A friend recently encouraged me to choose a word, one word, to really focus on in 2019. I realized that this past year, I had a prayer for the year that focused on two words: joy and health. Throughout 2018, I saw the Lord answer my prayer to experience deeper joy in Him and to be healthier–spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, etc. Because of that, I was really challenged to sit, process, and pray through what one word I would choose for this year.
After some time, one word kept coming to the forefront of my mind–pursue. While there were plenty of other characteristics I want to grow in, I believe that “pursue” is the word for 2019. This year, I want to pursue God deeper and more intentionally than I ever have before. I want to pursue people for the sake of the gospel, and I want to pursue others in a way that reflects how I have been ultimately pursued by God through Jesus Christ. Jesus humbled Himself and stepped out of heaven in order that we may know God. Jesus emptied Himself for our sake, and through Jesus’ humility, God pursued His people.
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:1-11
This year, I want to pursue people, but my prayer is that any pursuit of others will come out of a deeper understanding and love for the One that has first pursued me.
A neat part about choosing one word for this year is that this one word leads to so many other words. If I pursue God and others, I will (Lord-willing) be growing in humility, intentionality, love, selflessness, obedience (to God), compassion, and more. While I know this one word could bring some growing pains, I eagerly await to see how God will reveal more of Himself through this word this year and how He will cultivate my heart more to pursue those around me.
I know my one word. I want to challenge you, my friend, what one word might the Lord have for you this year?