My one word for 2018 has been brewing in my heart and mind for the past six weeks or so. As I’ve planned and purposed for the coming year, the Lord has led me time and again to the reminder that all the stuff, all the activity, all the accomplishments, all of everything isn’t worth anything unless it’s focused on what matters most.
INTENTIONAL: My One Word for 2018
How does this idea of being INTENTIONAL play out in my everyday life and ministry?
What does it mean for my goals and dreams?
These are some of the questions I’ve been asking myself as I’ve planned and prepared for 2018. Slowly I’ve felt the Lord opening my eyes to a hint of what He is calling me to in the coming year — and honestly, it isn’t anything like what I’d first imagined.
Today, I want to share with you a few of the truths He has begun illuminating for me and how they impact what it means for me to be intentional in 2018.
LET GO OF THE PAST
Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old. Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
I’m a remember-er. My brain has this never-ending loop of all the things I’ve done wrong, all the ways I’ve failed, all the times I didn’t do what I should or could have done. That loop of remembering is often what keeps me from stepping out in faith. All my past failures, all my previous mistakes, can hold me hostage.
The Lord has been reminding me that while those things are a piece of who I am, they are not the fullness of who I am. My past doesn’t define me any more than my present or future — He has given me my identity: CHILD OF GOD! Chosen, redeemed, loved, and accepted (Isaiah 43:1-4).
While I must learn from my past, I need not dwell there. A huge part of being intentional is identifying the important lessons and then “reaching forward to what is ahead” as I keep my eyes on the prize of KNOWING Him (Philippians 3:8-10).
LIVE ON PURPOSE
Pay careful attention, then, to how you live—not as unwise people but as wise—making the most of time because the days are evil.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31
I’m reading Paul David Tripp’s devotional, New Morning Mercies, this year as part of my quiet time. Yesterday’s reading included this sentence:
The Bible is a big-picture book that calls us to live big-picture lives.
Y’all, can I just tell you that there are a lot of days when I struggle to see the big picture in my life? I get so distracted by the minutiae and the mundane that I miss the miraculous. I forget there is always an eternal view. One of my big desires for 2018 is to learn to keep my eyes on eternity, to be intentional in seeing the ways God is at work in, through, and around me. I want to shift my focus from me to Him, to see the way He sees, to love the way He loves. To keep my eyes on the prize of knowing and abiding in Christ (Philippians 3:14, John 15:1-5).
For me, that means an intentional choice to view my to do list as opportunities to serve others, to worship Him, and to share the Gospel. When I write, I have the honor of speaking hope and truth to those who may need to be reminded there is a God who loves them and pursues them. When I clean my house, it is a chance to serve my family but also an invitation to ask God to clean my own heart. How I spend my days reflects what I value. I want to look back on 2018 and see that I valued the people in my life more than the characters on “This Is Us.” I want to live with gusto and grace in 2018.
I’m sure as the year progresses, there will be more understanding, more insight, about what it means to live intentionally. But today, January 4, when I look at these two things, I realize if I only learn them it will be a huge shift for my heart and my life.
So, tell me, what is your word or theme for the coming year? How is God leading you to live in 2018?
New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp
CLICK IMAGE TO JOIN THE FULL LIFE CLUB FOR MORE ENCOURAGEMENT, INSPIRATION, & RESOURCES FOR LIVING WITH INTENTION!