10 Ways Your Word Guides Your Year

Cara faith thoughts 2 Comments

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how to find Your Word for 2017. A logical question several of you had was, “Now that I have my word, now what?”

That’s a great question, so today I wanted to share ten ways that a Word can help direct your year. You may find that some or none of these apply to you. If you’ve used the word in other ways, I would love to learn about those, so be sure to leave a comment.

      1. A word can give you a prayer focus. If God has given you a word, a next step is to begin to ask God why. What does He want you to learn as you focus on the word?
      2. Do a word study. You may think you already understand what HOPE means. But as you dig into the meaning from dictionaries, Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc., you may be surprised at layers that are revealed to you.
      3. Ask God for a scripture to go with the word. Is there a particular verse or passage that He wants to bring to life in new ways? What are those? Is there something you’ve never seen before that He wants to illuminate in your life? Ask for a verse, and some of that may come to light.
      4. Ask God for a Biblical story to go with your word. You may be like me and love story. If you do, ask God to give you a story that accompanies your word. Maybe He wants you to be PRESENT, and He has you studying the story of Mary and Martha. Or maybe He’s told you to ACT and takes you to the same story. Having that story may help you glean extra layers from the word.
      5. Ask God if there is a song that He wants you to soak in as you study the word. One year my word was BRAVE and that was the year that Brave by Moriah Peters and You Make Me Brave from Bethel came out. It was hitting me from all sides, and I thought I was already pretty brave.
      6. Do a concordance search for all the verses that contain your word. Be intentional to dig through all of them. Some words will be daunting (HOPE, BELIEVE, LOVE). Others might be harder to find. Learn how to use a concordance so you can drill down to the key definitional meaning that ties to the meaning God wants you to focus on.
      7. Journal about your word. As you journal, watch for insights that may be revealed to you. I love to journal, because then I know the thoughts are captured and I can come back to them.
      8. Ask God to show you what the word means each day. Take on an attitude of asking how God wants to reveal that word and its meaning to you in fresh ways. It might seem small, but I found that as I have this expectancy, God tends to meet me in those moments.
      9. Put reminders of the word around you. I have a stone that is etched with the word BELIEVE. Each time I see it, it reminds of the journey God took me on to dig deeper in that area. You can do something similar with any word. It’s like a visual cue that reminds you to do everything else I’ve listed about the word.
      10. And then a few months into the year, stop and evaluate. Does the word still fit? Are there areas where you should delve deeper? Has God shown you a nuance that you need to explore. Don’t treat this as a rigid process but separately created by your Father for you alone.
      11. And here’s a bonus one: Look for nonfiction books that are related to your theme. I’ve found that God often has a corporate approach even to these intensely personal words. So see if He’s speaking to an author and study that book as well.

I hope this list gives you a few ideas for ways you can take a word and build it into a system of study and diving deeper with God.

Comments 2

  1. Cara, thank you for this list! This is my first year to do One Word, as I mentioned in a comment on your first One Word article of this year. As I was reading through your list here, I was surprised at how many of the items God had already led me to. The Bible verse, song (CD), and prayer were the first things that I did once I realized what my word was. I’m going to print out this list and highlight each item, then stick the page in my One Word journal. It will be great to review the list throughout the year, which I think will help me stay focused but also allow me to explore the various ways in which God wants me to learn about my word.

    I especially like the non-fiction idea! I hadn’t yet thought of that. Since my word is SEE, I think I’ll start with a biography of Helen Keller. That girl might not have been able to see, but boy, did she learn to really SEE how life worked once Anne Sullivan worked with her. I’ll be praying about other non-fiction authors/titles throughout the year.

    Thanks again, Cara, for all the lovely tips! I appreciate your advice so much.

    1. Post

      I love the idea of reading a biography on Helen Keller. I read so many on her as a young adult! So glad this was helpful, Andrea. It was your comment that prompted this next step. 🙂

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