At the end of 2011, I felt the Lord challenging me to pray for a “word” for this year. A single word that I could focus on and to use to be my measuring stick for what I say “yes” and “no” to.
The word that came to me is: Release
I love Webster’s definition of it:
- To set free from confinement, restraint, or bondage
- To free from something that binds, fastens, or hold back; let go
- To dismiss, as from a job
- To relieve of debt or obligation
- To relieve of care and suffering
- To make known or available
- A deliverance or liberation, as from confinement or restraint or suffering
- An authoritative discharge as from an obligation
- An unfastening or letting go of something caught or held fast
- The condition of being available, in use
Even reading through the definition of the word “release” brings about such powerful imagry! It stirs and awakens passions. It fuels my Spirit to soar! At 46, I have lived enough life to want to “throw off the hindrances that so easily entangle me” (Hebrews 12:1). I am no longer “shamed” by my shortcomings, but I run to God’s throne of Grace to receive His mercy so that I can “move on!”
As I spent some time meditating and pondering on this word, I decided to formulate 7 questions I want to ask myself this year, incorporating the word Release:
- By saying “yes” to ________, will it release me or help me release someone else? If not,________ is not for me.
- How am I living a “released” life so that it shows off the Freedom in Christ that I have found?
- If I purchase/eat/watch/speak _________, will this “release me” or lock me into maintaining this or paying for this many times over?
- Does this *person/relationship/time commitment “release” me or was it just for a season in life? (*note: this is not a question about my spouse.)
- As my husband’s team-mate, how can I encourage, build up, and release him in the ways that fuel his passions and strengthens our marriage?
- Will worrying about ______ release me in any way? I need to pray and release _________ to the mighty power of The One who can actually move on my behalf.
- Is what I am saying to myself the truth right now? John 8:32 says that “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Release me, Lord, to know Your Truth!
Living in North America, it’s almost impossible to not “self-reflect” at the beginning of a new year. The media bombards us with it. But as much as self-reflection is the “buzz,” it also quickly fades away. Studies show that in just one month 60% of those who self-reflect have reverted back to old patterns.
But here is a great concept: You can be “released” from that! As a new beginning to 2012, find your “word” in God’s Word and ask His Spirit to plant a seed in you that cannot be uprooted. Place yourself in a position of quiet to listen. Don’t find the time, take the time. Then, write your word down on a 3×5 card with this verse by it: Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this, he who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.”
I’d love to hear what God is releasing in you this year!