They were four years of instruction, correction and tears, some of the most painful and challenging years of my life, but also the ones producing the greatest fruit in my spiritual life. So, when God spoke to my heart 2011 would be a year of release, I was ready. I was more than ready! And what a year it was, as God supernaturally opened the gate and released me into His plans and purposes. They were far greater, than I could imagine for myself, and oh-so-very-different. I would never have imagined God would take my identity crisis and turn it into a book.
Before Jesus, my words were often harsh, critical and bossy (a relative once pointed out, quite passionately, all of my overbearing ways). After finding Jesus, while trying to curb those offensive tendencies and still finding criticism, I’d become convinced what I had to say was either wrong, silly or of little importance; to put my heart in a book seemed overwhelmingly unrealistic. Which, it was, for this girl who never had dreams or desire to write. The girl who had become guilty of coveting the gifts of others. The girl who had begun to wonder if God had a purpose for her, or even saw her. But saw her He did. I felt a little like Hagar, Sarai’s maid. She fled from Sarai, after conceiving a child by Abraham (which turned ugly in so many ways) and then had an encounter with the Angel of the Lord in the desert. After receiving her mandate to go back, “she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, ‘You are God Who Sees’; for she said, ‘Have I not even here [in the wilderness] remained alive after seeing Him [who sees me with understanding and compassion]” (Genesis 16:13, AMP)? Moved by His wonderful heart of compassion and grace, He chose to take what seemed overwhelmingly unrealistic and turn it into a reality for His plans and purposes.
As I prayed for the Lord to reveal His word for me for 2017, I began to sense steadfast was my word-of-the-year. Steadfast? Lord, why? Have I not been steadfast? I think I was secretly hoping for another year of release. With steadfast defined as firmly fixed and not subject to change, I was convinced I live a steadfast life already. After all, change stretches me and I think my hubby, or kids, would disclose how firmly fixed I am capable of being. But then I moved to the next definition: firm in belief, determination or adherence. Oh ouch. There it is. While I may be steadfast in my belief in Jesus and my love for God—as well as in my desire to walk out my daily life in obedience to Him—I have not been steadfast in other areas. I have not remained firm in belief that my identity is found exclusively in Him. I often fail in my determination to walk by faith and not by sight. Rather than adhere to Him for acceptance, sometimes I discover myself still greedy for the approval of others.
After a day of quiet study and prayer, I think I have gained understanding of what He is looking for in 2017 from my steadfast heart. And honestly, I have work to do to become firm in belief, determined to walk by faith and not by sight and adhere to Him rather than people. My verse is from 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose]” (AMP).
I know God likes to surprise us by taking what seems overwhelmingly unrealistic and making it a reality. What do you consider to be overwhelmingly unrealistic in your life right now? If we’re going to allow God to change our identity, one letter at a time, we must remember what may seem impossible for us isn’t “for with God nothing [is or ever] shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37, AMP).
Anything is P-Possible.
What’s your word for 2017?