Tuesday, January 5, 2016

One Word for 2016

For a long time now, I've begged to know God's purpose for my life. My own plans have fallen through so many times--plans that I thought were God's will for my future--that sometimes I wonder if I'm going to drift through life without ever truly finding the path He wants me on (for more on that, check out Walking with Peter). As followers of the Messiah, we hear so much about God's will. We're reminded time and again that we need to be doing His will:

~"Whoever does the will of God is My true family." ~Mark 3:35
~"...that you will continue to mature and stand tall in the confidence that comes from knowing God's will." ~Colossians 4:12b

We hear all the time about people claiming God's promise to give them the desires of their heart, but something I've been struggling with lately is knowing whether my desires are desires God has given me, or just earthly desires. In 1 Peter 4:1-2, we're told, "Since the Anointed suffered in the flesh, prepare yourselves to do the same--anyone who has suffered in the flesh for the LORD is no longer in the grip of sin--so that you may live the rest of your life on earth controlled not by earthly desires but by the will of God. (emphasis mine)"

So, how do I figure out what is an earthly desire and what is God's will? How do I live according to His will if I can't figure out what it is?

As I've been trying to come up with my One Word for 2016 (I spent all of December trying to come up with something...and failing spectacularly), I've stumbled time and time again over those questions. In fact, I've been so hung up on them that I haven't been able to focus on finding my word for this year. Tonight, I was looking up verses after flipping through the back of my Bible in an attempt to find a topic that would jump out at me. I got sidetracked again (or so I thought...again, a not-so-subtle reminder that I need to stop trying to choose my own path, because it doesn't work) and started looking up verses about God's will. That's where those verses above came from.

But then, just as I was starting to get aggravated by being told over and over again that I needed to find and follow God's will for my life, I came across a couple of verses I've read a hundred times:

"Brothers and sisters, in light of all I have shared with you about God's mercies, I urge you to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God, a sacred offering that brings Him pleasure; this is your reasonable, essential worship. Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and compete."
~Romans 12:1&2

So again, I "stumbled across" my word for 2016:
I don't know why I continue to be so surprised by the fact that my one word each year is never one I intentionally picked. Just like has happened the last 4 times that I've done this, my word for this year was picked for me by Someone who knows a lot more about what I need to be focusing on.

Renewal: the state of being made new, fresh, or strong again

If I want to be able to figure out God's will for my life, I need to renew my mind. I need to get in line with who God wants me to be, because it's only then that I will be able to do what He wants me to do.

So, here's to 2016--a year of renewal.

****What's your One Word for 2016? Have you considered asking God to give you a word to focus on this year instead of making a bunch of resolutions? I started doing this in 2012, and to be completely honest I thought it would be a lot easier than choosing resolutions each year.

2012: faithful (which was the start of this blog)
2013: follow
2014: "do not neglect your gift"
2015: trust
2016: renewal

If you're willing, give it a shot this year instead of resolutions. I would love to hear your word!


  1. Mandy,

    Wonderful post. Glad to find you here, Faith Barista neighbor. I love your word. My word is whitespace. Happy New Year!


  2. I don't know if my word for the whole year is this but for this season it is Rekindle. Thanks for sharing your heart, I feel like I have had this issue too.
    - www.cookwipesweep.com


Thoughts? I would love to hear them!

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