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One (Other) Word 2011

January 4, 2011

A couple of days ago as I read Ingrid’s One Word post, I asked God if He could give me a word of focus for this next year of my life. I got nothing immediately after that prayer and then as I was laying in bed that night reading, the word made its landing…hard. And I totally tried to shake it, contort it and make it into pretty much any other word except the one that it was (is). I would even have even been willing to cheat and copy one of Tracee Persiko’s “back-up” words like butt-tastic. I still may ask Tracee‘s permission to use butt-tastic on a semi-regular basis simply because it makes me laugh every time I say it. 

So my word for this year is Obedience.  And as quickly as I heard the word from God, I almost immediately heard from “the other side of my shoulder”  this  sneering lie of, “No, no, no, that’s not the word that God has for you. You’re not really hearing that from Him…this is stupid, you’re making this stuff up in your head.”

But I know this word is for me.   What that means to me is a few things. I will obey him by breaking bad habits that can or have become idols in my life. I will obey Him by making the reading and study of His Word more prominent in my life; because I am certain that I feel Him more closely when His words are on my lips and in my heart.

I will be obedient to Him by make His dominion over my life something that I act upon as much as I talk about.

  • That means I have to care less about neatly wrapped friendships and more about praying for and allowing Jesus to use me in listening and speaking into my friends’ hearts or into areas of their lives where they feel trapped. Because Jesus is all about healing the broken hearts and setting the captives free
  • It means devoting time to Him when He nudges me to take care in crafting songs for the glory of His name.
  • It means taking on ALL aspects of my responsibilities as the spiritual guide for my family.
  • And it means that I have got to talk to Him and trust that He hears me. Not only setting the habit of making time for just Him and I, but remembering that talking to Him “in the moment” ought to be my first thought rather than an afterthought.

Most importantly, God not only desires my obedience, He commands it. And the more I dwell on this single word, the more I realize how so very many times I have cheapened His grace in my life  and how badly I want people to see Jesus through me more and more. I really do want that; I want Him. Obedience to Jesus is everything for me, because without it, I am not armored or skilled or strong enough to carry His banner or share His love on my own.

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.   – 1John 2:3-6

We might think that God wanted simply obedience to a set of rules; whereas He really wants people of a particular sort.    – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


*Make sure you check out some amazing One Word posts right here! Thanks so much Alece for starting this!
9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2011 4:48 pm

    This made me chuckle out loud! COL! You are absolutely allowed to run with that word! It makes me chuckle too whenever I use it.

    I really like this post, Joel. Obedience is such a challenge. It changes every area, as well as impacts every area, of life. This is such a great line, “because I am certain that I feel Him more closely when His words are on my lips and in my heart.” I am going to marinate on that as I follow after him.

    Looking forward to seeing how Obedience threads through your life this year!

    • January 4, 2011 9:18 pm

      Thanks for your encouragement Tracee! Here’s to obedience to Obedience to Christ to forward His cause; His Kingdom!

  2. January 4, 2011 7:19 pm

    obedience is HARD. i commend you for choosing to make that your focus this year, joel. i know you are up for the challenging! praying right now that you would hear His voice clearly and have the faith to obey promptly!

    (and here’s to us all being asstastic by the end of the year too!)

    • January 4, 2011 9:15 pm

      Really appreciate that. Especially the prayers. The more we as a community of believers come together to pray, intercede for and encourage one another, the more the Body of Christ forges ahead for the cause of restoring hearts and rescuing those held captive!

      And…on another note… I think “The Asstastics” would make a great Dodgeball team name.

      • January 4, 2011 9:26 pm

        ha! tracee uses the PG version online but offline… we totally say “asstastic”!

        and YES! a great dodgeball team name! ha!

  3. January 4, 2011 10:10 pm

    Whenever I think of obedience, I always remember the ultimate example of obedience – Jesus – when he said “I only do what I see my Father doing; I only say what I hear my Father saying” (my paraphrasing).

    I wonder what we all could be if we were more obedient in that way.

    On an aside, could someone define ‘butt-tastic’. That is one word I don’t have in my vocabulary. And the urban dictionary definition doesn’t fit, I don’t think.

    • January 4, 2011 10:26 pm

      That’s such a good reminder for me John! Thanks for giving me some more good things to think about today!

      That said, I’m waiting for Tracee’s submission of “butt-tastic” to Wikipedia…thinkin it should be any day now, right?

  4. January 5, 2011 9:31 am

    That is a tough one. If that word had been handed to me, the lie that I’d hear would be, ‘Then you might become way too legalistic or judgmental or regimented, etc.” But the truth is that obedience is a beautiful acknowledgment that we’re not in charge, that life isn’t all about us, that we have the freedom to be under the rule of the Creator.

    Thanks again for this tag-team blog. Great little corner of the internet.

    • January 5, 2011 12:34 pm

      Appreciate that my friend! “…we have the freedom to be under the rule of the Creator.” Love that! Well said! -Joel

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