Several years ago I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions because they don’t work anyway; 1/3 of resolutions don’t make it past January because of no commitment.
Resolutions lack a foundation of meaning. Life Hacks’ article on resolutions by Steve Erry says that:
“What you need is something more fundamental, more central and more important to you. What you need is something that comes from the inside, something that’s based on what’s important and what matters to you. That’s the only way to get behind it, have confidence in it and keep the motivation and commitment going.”
That is why before the beginning of each year, I pray to God for the coming year, for His wisdom, guidance, protection, and blessing over me, my family, our loved ones, the U.S. and Israel.
Several years ago I heard about asking God for a theme or a “one word” for the year. I also pray to ask God for a meaningful Scripture and a song that will carry me through the year.
In December 2015, I attended iBloom‘s Planning Virtual Retreat. It was a wonderful conference that filled me up, encouraged and refreshed me. During team member/speaker Betsy Ringer‘s session on getting a new “theme” for the year, she allowed time for everyone attending to pray to get quiet before God and ask Him for the theme.
While praying, I had a vision from the Lord A vision is not some woo-woo, out-there-in-left-field, New Agey thing (although they can be if you’re not a true Christian and it doesn’t line up with God’s word). A vision is part of the gift of prophecy, which is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. You can learn more about these gifts in Lester Sumrall’s book at Amazon, Gifts and Ministries of the Holy Spirit.
I describe visions as like a running picture (like a movie) in your head. Your eyes are open physically but you see it with your spirit.
In my mind as I prayed, I saw a picture of a female deer in a grassy field in the woods by a creek. The waters were graceful and peaceful, flowing gently.
The doe was eating the green grass, and lifted her head. She looked around her alertly,watchful, and listening, with her large, gentle brown eyes. That was it.
I immediately felt impressed that my “one word” for 2016 was “DEER.”
Then I believe God gave me an acronym for it:
D- Do what God says.
E – Each morning God has new mercies, new things for me. (Isaiah 43:19)
E – Enter the land.
R – Rinse and Repeat; Renew.
When I shared about the picture I received during the prayer time in the chat room, Betsy immediate typed that before iBloom’s virtual retreat began, God had given her a Scripture:
“The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He makes me as sure-footed as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:19, NLT)
I believe this is my Scripture for 2016, as well as Psalm 23, specifically verses 2 and 3:
“He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
I felt led to re-read Hannah Hurnard’s book, a gift given to me by my friend Wendi and which I read years ago, Hinds’ Feet on High Places. At that time I was bound by many fears, and related much to the main character Much-Afraid.
I confess I still struggle with fear about various things (don’t we all), but God doesn’t want you or me to be afraid–just to TRUST HIM.
With this vision and Scriptures, I feel led to study the deer to learn more about them, specifically the hind that is the character in Hinds’ Feet On High Places. The hind is known today as the red deer.
I’m going to continue blogging as I study Scriptures on the deer (as many as 26 verses are on the deer in the Bible).
I felt like God led me to this song about the deer, too (As The Deer by Eddie James), and am searching for other meaningful ones for 2016, as part of my 2016 “theme.”
Do you make New Year’s resolutions and goals, choose a theme or a “one word,” or ask God for a Scripture at the beginning of the year? Please share in the comments below.
And my prayer is that you’ll experience a wonderful year filled with God’s wisdom, guidance, protection, blessings, and goodness–your best year yet!
If you’re like me, 2015 was a HARD year and I’m so glad it’s over. Each new year provides a “clean slate,” a fresh, new start for you and me. God has good things planned for us!