I recently read a blog, there have been many, that discussed choosing a word for 2017. I chose a word, and then within a week, I changed it. Let me share the process. I learned so much through doing it that I think it may benefit others.
I started out by taking a look at who I am and where I am in my relationship with the Lord. I wrote down a list of words that I have had come up, again and again, in my time with the Lord. These “sacred echoes” as Margaret Feinberg may call them, gave me clear direction in vision as to what the Lord wants for me. The words that came up frequently, as I was praying and studying, were trust and surrender.
But there was more, I also found that I yearned for joy in my heart and life. I was reminded of the lesson the Lord had taught me regarding my lack of contentment. It was a definite area of heart transformation that I felt the Lord directing me.
Next, I took into consideration areas of growth in traits or characteristics that the Lord had led me in. He has been showing me my lack of praise and worship leading me to realize the connection of inner joy being the pathway to that.
I created a list of words and settled on this one word, the word was “permeate.” My thought was, “I want the Lord to so infuse His being into me”. But, later that week, I felt as if that was only a part of what the Lord wanted to see happen in my heart. So, in the end I settled on the word “yield” because there are so many areas where I need to yield.
I explored the word yield in my heart, and found the following areas in my life to focus on. The list included striving, self-sufficiency, need to prove myself, and in forgiving. Each of these require yielding, but with that yielding I realized that I will come to know the Lord really permeating me and my life. The word permeate actually adds another level of depth of meaning to my word yield.
I took some time to look at all of the opportunities yielding brings, all of the areas of transformation that I need to be open to.
I began to think of yielding as letting go. My list of areas that I need to let go in seemed to grow, I added drivenness, fears, fear of losing, satisfying other in order to get love, obligations, expectations, and being over-responsible. When I finally finished my list, I then wrote down the take away– what I could learn when I yield in this area. I was amazed at what I discovered. One example–letting go of trying desperately to satisfy others to get love may mean learning more of the fullness of the Lord’s loving presence. I might gain a new appreciation and trust of Him as I learn of the magnitude of His love for me. Knowing of His love in a deeper way gives me freedom from trying so hard to earn love. It all works together so beautifully.
I went through each area of yielding in this manner and found that the take aways were all an intricate part of growing in Christ-likeness and in the fruit of the Spirit. All of my yielding will be the Spirit working in my heart changing me, helping me to let go. He alone can replace the sinful holding-onto with a grace-filled response that honors God.
I am adding each of these areas to my prayer journal and asking the Lord to lead me in the transformation process and help me to yield as I go through 2017.
This was a great exercise, I am so glad that I took the time to look back to see where I have been and also, in the process, see where the Lord is taking me.
I pray that 2017 is a year of transformation for each us, that each of us will be transformed for His glory.
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