements, or assumptions that I may have made about a given situation or the future as I look at the past and into the new year:
- “This is going to be a tough year at work”
- “My calendar for the year is already full”
- “I don’t know how we’re going to make it financially”
- “I am stuck in this health rut and can’t get out”
- “I can’t make new friends or find anyone to talk to about life”
I am not proposing a “prosperity theology” solution, to “name it and claim it”. Rather, I need to turn my presuppositions into opportunities to yield all of my life to Him – to give Him my work, my calendar, my finances, my health, my relationships – and ask Him what He has in mind for me in each and every area of my life.
Finally, I am reminded to ask the Lord for a promise from His Word that I can depend upon, that I can lean on through good times and hard times alike.
For me, this year’s verse is Revelation 21:5:
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
(Revelation 21:5 ESV)
God has made all things new through Jesus, He is making all things new in me (and you), and He will make all things new when He comes again one day.
That’s a promise you and I can count on we can write it down and depend on it.
What’s the word or phrase the Lord has given you for the new year?
What are the unholy alliances, the assumptions, the agreements with the enemy of your soul that you’ve made and need to confess and give to the Lord?
Have you asked the Lord for a promise from His Word that will carry you through the year? If so, have you written it down and put it in a place that you will be reminded every day of His goodness and love toward you?
Blessings for your 2019,