At Existence Church, we invite you to slow down and ask God to give you one word to take into the new year. We believe this can be a powerful spiritual discipline to cultivate a life of listening to God. If you are interested in learning more click here.
Take a moment to be encouraged by Lisa’s one word journey…
“I love how God is constantly inviting us into adventures with Him. I also love how Existence Church is a place that encourages their church family members to seek out and bravely accept these divine invitations. In 2014, I struggled with pervasive shame, guilt and unworthiness. Because of my life choices and circumstances, I was left feeling unworthy of His perfect love. When we were encouraged to pray and invite God to give us a word to journey alongside Him with, I was bestowed the word ‘beloved’. Throughout 2015 I learned all about God’s extravagant love for me, his broken yet beloved daughter. It was the most humbling and freeing year of my life. I came to envision our Almighty God as this eager puppy, early in the morning pouncing on me, full of love and eager to share life with me. God is for us, His beloved silly children.
The following year, 2016, I was gifted with the word ‘self-control’. For those who don’t know me, I have an addictive, sensation-seeking personality and poor emotional impulse control. Jesus desired to sow seeds of truth and holiness within me. It was a humbling year filled with God using my husband to reveal to me what self-control looked like. Have you ever heard the saying, “Be careful what you pray for”? Well, 2016 offered many opportunities in my marriage to practice self-control. I prayed and worked daily to deny my flesh of impulsive and emotional thoughts. Self-control truly is a fruit of the Spirit. There were days when I had to pray constantly for the Spirit to fill me with self-control:
1 Corinthians 10:13– No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
I continue to pray, asking the Spirit to fill me with self-control rather than indulging in my immediate emotional responses. And although I have not mastered the art of self-control, I see the transformative work Jesus has done within my heart the last year. I also see the fruit and freedom of it within my marriage.
This year, I knew my word instantaneously. I prayed for God to reveal a good one, perhaps something exciting and fun this time around. Ha! Big dude is a real jokester, He placed a word that I once viewed as disgusting and sad as a woman. Submit. It sounds like such an ugly word. “Woman, fetch me a sandwich” ugly. With some prayer and delving into scripture I have discovered the beauty and Jesus-like nature of this word. Submission takes strength, humility, trust and unconditional love. The creator of our world became flesh, endured pain, served and deeply loved all people. He submitted himself to a life of service and ultimately an excruciating and torturous death so that we may live. As mentioned above, many of my actions and words are a direct result of my emotional sensations. By God’s work, much of the time I am fueled by the Holy Spirit to love others. It is very easy to love and serve others when “I feel like it”. I sometimes receive this “Holy High” and am led to serve and extravagantly love others within my professional and personal life. This is solely the work of Jesus. However, there have been times I have been called by God to serve others and I just wasn’t feeling it, so I didn’t. This year, I want to submit to God’s every plan with trust and obedience even when I don’t “feel like it”. I also desire to submit to my husband, in faith that he is submitting to God. I wish to build upon my self-control and live in submission and servitude to my Holy Father and husband.
Proverbs 3:6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Ephesians 5:24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Within the past few weeks God has provided me with several opportunities to share my word with friends who do not have a relationship with Jesus. I have witnessed a sparked interest within a few of them and have continued to share my journey. I know God has great plans to use this year for his glory and kingdom- I am so stoked to be a part of it!”