I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. For me, it’s a waste of time and thought. Everyone knows most resolutions don’t make it more than a couple of months before being cast away and forgotten. However, I have enjoyed the aspect of choosing a word for the New Year around which to base my life and growth. Last year, I picked the word “breathe” to remind myself to live in the present and to not stress over things. I can’t say I mastered the practice, but that single word acted as a compass when I needed it the most.
As I prayed about what my word would be this year, the first thought that came to my mind was “love.” It seemed logical after all the time I’ve spent studying it out over the past year and trying to apply it to my life, but oddly enough, it just didn’t seem like the proper word. A couple of others passed through my mind, but I discarded each one for various reasons. Then, yesterday while on a hike with Jason and Barnabas, I found the word I was looking for. Yes, my word for 2019 is “settled.”
The term “settled” has a lot of different meanings, but for my purposes, I want to focus on these: to be placed so as to stay; to become quiet or orderly; to be fixed or resolved conclusively; to be established or secured permanently; to come to rest; to conclude. What an awesome word, right? It encompasses the idea of security, rest, resolution, and stability. Honestly, I can’t think of a better term for this little red-headed writer who’s been called to the mission field of Wales.
Of course, God couldn’t leave it at the wonder of the word. He had to tie it into today’s devotion in our Negatives in the Bible series so I could, once again, make the connection between my life and God’s promises. Isn't He awesome!
There are at least half a dozen other verses that match those above nearly word for word, not to mention the many throughout the Bible that teach the principle of the righteous being settled and secure in the care of the Lord.
To ensure I didn't see a connection where there wasn’t one, I looked up the word “moved” in my Bible dictionary. Would you like to take a guess at what it means? The definition is this: to totter, shake, or slip; to be overthrown; to dislodge, fall, or drop; to be greatly shaken. Whoa! The term “moved” means the opposite of “settled.” So, to not be moved means to be settled, right? There’s no missing the connection. My word for 2019 is based on one of the promises of God repeated throughout Scripture—the righteous are settled; they shall never be moved.
If you’re anything like me, your first thought was, Wait a minute! I’m saved and consider myself righteous, but I’ve fallen plenty of times. I’ve slipped and messed up and had to make my way back to God for forgiveness. My faith has been shaken more times than I can count. So, how can this promise be true? Something doesn’t make sense here. I hear you. It seems like God’s Word and real-life experience aren’t matching up. But hear me out.
The word “righteous” doesn’t mean those who are saved; it means those who are saved and living right. When we fall, mess up, and slip, are we living right? No, that’s why we fall. When our faith is shaken, are we right with the Lord? Not according to the Scriptures: But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6) We can’t be right with God (aka righteous) when we do not please Him. Does that make sense?
God’s promise states when we’re walking with Him in His will, we will not stumble, slip, fall, or be shaken. We will be settled, like a tree planted by the water. Secure. Unwavering. At rest. It’s only when we get outside of His plans for our lives that we run into trouble. That’s not to say the Christian walk will be easy. It won’t be. There will be plenty of trials and heartaches, but when we’re secure in God’s will, we’ll make it through to the other side.
Settled. Unmovable. Fixed. Resolved. Yes, I like that. I like it a lot. What about you? Do you have a word for the new year? I’d love to hear which one you’ve chosen and why you’ve chosen it, so please leave a comment below.