Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"One Word" For 2015

"He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake."
Psalm 23:3
(KJV)

There is a difference in praying....and well, praying.
There is the kind of prayer that we hurriedly breathe while rushing out the door...
the kind that just begs for mercy...
the kind that simply says, "God, help me",
and so many other little, short pleas that we send up on a regular basis.
I'm not saying that those prayers aren't "real" or effective,
nor am I implying that God doesn't hear those brief cries of the heart.
They are, and He does.
"For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous,
and His ears are open unto their prayers..."
I Peter 3:12

But, I believe there are...what I call "levels" of prayer.
There are quickly whispered prayers, then there are those prayers that demand more than a whisper.
The kind that compel us to hit our knees or bow our heads and cry out to Him with such intensity,
it wrenches tears from what feels like the bottom of our souls.

My prayers lately have been somewhere in between, but you could safely say
they have been closer to the latter level.
I feel such an overwhelming desire for clarity.
I so want to know what He wants from me.
I want to stay within the perimeters of His perfect will.

So, I am searching for Him with all my heart.
"And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:13

Since this brand new year began,
I have been praying about a focal point
and seeking God concerning what my "one word" for 2015 should be.
For days I've been asking.
The Lord kept giving me a sense of some of the things He wants us to do,
and each day, I sort of felt like I was getting closer to narrowing it down,
yet, I didn't want to just pull a word of my own choosing or fabrication out of thin air.
I wanted HIM to direct the word.
To let it be a unification of all of the things He is asking of us right now.

As I shared with you in this New Year's Day post,
all 3 of us have been feeling a sort of internal "stirring"...
kind of like there could possibly be a crossroads coming?
We believe God has revealed that there are good changes up ahead.
That the changes involve "a door" being opened to us.
Will it be this year?
Only the One who controls and orchestrates the future knows.

We feel like we are in the "pre" stage....the time when God is working on us,
working on situations, working in the shadows and under the surface.
Much of His work is not apparent to us.
So, we trust, and we wait, and while we are waiting,
we have been feeling we need to do certain things.

"Things" like shed, lighten, lessen, condense, consolidate, cut back, pare, cut down, cut off, cut out, trim, decrease, curtail, organize, streamline, disentangle, free, disencumber, liberate, loose, untie, clear the way, untighten, emancipate, clear up, clear away, and simplify kept coming to mind.
So many words...such similar meanings.
But, how to narrow them down to "one word" that would perfectly express what we are to do
at this season of life...during this new year?

I feel a strong sense that if we do not heed these "GENTLE URGES", we will regret that we didn't
once "THE DOOR" opens to us and that we will wish we had been more attentive and obedient to the prompts He is faithfully and steadily sending our way.

Why all the shedding?
Why do we feel the need to downsize and simplify things?
Why are we feeling so compelled to loose ourselves from entanglements?

We truly have no idea.
Hebrews 11:8 comes to mind often these days.
"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing where he went."
Hebrews 11:8

Abraham obeyed.
Even though it did not make sense,
and in spite of the fact that he didn't know where he was being led to go.
God gave him preparatory orders, before He ever explained the plan.

The more these words came over the past several days, the more I wondered how I could ever hope to merge them all into one, single word...a perfect summary of them all.

Finally, I got my answer during prayer the other morning.
It was crystal clear.
And it makes such perfect sense.
A seven letter word.
The perfect number.



Just one word...a simple coalescence of all we are being led to do...
and an acronym thrown in with lots of supporting Scriptures, to boot!

The word?
P R E P A R E
When I first saw the word spelled out on the screen,
I realized that many times the word itself suggests negative connotations and undertones.
But, this time it is all positive.
It's all good, in Jesus' name.

