Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Friday, January 3, 2014

My One Word for 2014 {& Five Minute Friday: Fight}


I've been wrestling all week with my one word for the next 365 days.

The word that came to mind and challenged me wasn't quite what I was hoping for.

I wanted a strong word, an elegant word, and a word that would roll right off my the tip of my tongue. 

One that I wouldn't stumble over or trip me in trying to live it out, but a word that would speak of grace and poise, of courage and strength as 2014 got off the ground.

I was looking for a word that would define my days and make my moments count.

A strong verb or a charming noun was more what I was hoping for.

Like trust, dwell, confidence, believe, or abide.

But, the word that kept assaulting me was a humble preposition.



That's it. My one word for the year.

Nothing fancy like last year. No elaborate word study.

Last year I needed something to move me forward and the only way I could move on last year was in continual prayer.

I didn't know last year when I chose my word (or perhaps when my word chose me) that I would be for the first time driven to lie flat down on my face to the ground begging prayers after a phone call on a warm summer night that would rock my world.

I didn't know that I would only be able to move forward in constant prayer. Not long intervals of prayer, but rather in a state of constant prayer, continual communion with my Lord.

I didn't realize that a word that I could barely pronounce: proskarter├ę┼Ź would make me confess that I could go no further, and boldly declare that I can't do it, so You have to.

At the beginning of 2013 I wrote, "It is the power of God, His strength that enables me to move forward in faith." And by the end of the year, in storms when I couldn't see I cried out in trepidation and He delivered me to a place of refuge.

Now 2014 has cracked open the first chapter and all week I've been mediating on the verses at the end of Deuteronomy and the beginning of Joshua. When God commanded Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. The pastor at our small Chapel in a little town read it on Sunday and I've been chewing on it all week.


Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, 
for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. 
He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it.
It is the Lord who goes before you.
He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

That's how I will go into this year.

The only way I can fight incessant craven fear is to be assured that God is continually with me.

His perfect love casts out fear.

It's His very presence that gives me confidence.

Surely, I think, there must be a better word to represent this idea for the year. I keep searching for a more suitable word to point me in this direction.

But, this is it: the fact that it is a preposition confirms that this is the word for me this year.

The preposition goes before, it links the nouns together, it's a word that governs and expresses the relationship to another word.

With bears witness the relationship I am blessed to have with my God.

He goes before me, He gently leads me.

He is with me. It's not just there in the Old Testament to the Israelite people, but the author of the book of Hebrews reiterates the promise.
"I will never, no, never leave thee, no, never forsake thee. In the original there are no less than five negatives put together, to confirm the promise: the true believer shall have the gracious presence of God with him, in life, at death, and for ever." 
"He will never withdraw His presence or His help."
I dwell with Him in His very presence and His very Presence dwells with in me.


The brilliant medical doctor turned minister-preacher, D. M. Lloyd-Jones spoke in one of his distinguished sermons, "One of the essential and most obvious things about a Christian is that he is a man who lives always realizing he is in the presence of God."

I don't know what this year may bring, but when I understand that He is with me I do not need fear. I have confidence in His presence, that He will complete the work He has determined. I can fight the fight, walk the narrow path because He goes before me.
"We have not passed this way heretofore, but the Lord Jesus has. It is all untrodden and unknown ground to us, but He knows it all by personal experience. The steep bits that take our breath away, the stony bits that make our feet ache so, the hot stretches that make us feel so exhausted, the rushing rivers that we have to pass through—Jesus has gone through it all before us." {'Streams in the Desert' January 3}


"Even when I must walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me"

I look forward to realizing the position I have with my Lord.

There is nothing else worth living for but our relationship to God and our utter dependence upon Him.

With: nothing fancy, but eternally fundamental and full of grace.



***
Also linking with Five Minute Friday at Lisa-Jo's place. This week the prompt is: Fight

Officially, the rules are:

Five Minute Friday1. Write for 5 minutes  {Full disclosure: I most often spend a little more time than this.}
2. Link up at Lisa-Jo's  and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community...

5 comments:

  1. May God be with you, through joyful journals and rewarding challenges. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your one word for 2014. Have a wonderful new year.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lovely post! I think the word the Lord has given you for 2014 sounds very intriguing! Bless you, keep writing and seeking Him! You are a Five Minute Friday "neighbor!"

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  3. "There is nothing else worth living for but our relationship to God and our utter dependence upon Him." Oh, such beautiful and true words. Praying for His presence in your life continually. I have this desire to hug you write now so I'm sending you a virtual hug... ((((hugs))))

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love your word. May God continue to go with you as you pursue Him this year!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Rebekah,

    I love your post and word for 2014. With is such a powerful word. I will be prayerfully considering it.

    My one word is expectancy.
    May God bless you abundantly throughout the year.

    ReplyDelete

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