Two years ago, as the New Year arrived, I heard for the first time about choosing one word for the year instead of making a New Year’s resolution (which I usually didn’t bother to do.)
I felt the Lord was giving me the word “LISTEN”. It’s something that most of us need to work on, whether in our relationship with others or with God. Check out my thoughts on that here.
Then, last year, as I listened to God, I felt He was giving me the words “ABIDE” or “DWELL”. You can find my post on that HERE. (Warning: I just reread it and was convicted of, um, not doing such a great job, so if you don’t want the Spirit of God to stir your heart to action, you’d better not read it. But then again,….maybe we could all use this?)
Anyway, this year, after a year of trying to listen to God and of struggling to abide in Him, I believe He is giving me the word “Speak”.
But God has impressed on me the importance of the order that He gave these words:
- then Dwell,
- then Speak – in that order.
James tells us, in his book of wisdom,
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” James 1:19
So, while I believe God wants me to speak up more than I used to, He keeps on running through my mind the words that Samuel spoke the first time he heard from the LORD:
“Speak, Lord, thy servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10
So, the speaking that He wants me to do is that which I have heard from Him while I was dwelling in Him and listening to His voice as He speaks to me.
So far, these are the 4 things I believe I am hearing Him tell me about speaking:
- Speak what God is telling you to say without fear. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NASB)
- Speak truth and reconciliation resulting in unity and love. (Eph. 4:15; Matt. 5:24; Luke 17:3)
- Speak encouragement, graciousness, and kindness. “And never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them.” (Ephesians 4:29 TPT), and
- Speak gratefulness and rejoicing. (Phil.4:4; John 15:10,11)
He also reminds me that:
“Out of the heart the mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45
So I absolutely must daily take the time to draw close to my Heavenly Father in prayer and the study of His Word, so that my heart can be freshly anointed by His Spirit to speak that which pleases Him.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your invitation to draw near to You and to spend time in communion with You. Thank You for the privilege of sitting at Your feet and of listening to You speak Your words of wisdom and love. Help us to dwell in You, listening daily to Your precious voice, and walking in obedience to that which You speak to us there. Help us to keep our hearts open to You, to hear Your words of teaching and of loving correction when we fall short. Help us to speak Your words from a pure heart. May our words be gifts of love to all those to whom You send us. Help us to speak joyful words from a grateful heart, come what may. Take away our fear that binds us and keeps us from speaking that which You are leading us to say. And help us to seek reconciliation with those who have hurt us or whom we have offended, for You have said, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” Psalm 133:1 May You, Lord, be glorified and exalted through our lives and through our words. In Jesus’ name I ask it, Amen.
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