Today I am linking up with Faith Barista to share my word for 2014 and the story behind it. Bonnie is a wonderful woman of God who is sharing her faith journey with those who grace her cyber home. God speaks through her words into the hearts of His children. Stop over and be blessed. ~~~~~~~~
Recently praying I was about what one word God wanted me to focus on this year. In 2013 my words to focus on were a continuation of rest along with trust, based on Isaiah 30:15. "In quietness and trust will be your strength." I have been blessed by that verse so often over the past twelve months.
When I finally put some reflective time into asking God for direction, I felt drawn to the word rejoice. Praising Jesus and rejoicing in all He has given us....not a bad way to spend the year. Then I felt drawn to the word forward as it came up over and over again in devotionals that were focusing on the coming new year. Moving forward. Letting go of the past and moving forward with whatever God has planned for my life. Both were good words to focus on, but I continued to feel unsettled.
Then I read Ann Voskamp's post on Jesus. Jesus who became flesh. I immediately felt a sense of peace, believing that this was the word God had chosen for me. Jesus. God had been guiding me in this direction since late September when we began discussing the possibility of attending a conference on healing. One of the speakers was going to be Michael Koulianos, an evangelist who wrote The Jesus Book. At the time I ordered his book and another about Jesus titled, Crazy Love, by Frances Chan. They are on my bookshelf waiting to be read.
Earlier this week when Ann revealed that her Jesus Project for memorization this year was based on the book of John, it struck a chord. God has been patiently and persistently speaking to me for so long on the need for His Word to be held in my heart, going deep, transforming and healing me. This project would help me with that.
Then there has been the magnetic pull to Jesus.
For the past two years my focus has been on healing. I have pursued, studied, prayed for and spoke about it. I have desired more and more from the Miracle Worker! While reading one of Smith Wigglesworth's book on healing a few weeks ago, I read a story of how a person was healed by the intercessors saying only one word over and over as they stood around his bed ....that word? Jesus. Sometime stirred in me. Oh the power in that one word. The love, compassion, forgiveness, wisdom and power all in one word. I began to praise God by doing the same. Saying Jesus over and over with gratitude as I meditated, prayed, rejoiced, struggled to sleep, or fought physical symptoms. My lips speaking aloud His name, centering my focus. I began to realize I not only want more from the Miracle Worker but I want more of Him too. I wanted to spend more time just being with Him. A subtle shift began to occur.
Yesterday we decided to brave the cold and go to a nearby church. On the way I asked God to confirm the word "Jesus" as His choice for me in 2014. He did not disappoint. First of all, when we walked in the sanctuary we saw this beautiful sculpture above the alter. It brought a smile to my face.
Jesus word sculpture
When I looked at the gospel for the day it was in the book of John! "In the beginning was the Word and the Ward was with God and the Word was God." John 1;1. This is the first scripture Ann was asking readers to memorize in her Jesus Project this year. To add to that, the pastor had a great sermon on Jesus who became flesh. I grabbed on to these words, "Let the Word of God speak to you and through you. He cried for you (as a baby) and He died for you.(as an adult).
Reflecting back on it all ~ Resting in Jesus (come all ye who are weary), trusting in Jesus for my healing journey, praising (Jesus), moving forward (with Jesus), reading the Word (In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God) ~~All the pieces of a divine puzzle started coming together as only God can do. I love when that happens.
So this year my word is Jesus. As I read and memorize scriptures with the Jesus Project, rest by trusting all the more, praise the Lord, and move forward on my faith journey I will be focusing on Jesus. The One who put it all together. The Word that became flesh.