A couple of years ago, I read One Word by Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, and Jon Gordon. From the dust jacket description: “‘By living a single word that is meant for you, you’ll find renewed purpose and meaning throughout the year.’” Since then, I have felt led to a specific word each year.
My word for 2017 was gently revealed to me in mid January while doing my Bible study, Living So That by Wendy Blight. While studying the chapter about prayer, Wendy highlighted some well known verses, and I now see them in a powerful way.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. There is no law against these things.” Galatians 5:22-23
The author challenged me to examine the fruit of the Spirit and choose one that I struggled with. Unfortunately, that was easy. I quickly chose peace and made it my word for 2017. As with most spiritual lessons, God provided me with a quick opportunity to practice my commitment.
My husband’s company had announced just before Christmas that they would be moving all but one production process to another state. Immediately after that meeting, I vowed not to be anxious or worry about him losing his job and finding another one. But, in the weeks following Christmas and before my 2017 word had been revealed, I allowed worry to creep in and keep me awake at night with thoughts of how we will pay bills if he lost his job and didn’t find another making a similar wage.
I knew digging into Scripture and raising my hands in surrender would allow the Holy Spirit to comfort and empower me. I found this passage during my study from Living So That one day:
“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.” Ephesians 3:16
Near the end of Wendy’s chapter on prayer, she reminded me that the words I found in Scripture that day were just as powerful as for those who read them two thousand years ago.
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4
A few weeks ago, Mesu wrote a post on the Wholly Loved site and defined the difference between being transparent and being vulnerable. Vulnerable means that we don’t have it all figured out yet. I’m being vulnerable right now and telling you: the Holy Spirit is still working to ripen my fruit of peace.
How about you? Have you chosen a word for 2017 or would you consider choosing one fruit to mature in your life? Please share with us so that we can support you in sincere prayer.