P   - purge
R   - reduce
E - eliminate
P       - prune
A - anticipate
R      - release
E     - expect

Purge
Definition:
"To rid of an unwanted feeling, memory, or condition, typically giving a sense of cathartic release."
PURGE what?
The excess.
Physical weight and other things that are dragging us down.
Things we no longer need, want, or use.
Spiritual baggage that pulls us backwards and impedes forward movement.
Old hurts that still want to be nursed, but no longer need to be.
Bad memories that only serve to vex our spirits.
Dross.
"And I will turn My hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, 
and take away all thy tin (impurities)."
 Isaiah 1:25

Reduce
Definition:
"To make smaller or less in amount, degree, or size."
REDUCE what?
Spending.
Eating.
Accumulating.
Clutter.
Debt.
Self.
Selfish ambitions.
Selfish dreams.
Self promotion.
Selfish preferences.
"He must increase, but I must decrease."
John 3:30

Eliminate
Definition:
"To completely remove or get rid of something."
ELIMINATE what?
While some things need to be reduced, some things need to be plain eliminated.
Unnecessary stressors.
Deterrent and distracting roadblocks.
Toxic hindrances.
Negative influences.
Fostering grounds for besetting sin.
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, 
and let us run with patience the race that is set before us."
Hebrews 12:1

Prune
Definition:
"Reduce the extent of something by removing superfluous or unwanted parts."
PRUNE what?
What is unnecessary, so the good parts can thrive, be more productive, and bear more fruit.
Those things that drain life, joy, good health, and well-being.
Those things that are not like Christ.
"He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit,
while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."
John 15:2
(NIV)

Anticipate
Definition:
"Be aware of what will happen and take action in order to be prepared; look forward to."
 ANTICIPATE what?
Good things from God.
"The wonderful, effectual door" that is up ahead.
The glory that lies behind it.
The fulfillment of His promises.
The unveiling of His beautiful plan for the future.
"...hope that is seen is not hope:  for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
but if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."
Romans 8:24, 25

Release
Definition:
"Allow or enable to escape from confinement; set free."
RELEASE what?
The caged past.
Regrets.
Shore lines.
Those things that hold us back from being all God is calling us to be.
Shackles.
Drains.
Bitterness.
Unforgiveness.
Grudges.
Hurts.
Betrayals.
Injustices.
It is such a relief to let these things go.
"...this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, 
and reaching forth unto those things which are before."
Philippians 3:13


Expect
Definition:
"To look forward to the probable occurrence or appearance of."
EXPECT what?
God's promises...both the ones in His Word and His personal ones to us...to be fulfilled.
God's best.
Life and health and prosperity.
Showers of blessings and times of refreshing.
"There shall be showers of blessing."  Ezekiel 34:26
"...when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord."  Acts 3:19
Good things.
Peace.
The fruition of God's beautiful dreams for our lives to begin to unfold.
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD,
thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
Jeremiah 29:11

It is time to let go of the past and  prepare to receive the blessings our Heavenly Father has for us.

This song is my personal testimony going forward.



If video doesn't load, click here.

Are you ready to join me?
Place your hand in His.
By God's grace, we will go on and walk this faith walk together,
exploring the good things He has in store!

28 comments:

  1. Wow! I love your word and the acronym! I am going to study all this for myself. I haven't received my word yet. I have had several come to mind, but none of them seem to be the one word I could focus on. Maybe I will receive a word. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy your word and acronym.
    God bless.
    Love you!

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    1. I am so blessed by your words! I know what you mean, it seemed that it took me a while to really get clarity from the dear Lord, but when it came, it was crystal clear!! Yours will be the same. Love you!

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  2. I love the word and acronym!!! Something that is so applicable to all of us!!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Caroline! God bless you, sweet friend. :)

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  3. When I saw that you had a new post, and that it was about your *word* - well, I got all excited. I didn't want to rush my reading, though, for your words are always so full and meant to be pondered over. But when I finally read your word, I smiled. Something in my soul whispered, "Yes, Lord, that's perfect." I love how He brought it to you, as I knew He would. I love your acronym (I'm a fan of those myself!!). I love the way you broke down so many layers of nuance contained in your word. It's a good one. A challenging one, and yet a greatly hopeful one.

    I am joining you this year in whatever God brings. May He prepare us well for His purposes, and may we let go of all that might hinder our obedience.

