REST! That is my #onelittleword for 2020. But before you pull the blankets up over your head and prepare to hibernate, let me explain what I mean by rest and how I arrived my choice.
Last Sunday, my pastor announced that our church’s theme for next year would be VISION. We all want 2020 Vision. That’s perfect, I thought! That will be my personal word, too. Since Sunday, I have been thinking about what my 2020 Vision would look like.
In 2019, I wrote a book, Set Your Mind: Finding Wellness Through Intention. It came out in October. While I am proud of that accomplishment, publishing is really only part of the process. I now need to find ways to share it. I thought an October release would give me time to market through the end of 2019, but family medical challenges took up a lot of time—time which might otherwise have been spent on promotion. With the demands of the holidays quickly following the medical challenges, I had to release my expectations and ask God to help me live “in the present moment.” [See “Who Orders Your Steps?”] I gave the book and its results back to Him so I could concentrate on my family. I was at peace about this, and I had a delightful Christmas.
But now it was time to look forward. What will 2020 bring? During my devotion time, I read Ephesians 2:6, God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. My Bible notes include a Joyce Meyer commentary which caught my eye because I had previously highlighted it. “God is not calling us to rest from our work but in our work.”¹
How do we rest in work? Though physically we live on earth, spiritually we are seated with Christ. But to be spiritually seated with Him, we must abide in Christ. To abide in Him, we must walk in faith and trust that He has already accomplished His work. His work includes the plans He has for us. When we abide in Him, allowing Him to direct our steps, then His purposes for us will be accomplished. We can rest in Him.
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. [Matthew 11:28-30]
I sensed in my spirit that God was giving me the word “rest” for 2020. I still have vision for my future. But while the word vision sets my mind to writing goals, coming up with strategies, and accomplishing objectives of the vision that I have for my book, the word rest reminds me that the results are God’s. As I rest in Him and His guidance, I can still set goals and plan, but it needs to be done prayerfully, in Him and through Him, as He directs my steps.
All of my striving will not accomplish what God can do. Striving in my own strength will create the opposite of rest. It will create weariness and frustration if things don’t go according to my vision. My book is a seed God has planted through me, and the harvest always belongs to Him. All of these truths are that God has taught me in the past. They are lessons I need to review often.
Rest doesn’t mean I will not work. Instead, rest means I will rest in God and His timing, His plan, and His process. All of this requires prayer. It requires knowing God intimately, which requires spending time with Him. So, I will rest in Him and carry His yoke that is easy and light. Resting in Him will allow me to have goals in other areas of my life without getting out of balance.
Ultimately, no matter which word we choose for 2020 to remind us of our goals, we should look to God to guide our steps and decisions, moment by moment and day by day. When we are stressed out or living with a chaotic time schedule, it is time to stop and rest in Him.
¹“Seated in Heavenly Places.” The Everyday Life Bible: Containing the Amplified Old Testament and the Amplified New Testament, by Joyce Meyer, Warner Faith, 2006, pp. 1931.