Here is a confession; I have never had a word for the year.
I might have tried (I honestly can’t remember), and it didn’t work. I normally have things and ideas I focus on, but I’ve never really held onto a particular word and just focus on that word, for an entire year. So, when 2023 showed up, I didn’t have the “word for the year.” I didn’t plan to have one. It didn’t even come to mind, until three different persons, from three different social media platforms, almost at the same time, asked their readers (which includes me) the question, “What’s your word for the year?”
There it was in my face, the question I never thought I would answer and definitely didn’t have an answer for. For a strange reason, I started pondering on that question. I said “strange” because I know me. Having a word for the year isn’t my thing, at all. But again, I know me or should I say, I know how God works with me. The way that question caught my attention, I knew something was up…and I wasn’t wrong.
Without meaning to, without asking for it, I got a word for the year. Few minutes into 2023, my Pastor used the word to name the year. Some New Year’s wishes that came in via messages gave emphasis to it. It started resonating with me, and in the early hours of the 4th day of this year, I just knew I have a word for the year, and that word is…NEW. I feel it. I feel it like I feel my body that I have stepped into a New dimension with God, and I know like I know my name that with this New dimension, New experiences will follow (my pastor said this too).
Briefly, I just want to share some thoughts that are really helping me feel this “NEW” energy.
NEW…it begins in the mind
First, it is true; the devil isn’t as powerful as we give him credit. Indeed, the only power he has over us is the one will give to him. If we give him power, we have the right to take it away from him, whenever we want to. You can be a very secure person, the only reason you’re still insecure is because you gave that power to the devil. You can be the happiest, regardless of what you’re going through. The reason you aren’t happy is because you gave that power to the devil. You can let go of that sin that so easily besets you. The only reason you haven’t is because you gave that power to the devil. Good news is, you can take that power back. It is all in your mind. Who do you believe?
Believe God…not the devil
Believe what God says about you, not the devil. We can be quick to believe the devil over God. It sounds off, but if we analyse how we react to things, we’ll see that we easily believe the devil over God. We can easily allow things like fear, insecurity, worry, and despair overwhelm us. Meanwhile, when we look into God’s Word there are several beautiful promises for us.
We all are used to some positive habits, so much so, we can’t stop them, no matter what. We bath, brush our teeth, we groom our hair and nails, we wash our clothes, change our clothes, change our sheets etc. Do you think the devil can successfully convince you to stop any of the activities I just listed? Do you think you can just quit bathing and then say,
“I just don’t feel like bathing, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Trust me, I tried, but I can’t help it.”
If someone close to you says that, you’ll think the person is joking or just needs time to get over a feeling. If that person keeps that up for three going on four days, you’ll definitely intervene because you’ll believe the person is going insane. Why? Well, from when we were born, our minds have been trained to believe that these activities are good, right and very essential. Therefore, we can’t separate them from living, if we do, it becomes a negative anomaly. We can also train our minds to see God’s instructions and perspectives as good, right and very essential. The same will we use to maintain our daily physical hygiene, is the same will we need to maintain our spiritual hygiene. Don’t believe the devil’s lies.
There are limitations that come with living in the body. One of such limitations is that when we stop doing what keeps us sane and healthy our body will deteriorate. Try it. Try to quit bathing, and brushing your teeth for two weeks and see what happens to you. In fact, take it a step higher, refuse to drink water or eat food. You might not be alive to explain how you feel. If our physical body needs these consistencies, so does our spirit. We have to believe that taking breaks from God’s Word, reNEWing our minds with God’s Word, Praying with God’s Word and Practicing God’s Word isn’t an option. It is as important as taking care of ourselves physically, and if we have the willpower to be consistent with the physical, then we have the willpower to be consistent with the spiritual. Don’t let the devil deceive you.
Your will is a gift from God and it is very powerful, especially when it is backed up by the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the grave (Romans 8:11). God has placed before us life and death, and then gives us the will to choose (SEE Deuteronomy 30:19). If we don’t have the right to decide how our lives play out, then God wouldn’t be fair to judge the world. If we don’t have the will to overpower the devil, again God will be unfair to judge the world. If we can’t resist fear, God won’t say, “Fear not.” If we can’t be happy, God won’t say, “Rejoice always.” If we can’t get out of our limitations, comfort zones and insecurities, God won’t say “Arise and shine.” If the devil can’t stop your physical routine to stay clean, he can’t stop your spiritual routine that keeps you spiritually fit. It’s all in the mind. Don’t believe the devil…believe God. Romans 12:2 says we are transformed when we reNEW our minds.
Can we truly decide to take the “NEW” in the “Happy NEW Year” and really make sure it affects every area of our lives? Can we truly reNEW our minds? Can we let the devil know that we have the ability to choose what we believe and hence choose what we experience? Can the NEW us stand up, look the devil, and say, “No more!?”
When I say “Happy NEW Year” that can be rephrased to “Happy NEW Mind,” “Happy NEW Experiences” and “Happy NEW You.”
My Prayer for you and me:
May every nook and cranny of our lives experience the NEW, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Do get in the Gym,
and stay Spiritually fit.