Monday, January 6, 2014

One Word For 2014

Some people claim, that they are just a new trending way to make a resolution.

The flash mob on social network might offer some support for that statement.

Still I have enjoyed seeing the steady stream of One-Words by the masses as they slip through my news feed and across my screen.

So many fine words they have been, indeed.

Words like Create, Discipline, Resolute, Perseverance, Rest, Joy, Balance, Peace, Simplify  and this one that made me grin, JustDoIt. I like that girl who squeezed three words to make one.

So I've wavered back and forth if I even needed a One Word for 2014, and if I did should I bother to write about it.

For one, I don’t like to ride on bandwagons, and two, as it seems to be with my life, my One Word is kind of unconventional.

You may remember, last year my One Word was "All."



It really seemed like a lot to take on for one year. Honestly, I could probably have a re-do since giving your all, could take more than just 356 days.

Honestly I'm not kidding.  2013 took all I had to finish well. It was good, it was hard, it pumped up my spiritual muscles. My entire, heart, soul, strength and mind were tested to the very end. I was glad to turn the page.

In December, I wasn't even looking for a One Word, when my One Word came and found me.

I can't even tell you how it arrived, I just know it wouldn't go away.

So this year the word that keeps hounding me is this:

It was kind of irritating really because jubilee seems like an antiquated word.

I mean when was the last time you used that word in a sentence?

Or have you ever heard it used in a sentence?

Even the best wordsmith would be challenged, to work words like jubilant and jubilation into the average text.

If you've ever read the Bible and didn't skip any books, you may have seen "the Year of Jubilee", in the book of Leviticus. With slight reluctance, this is where I began my little journey to study my word. 

What God has been showing me have been pure nuggets of gold.

The idea of a Year of Jubilee was introduced to a large band of God's people, the Israelites, who had just been delivered from Egypt and years of the deep bondage of slavery. They were encamped in the desert, at the foot of Mount Sinai. The book of Leviticus may not seem like the stuff that Hollywood loves to make movies about on the surface, as it outlines how to worship, deal with sin and how to live as people who depend on God.

Please don't run off yet, I'll try to keep it kind of simple about my crazy jubilee word.

The Hebrew word for jubilee is, yōbhēl and means ram’s horn. It may seem ridiculous, but there is a whole book to be written on just that. At the very least, a chapter in my book.

So there is the sounding of a trumpet, the shofar, the ram horn.... which was used to declare victory.

Jubilee is declaring a Holy year, having to do with 50 years, a season or occasion of rejoicing and festivity.

It is called a special year.

A year of liberation and consolation.

Liberation: to free
Consolation: to comfort, to relieve grief

God's people who had sold themselves into slavery were to be set free.

There is debt forgiven, things restored and captives set free. There is repentance and pardon. There is the concept of resting and accepting what comes, as a gift from the Lords' hand.

The idea of taking what has been hard and ravaged and making something beautiful.

A year looking for His provision.

Jubilee is to be a year of releasing to God, the details so that He can redeem things for His glory.

There is that rams horn.

The blowing of a trumpet and declaring victory.

I think of the story of Jericho. When the people believed God could defeat their overwhelming foes and so they moved forward. And they looked pretty foolish as they marched for seven days, around the double-walled city, that appeared to be impenetrable, immovable, unattainable, all while blowing their rams horns. They moved forward in faith, sounding the seven trumpets and at just the right time they gave a shout and a final trumpet blast and the walls came down.

I know it doesn't make sense, but that's how God works.

That's why I'm embracing my word that seems a little outdated, unknown, maybe even weird.

This word that is hard to define, because I want it to be a state of being.

Because I've got some areas in my life, in my heart, that I'd love to see handed over to God to do something miraculous with. I've got some ashes that I'd like Him to make beautiful, some more freedom I would like to walk in. There are people I love who I am circling in prayer and some people that are hard to love, that I want to love.

This definition: "The concept of Jubilee is a special year....... a time when slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest."

Don't we all desire to see the mercies of God manifested greatly in our lives this year?

The beauty of it is this, I'm declaring it a year of jubilee, I'm moving forward in faith, worship, and prayer, but I'm looking for God to take down the walls. I want to be an obedient, willing participant, but the battles that lie ahead of me this year, need the power of God, to move on our behalf.

Don't imagine that I'll just be sitting around, in an overstuffed chair, sipping sweet tea with a pineapple chunk and tiny umbrella, though I may have to try that.  From the little we can glimpse, 2014 is already set to be a crazy year, full of changes, difficult, yet good things.

Would you like to guess how old my husband will be this year?

Lord willing JQ will turn.... 50.

And before he knew that I was wrestling around with jubilee as my One Word for 2014, he just stopped me and said,  "This is the year we get out of debt....."

I just love that man.

I just love the God we serve.

One way or another, this is our year of jubilee.

And by the way, I'm kind of looking for a rams horn.

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