I used to hear people talk about choosing a word for each new year, and I thought it was kinda dumb.
It always seemed more like wishful thinking than anything based in reality, and I didn’t feel the need to pick some random word that I would mostly ignore and probably do nothing about for the rest of the year.
Then I got into the Jesus Calling devotional and started really hearing from God. Like, all the time. I went from basically never hearing anything to filling Word docs and notes on my phone with everything God was speaking to me.
And, for the first time in my life, I felt God say he would give me a word for the year.
He did just that. That was back in 2014, and he has faithfully given me a word or phrase every year since.
The first word God gave me was “joy.” I kid you not, there was so much joy in my life that year that I was literally laughing until I cried in my cubicle at work what felt like every other day. I had awesome coworkers whom I could joke around with and who made me laugh constantly. “Joy” that year was very fitting! I have never laughed that much in a year before or since.
In 2016 God gave me the word “healing,” and once again, he delivered. You can read all about that here!
This year, God gave me the word “MORE.”
I think a lot of times when January rolls around, we feel pressured to do more, achieve more, and just be more than who we already are and what we’re already doing. There isn’t anything wrong with setting goals, but the comparison game is strong and that underlying sense of unworthiness and “not enough-ness” tends to be, too.
That’s not what I’m talking about here.
God gave me this verse:
“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!”
I don’t always get a verse from God with each year’s word (although I do try to search Bible Gateway for whatever word he gives me so that I can see what his capital-W Word says about it), but this year I did, and it really encouraged me to see how specifically the Bible corroborates what God told me.
When I asked God for – no pun intended – more about what he meant by “more,” this is what he told me:
“More means more than you asked for. You’ve asked for a lot, and I’m going to give it to you.
I’m also going to give you more. So much more. More than you think you deserve, more than you could’ve even imagined in your own mind, more than you had any idea you’d ever see or experience. I’m going to give you beyond what you’ve asked for. I’m going to give you MORE.”
I don’t know what your word is for 2019. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard God speak before in your life, and if you haven’t, you’re in good company because I didn’t truly learn to recognize his voice until I was a quarter-century old.
Regardless of your age, it’s never too late and God is always speaking. And regardless of your history with God, I encourage you to simply ask him to give you a word for this new year.
He may not answer immediately, but you might be surprised how quickly he responds! Just keep waiting and listening until he’s ready to reveal what he has to say to you. The first time I asked God for a word, I was surprised at how fast I got an answer, but there have been other years when I’ve waited weeks or even months for him to give me the next year’s word.
If you feel like choosing a word yourself for this new year that motivates you to do something different, go for it. That’s cool. But wouldn’t you rather let God choose a word for you, giving you a little glimpse at the good plans he has for your life over the next 12 months?
Matthew 7:7 says:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
All you have to do is ask. I challenge you to simply ask if you haven’t already, and I look forward to seeing all the MORE this year brings – not just for me, but for each one of us. It’s gonna be a good year! 🎉