Growth :: My #oneword365 {www.boldlytanya.com}

Photo by Jungwoo Hong on Unsplash

There is a woman God created me to be. He has been cultivating and fertilizing and pruning me to be that woman, but I have resisted, thinking things would be too hard and not wanting to give up who I am to become who He wants me to be. As a result, I became stagnant. And the realization drives me to my knees.

Stagnant is such an easy thing to become. It happens when things are comfortable. There is nothing rippling the water; nothing making waves or disrupting the surface tension. Everything is blissfully still.

Safe.

Simple.

Except it isn’t.  Everything appears inactive and lifeless, but stagnation is ideal for harmful parasites, bacteria, and disease-carrying insects, like mosquitos.

Imagine what harmful parasites and bacteria are incubating in a stagnant soul.

Apathy.

Idolatry.

Bitterness.

When things got hard, I convinced myself stillness was the answer. I needed to wait on God. I was going to let Him fight for me.

While being still and waiting on God was probably the right things to do, I did them all wrong.

I initiated an all-stop. I quit doing everything. The hard things especially, but the easy things, too. Everything just came to a standstill.

But being still and waiting on God doesn’t mean we stop everything and give up until something better comes along, or the desire to do what God called us to do comes back.

When I think of waiting on God, I think of Isaiah 40:31,

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (KJV).

The verb wait comes from the Hebrew word qavah meaning to bind together, typically by twisting (like a rope) and it implies a strength. Figuratively, the same word means to expect or await and comes from the idea of enduring, which isn’t far from the idea of strength.

There is action to the idea of waiting. This isn’t a dormant verb. It is robust. There is a buzz of expectation as we bind ourselves to our Lord and Creator.

There are similar implications with stillness.

“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exo 14:14 NIV).

These words spoken by Moses immediately prior to the parting of the Red Sea are the first that come to my mind when I think of stillness. (If you are unfamiliar with the story, you can find it in Exodus 14.) “Still” comes from Hebrew word charash. It means to hold your tongue or to be silent.

In context, the Hebrews were complaining about the pursuing Egyptians. God sent ten plagues upon the land and ensured their freedom, yet His people doubted their deliverance and even felt they would have been better off if they never left slavery. God wasn’t instructing them to stand still and do nothing. He was telling them to be quiet and stop complaining. He parted a sea to save His people. They just needed to be silent and pay attention so they knew when to move.

Waiting on God means we bind ourselves to our Lord, staying faithful in the things God called us to do until He reveals the next step.

Being still means we hold our tongue and watch as God moves obstacles out of the way.

There is no all stop in our spiritual lives. There is only full steam ahead until God plots a new course.

With a repentant heart and a busy mind, I’ve been stewing over my one word for 2018 for some time, prayerfully considering from a warehouse of options. When I consider how I want my life to look, there are tons of things I would change.

I would draw closer to God. I would increase my spiritual disciplines. I would develop better relationships with my people. I would boost my ministry efforts. I would improve some skills while cultivating new ones. I would be the opposite of stagnant.

Finally, I realized all of my desires are the same: growth.

I want to grow into the person God wants me to be for 2018. No more stagnation. Only activity. I want to become a person seeking more. More of God. More of myself. Then I can give more to the people God has given me, and the work He created me to do.

What about you? What is your one word for 2018? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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