“Hairy McCary!” I’m not sure who dubbed me that in elementary school, but the sting of those words stayed with me for years—almost as much as “fatty Patty.” Silly, I know, but it speaks to the power of words. And speaking of that, there has perhaps never been a time when words have had greater power than today, due to their ubiquitous nature, if nothing else. Words shout at us from our devices through texts and emails and a dozen or so apps that perpetually assault us with pings or rings or beeps or little red numbers.
But through all this chatter, there is one voice we simply cannot live without; one message we must not miss; one word that we desperately need whispered to our souls—the one only God knows. And there is no better time to pause and listen than this week, as we go roaring into the 2020’s.
But through all this chatter, there is one voice we simply cannot live without; one message we must not miss; one word that we need whispered to our souls—the one only God knows. And there is no better time to pause and listen than this week, as we go roaring into the 2020’s.
For several years now, as the days wind down after Christmas, I take some time to ask God if he has a “word” for me in the coming year. I remember 2009 well, the year I felt God saying he wanted me to learn how to “live loved.” I was wrecked by his love that year and have never been the same. In 2018 the Spirit whispered the word, “rest” and I would discover how little I knew about the true rest of God. Then last year, I heard the word, “faithful,” and I have clung to that over the months like a life raft, as I felt tossed about on a stormy sea with no shoreline in sight.
I am so deeply grateful for the ways God has spoken over the years and prepared me for what lay ahead. It has deepened my faith and strengthened my soul to run harder after Jesus. The word he’s given me this year is slightly terrifying and pretty exciting too—but more about that later.
First, let me share my simple practice with you, and encourage you to seek God’s heart personally for 2020. You will be so glad you did. You can read the steps below or print them out by clicking here.
Then last year, he gave me the word, “faithful,” and I have clung to that over the months like a life raft as I felt tossed about on a stormy sea with no shoreline in sight.
GOD’S HEART FOR THE COMING YEAR: A SIMPLE PRACTICE
So, my word for 2020 is “consecration.” When I first heard it, I was afraid—what might this cost me? But soon God revealed that consecration is all about preparation, and that has given me great hope. If God wants to consecrate me, then I am confident he is planning to grace me and use me for his glory in some greater way. What could be better than that? I'd love to hear your word!
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Tricia McCary Rhodes
Author of 7 books and a professor for Fuller Theological Seminary, Tricia specializes in helping others experience God’s presence through practicing soul-care.