"If we consider the unblushing promises of reward … promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
- C.S. Lewis
2016 was my 'year on purpose'. I wanted to live more intentionally. That isn't changing in 2017. In fact, striving to live each day on purpose for a purpose has changed the way I view my time management and decision making. I'm not perfect at it by any means, but I have found myself counting the cost more. I don't want to just skate by or have panicked prayers that things work out. I want to walk as one who is CHOSEN.
That mentality in 2016 also birthed #LiveChosen, which is my little initiative to help young women do the same. God created us for a purpose and we should live like it. We are powerful, chosen, loved and never alone.
But now for this year. A word of the year thing has never been my thing. last year was a first for me and I hadn't really expected to have a new word for this year. But then I was reading Without Rival by Lisa Bevere and this C.S. Lewis quote popped up and God interrupted to speak to my soul. "2017 will be a year of promise."
That sounds cool doesn't it? But it was more than just a year of promises, or even promise fulfilled. For me, there is a specific promise attached to God's whisper. I know you want to know what it is but I'm not going to tell you. Sorry. This is something God showed me a long time ago, something I had started to lose sight of and hope for and you don't need to know what it is to know that I believe 2017 is going to be the year where the seeds that were planted in my life more than a decade ago begin to sprout and bear fruit. A year where the vision God once gave me takes root in reality.
"I will not violate My covenant, nor will I alter even one word of what My lips have spoken." Psalm 89:34 (the Voice)
I have to admit I had given up. I hate to say that. I would like to view myself as full of unwavering faith, but years are long and I doubted that what I had once heard was even really God. But in that moment, when He spoke that word PROMISE, I just knew exactly which promise He was talking about.
The details may be a bit different than I had once dreamed, but it is the same covenant I once felt God's heart making with my own.
"Now the Lord is not slow about enacting His promise—slow is how some people want to characterize it—no, He is not slow but patient and merciful to you, not wanting anyone to be destroyed, but wanting everyone to turn away from following his own path and to turn toward God’s." 2 Peter 3:9 (the Voice)
I may have given up, or thought I had missed it, or worried I was never going to be good enough but God had not. Don't get me wrong, I have growing and learning to do, I have most certainly not arrived nor will I ever, but God's promise was never about me being good enough, it was just about being ready, being rooted in Him and prepared to stand no matter what may come.
I don't think 2017 will be easy. In fact, I am thinking it will be just the opposite. I find myself already rolling up my sleeves to work even harder. I am prayerfully strategizing my days, weeks, and months. I am diving deeper into God and His word, preparing myself for battle.
"Along the way we picked up the lie that we could be heroes without ever engaging in a battle." - Lisa Bevere, Without Rival
I'm not looking for a fight, but I know that there is an enemy who wants me to fail, who doesn't want me to see victory, who doesn't want my promise fulfilled and he will come at me. Even now the Destroyer is plotting his attacks. This girl's sword is ready. (Claire and Zoe would be super proud.)
So, here I am walking into my year of promise and I am praying for you too. God has given you promises in His word. He has whispered things to your heart. Maybe it was a decade ago or just yesterday. He always keeps His promises. Let's keep each other encouraged this year. Let's fight together as daughters of Zion. Let's carry our swords (or crossbows, or consecrated butter knives if you're more of a Maggie) and walk victoriously into all God has for us.