Seeking a Word from the Lord for 2013

It is now the middle of January – can you believe it???   How are you doing on those New Year’s Resolutions?  Did you make a determination to get some things in your life “together” this year?  Goals you’d like to accomplish by the end of 2013?   Of course, we can make goals any time of the year, but there’s something special about a fresh calendar year… a fresh start.

The Lord and I made some goals this year.  Actually  we do this every year, and somehow, every year our  “goals” for me  seem to be almost the same.  Each year, I’m sad to say, I never quite meet the standards the Lord sets before me at the beginning of the year.  I make minor improvements {which is better than no improvements} but in all honesty, I’ll confess that I don’t discipline myself enough, deny myself enough, nor take up my cross and follow the Lord wholeheartedly enough for Him to work in and out of me those things that He desires.   I repeatedly repent of this, only to turn right back into my own fleshy ways.  I desperately pray that this year will be different.  That I will be different.  Leaner of self, fuller of Jesus.

I usually have one major goal in each major category – Spiritual Life, Family Life, Home Life, and Physical (body) Life, Ministry Life, Financial Life, and an overall goal that covers everything.  So each January I try to get these areas “back on track”  as I walk into the fresh new year.   For 2013, my goals are as follows:

Spiritual:  Be Kingdom Minded and all about the progress of God’s Kingdom.  (This will be a strict work of the Lord, as on my own, I am very Jennifer-minded!)

Family:  Actively listen to my husband and children, making the most of and absorbing these days with them while our nest is still full. (This will be a work of the Lord in prompting me – oh how I pray to obey! – to put down and turn away from whatever else it is that I’m doing in order to invest in that moment with them.)

Home:  Clean out the excess.  Keep only the things that are useful and/or bring joy to those in our home.  (This also will be a work of the Lord, as I am one of those who store up things “in case we need them one day.”)

Physical: I want to be healthier by the time I turn 45 in August than I have been in my entire life!  (Again, this will be a work of the Lord, as I don’t enjoy healthy eating, and I one-million-percent despise sweating!)

Ministry: I am to write the book God has been swirling around in my mind and heart for over 25 years on praying for our husbands.  (Yep, another strictly-God-work that I absolutely can NOT do on my own!)

Financial:  I want to obey God with every penny spent.  To freely give.  To not waste.  To not accumulate purchases.  To trust God to give us our Daily Bread.  (A God-work, for sure!)

Overall Goal: Deny myself-turning from my selfish ways, take up my cross daily, and follow Jesus.   (“Then He said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow Me.”  Luke 9:23, NLT)

Oh friends, I know that I will need an abundance of the Help of the Lord… and… I will need an obedient heart broken over my own selfishness and sin.  God has a lot of work to do in me this year!  May I submit and joyfully obey for His glory!!!

Have you ever wondered how to “get a word from the Lord” about His goals for you and your life?

I don’t have all of the answers, but I’d like to share with you how God has worked on me and given me specific goals through the processing of His Word.

It is in digesting His Word, opening myself up to its penetrating and cutting and dividing in my own heart that He has revealed to me the many things in my life that need to change.   Some of these areas need to be changed completely – transformed.   Others need to be “tightened up” a bit – reformed.

When I read/study a passage of Scripture, I’m constantly asking the Lord what He wants me to do with what I’m reading.  Sometimes I will sense a “Well done” from Him.  But most of the time, The Holy Spirit convicts me of areas that need to be transformed or reformed.  I take notes on what I sense the Lord saying through His Word, then respond to Him with a plea for forgiveness and help.  Over time, I notice that I keep sensing the same things in whatever it is that I’m reading.  (Or, I keep seeking forgiveness for the same things over and over again!)  Those are the areas I know God is highlighting for a change in my life.  When I compile those areas into like categories, I begin to understand where the Lord would have me grow in Him.

Hebrews 4:12 says “For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.” (Amp)

If we want to know what God wants from us, we need to ask Him, and listen to Him from His Word.  James 1:5 promises us that if we need wisdom, we can ask the Lord and He will give it!  Jeremiah 33:3 urges us to call upon the Lord and promises that He will tell us great and mighty things that we don’t yet know.  Therefore, to understand a word from the Lord for this year: Ask, read, listen, receive… and you’ll begin to recognie your goals from the Lord.

I put together a worksheet last year for my Sunday School class on seeking a word from the Lord for the year, and you can access it in Google Docs  at this link.   In it, you will work through Ephesians 4:17 – 5:20, stopping often and asking the Lord whether you need to reform or transform in an area, or whether you are pleasing God in that area.  It will be an eye-opener.  It may even be painful.  A deep cut by a sharp sword hurts.  But better a quick sharp cut and an obedient response that brings healing than a dull sawing-away that takes forever!  Right?

I pray that the link will work for you, and that if you don’t already have a direction from the Lord for this year, He will speak boldly to you.  Remember ~ God doesn’t cut and reveal to hurt us, but to heal us.  It’s like cutting out the infection of sin so that we can be healthy and whole.  Oh for a heart that seeks and obeys The Lord every. single. time!  That’s what I pray for you and that’s what I pray for me.

What do you sense the Lord saying to you for this year?  I’d love to know… Let’s pray for each other as God works to transform and reform His children. 🙂







About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at


  1. My word for the year is strength – strength from HIM to do what HE wants me to do. I am really trying to find strength in my daily Bible reading. It has been such a wonderful journey already. You are such an inspiration to me! Thank you for blessing me!

  2. Jennifer I just love love love this post. I love how you broke each and every area of your life down and set a focus for each. God’s prompting of this in you has spoken straight to my heart. I’m going to chew on this all day. And I am just thrilled that you will be starting your book!!! I love you my Friend and I am so thankful for what you share. I glean so much from each and every post.