Every new year I ask Jesus to give me one word to push me into the coming months. I am always amazed when I look back at the twelve months behind me and see how exactly that word played out. The past few years, my one word themes have all revolved around fields and farming. Planting, sowing, harvesting....all words that speak of the fields and the work to be done. I went into prayer for this coming year and asked Jesus what my word would be, fully expecting something similar. I was caught off guard a bit by the word He gave me and even questioned Him about it, but it is clearly what He dropped into my soul for this coming year...
That's the most intense word I've ever been given to describe the coming year. I looked up the definition of this weighty word, trying to wrap my head around what it really means.
Relentless // incessant, constant, never ending, unremitting, single-minded, tireless, unfaltering, unwavering.
Even though I initially questioned being given such a hefty word, I knew it was right. As I look into the new year, there are already plans unfolding that will require a relentless pursuit on my part. Jesus has asked some bold and courageous things of me in the coming months. I've admitted to you all before that I am not a risk taker by nature. I crave safety. I've learned, though, that this pursuit of truth is not one of safety.
It is good, but it is not safe.
To be relentless means running into the fire, not away from it. It means being deaf to the doubt but acutely aware of His voice. It occurs to me as I think on this coming year and what it will mean to be relentless in the pursuit of Heaven that I am thankful I've learned the meaning of true rest in Jesus. Rest is not always sitting still, though it is at times. I've learned over time that rest also comes from working alongside Jesus to bring people into His kingdom. There is a deep sense of rest that comes from knowing I'm doing the work of Heaven.
The Spirit of God has been stirring in me a hunger to delve deeper into relationship with Him. I remember feeling this way when I first discovered grace eight years ago. I was hungry for truth. I devoured every word of scripture I read. I asked questions, I wrote feverishly in my journal about my discoveries. The whisper that I've heard in recent weeks is one that coincides with this idea of a relentless pursuit.
That is the word that's been swirling around in my spirit from God. He's been calling out to me in the way He did eight years ago....
"There's more," He whispers, stirring hunger in me for whatever that more might be.
The things of God are not given to those who sit back and watch. They are given to those who run the race, who pursue with passion the truth set before them. I am keenly aware, at this point in my walk with Jesus, that I can receive as much of His kingdom as I choose to pursue. He isn't holding anything back from me, He's simply waiting on me to run after it all.
2018 will be marked by the stripping off of every weight that slows me down, so that I can run with endurance the race God has set before me (Hebrews 12:1). I've only got so many days on this planet. Once I'm gone, all that will remain are the seeds I planted for Jesus and the people affected by His gospel.
2017 was a hard year for me. There was a lot of emotional upheaval, a deeper level of healing in my soul and some wading into deeper waters, where child-like faith was my only anchor. All of it was needed to purify my heart and shed all of my selfish notions of what is or should be. I'm not looking to be anything or anyone but a disciple of my King, and my daily prayer will be that my heart stays pure before him as I pursue Him, above all else.
What do you see when you look ahead into 2018? We cannot predict the way it will all turn out, of course. but we can align our hearts with the heart of Jesus, and ask Him to disciple us through whatever comes. When the unpredictable comes into my 2018, I'm going to hear that whisper...
It makes sense, this idea of being relentless in pursuit. After all, my King is marked with the scars of His relentless pursuit of me. How can I do anything less but run hard after Him?
I pray you know the power of His presence in 2018. I pray that your soul is filled with a thirst for truth and that you run after it, no matter the cost.
Happy New Year, friends.