I’m someone that takes Jesus at face value when He said, “My sheep hear (listen to) my voice…” (John 10:27). Hearing God’s voice isn’t an option or reserved for the lucky few.
No, hearing God’s voice and discerning His voice—His actual voice—was and remains a mandate, our inheritance, calling, right and fullness of access outworked.
It’s not a matter of if we are to hear His voice in our everyday lives, but instead a fact that if we are His then our lives are marked by hearing His voice, and, in turn, listening to His voice through surrendered action.
I’ve made a practice of hunting after His voice. I want to know what He has to say about everything in my life. I listen for His wisdom, His insight, His joy, instruction, enlightenment and even silly bits of humor. It all matters to me, and when you take into account the rest of John 10:27-28, it should matter to you as well: “My sheep hear (listen to) my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
When we listen, and therefore commune, we’re in relationship with Him and He says of us, “I know them and they follow me…and they shall never perish…” His instruction, His very voice, keeping us from misguided steps, wasted time, unnecessary roundabouts and decay, in its many forms.
Letting Him name your 2019 is, in essence, letting Him name the work He will complete in you for that season. It’s your “yes” on His equipping—your“yes” on partnering with His promise to cultivate, restore and bless the fullness of that particular season’s line-up.
It is for these reasons and more that I look upon 2019, full of hope and intrigue, and wonder what paths and plans He has laid out by asking Him one simple question, “What have you named my 2019, Lord?”
Letting Him name your 2019, is in essence, letting Him name the work he will complete in you.
Practically put into action, as I stand on the cusp of each new season’s tomorrow, I listen intently for the answer to that question and I’m always a bit awestruck, as well as perplexed when I hear His chosen name. Without fail, each time, I haven’t the faintest idea why He would appoint that name. However, equally without fail, by the end of a season, with the beauty of hindsight, I can unequivocally pinpoint why He named the season what He had.
Take 2017 for example: He had named my season “Redemption.” When I first heard the name, I chewed, with peaked trepidation, on what I thought He could possibly mean by that, but in the end, His plans were far greater than I could have fathomed.
Why the name “Redemption?” In 2017 alone, His redemption surprisingly gave us a family, I became pregnant with twins after close to 7 years of excruciating infertility, it brought healing and forgiveness to a relationship that I thought was beyond repair and allowed room for previously laid-down passions and skills to awaken and exercise again.
For many years now, whether it be a new journal of conversations I’m beginning with Him, a new season or a new year, I ask Him to name it. Not because I’m keen to have my fortune read so I can cash in my chips of expectation, but instead as a marker in the ground, like an Old Testament altar, a living testimony to whose authority I recognize, trust and depend upon. A marker that says He alone owns my 2019. He alone has set its sails, charted its course and equipped me with the grace to navigate the good, the bad and the ugly with Him.
I marvel at what started as just a name, but grew into elaborate promises realized.
It is this marker that I circle around, 365 moments a year and more, saying, “This is your chosen name for this season God; this is your cultivation, promise, victory, truth. What seas will you part to reveal all that lies within its name? I welcome the good. I welcome the bad. I welcome the stretching, molding, shaping, carving. I welcome the fullness of your declared name for my 2019 because you alone are who I trust with it.”
As 2017 drew to a close I was able to look back, seeing its fruit, seeing His promise of “Redemption” fulfilled and I was able to marvel at what started as just a name, but grew into elaborate promises realized.
For those that ask why we should let God name our 2019, this is why. Dive into the great mystery that are His plans and His ways, by letting Him declare the name of your new year.
WHAT DOES GOD’S VOICE SOUND LIKE?
What if knowing God’s voice had less to do with its sound, and more to do with its overall message? Here’s what I believe and think God’s voice sounds like.