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. Dear, sweet Sharon! Your words brought tears to my eyes. I am so grateful to you for the confirmation...how your soul whispered, "Yes, Lord, that's perfect." It will be so interesting to see how He leads us this year. I know you are feeling similar stirrings. It is an exciting time, and YES, may we let go of all that might hinder our obedience. So thankful to walk this sweet journey with you and know that we are praying for and standing with each other regardless of the miles!! Love and appreciate you so much. :)

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  4. Me again! I got my word because I was able to use some other words as part of the acronym. This post gave me that idea. I have just written a post about it.
    Thanks Cheryl!
    Love ya

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    1. Hooray! Hallelujah!!!!! I am so excited for you and can't wait to read that post!!! Will be over soon to check it out. God is SO good. Love you!

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  5. Wow… Good word, sister. That's not arbitrary!

    I know what you mean about different types of prayers. The ones with my face down in the ground have been the best and worst of times… and I know you'll know what I mean by that...

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    1. Oh, brother! How I DO understand what you mean by that. I can remember so many times of my tears falling and hitting the floor right beneath my face, as kneeling didn't even seem to be enough. I can't thank you enough for your visit. Your words are always such a blessing and encouragement and so edifying. God bless you!

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  6. Wonderful post! I love how all of the words focused and developed into one.... what a GREAT word and meanings within the word. I too, have sensed a getting ready time.... not sure why other than time seems short and it is time to be serious with God. Thank you for consolidating all of these thoughts. :)

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    1. I just wonder why we are feeling this need to be prepared? It could be that Jesus' coming is even nearer than we think. What an exciting time for the believers! God is going to do some great things this year, if we will all just stay surrendered to Him! Thank you so much for your dear, kind comments...they always mean so much. God bless you!!

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  7. Wonderful post, and great acronym. I look forward to hearing how your journey pans out and sharing with you in the excitement and anticipation as God prepares you for that journey. Each year brings new things in God for all of us. Thank you for sharing your heart with us at Good Morning Mondays, always a blessing.

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    1. Thank you so very much, Terri. I so appreciate your words of encouragement! I am looking forward to the journey, too, and so thankful to have you walking by my side. God bless you abundantly!!

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  8. I LOVE your acronym! It's amazing how much God can roll up into one little word.

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    1. Isn't it though? I was amazed at all of His thoughts on this. I am so thankful for your visit today, Heather. God bless you!! :)

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  9. Prepare is such a great word and your lesson examples that fit so well. My word for 2015 is FAVOR. I desire favor with God and man, and most of all to have his favor over decisions that will need to be made. A door has been closed for me and I am praying for a new door to open where there is favor. Thank you for sharing your sweet words with us here at Tell me a Story.

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    1. Oh, Hazel! I trust the Lord will open the right door...wide...where it will be obvious that you are to walk through it. And may He grant you that favor with God and man and enlarge your coasts as never before. Thank you for your comments here and for your encouragement and support. God's best to you!

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  10. Wonderful acronym and word! This is very inspiring Cheryl! Thank you for taking the time to share this with us!

    Thank you also for linking up with the Art of Home-Making Mondays each week. You are a great encouragement! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, JES. And thank you for the weekly link-up. It is always a joy and blessing to stop by your place. God bless you!

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  11. The way that He can infuse such clarity in the boundless meaning of a word is exemplified here, Cheryl. I love it. There is even more to that word, as God unfolds it to you over this year. I understand that longing to go deep and to wait on Him to show you where He wants you to focus, how He wants you to prepare. What an encouraging post today. Thanks!
    Blessings,
    Dawn

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    1. Thank you so much, Dawn! I love the thought that there is even more to that word. I look forward to seeing what God will further reveal through it. I am so thankful for your visit and kind words today. God bless you!

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  12. Great post. My one word for the year is MORE. As in more of Him less of me.

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    1. A wonderful word, Jenny! YES, He must increase, and I must decrease. God bless you in a special way! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving encouragement behind. :)

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  13. Cheryl, I love your word and the way you arrived at it. I could spend days soaking up wisdom and truth from each section of your acronym!

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    1. Thank you so much, Tarissa! So very thankful for your kind words and encouragement. :) Come back anytime! God bless you.

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  14. Very interesting take on it. but very good get rid of what we do not need is very important

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Gail! God bless you. :)

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