God always gives me a word for the year. It's usually a word I either think I know or don't want to spend time thinking about. This was more than true with the word He gave me for 2021. It is the word "more."
The first thing I thought when He gave me the word was, What more, God? I don't want more. More means I have more to do, more to handle. I'm not sure I like this word.
More Than Conquerors
Here's the deal: God doesn't care if I like it or not. He wants me to understand and experience what the word means. So I looked up Scripture for the word "more". Romans 8: 37 stood out to me in a major way. In The Passion Translation it says, "Yet even in the midst of all these things, we triumph over them all, for God has made us to be more than conquerors, and His demonstrated love is our glorious victory over everything."
In the verses right before this, Paul is talking about who or what can separate us from God's love? He tells us that nothing can do that. He says, "Troubles, pressures, and problems are unable to come between us and heaven's love" (Rom. 8:35b). We are more than conquerors over all these things.
After the year we've had, this is really good to know. We don't want more of what 2020 brought us, but if it does come, we know we are more than conquerors over whatever the new year throws at us.
The Challenge of More
When I read Proverbs 25:16, TPT, it stopped in my tracks. Of course, my lifelong battle with sugar addiction caused me to stop here, but I have read Proverbs through many times and not really read this verse. Today, though, was different.
Here's what this verse says: "When you discover something sweet, don't overindulge and eat more than you need, for excess in anything can make you sick of even a good thing."
The word "more" has challenges, and this describes those challenges in a nutshell. We always want more, but more comes with difficulties of its own. I have to admit, when I finally accepted that God's word for me this year was "more," I was a little scared that might mean more money.
Don't get me wrong, money is great. Money managed correctly can impact the kingdom of God in phenomenal ways. It's just that lots of money is more (there's that word again) than I want to try to manage.
Do We Really Want More?
I look at those I know who are making a lot more money than I am and I think, I don't want to be that stressed or that busy. While it is true that I do like to keep myself occupied, I've also learned that more money does means more issues.
We always say we want more, but it comes with a price and that is the price of our souls. We can get so entangled in always wanting more that we lose sight of what is really important to us. As Mark 8:37 says, "What could be more valuable to you than your own soul?" Notice the word "more" in that sentence. There are some things more valuable than even money.
When we focus on the more that we want, such as more food, more money, more cars, more furniture, more electronics, more things to comfort us, we lose focus of what God wants for us.
All of that is wrapped up in Proverbs 25:16. When we overindulge to excess in anything the world offers, it can make us sick. Excess in anything can make us sick of even things that appear to be good. Money is good. It can do good things. Food is good. We need it to fuel our bodies. We just need to view these things through God's eyes. And this is the great challenge of more.
Where Our Focus Should Be
Although more has its challenges, it also has its upside. If our focus is in the right place, it won't matter what God brings to us because we will use it correctly to help expand His kingdom, not ours. If we focus on things like more of Jesus, more grace and more dreams that He has for us to accomplish, we will be headed in the right direction.
God has calmed my fears about the word "more." Now I can't wait to see what 2021 brings. The "more" He is whispering to me is not more calamity and chaos, but more of Him in everything I do and every day I live.
For more about what we should focus on, go here to listen to episode 61 of the Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast, The Challenge of More.
Another more you will want to investigate is one more book of mine. It's my new book, Sweet Surrender: Breaking Strongholds, and it is live on Amazon in paperback and Kindle; visit this link to find it.
Teresa Shields Parker is the author of six books and two study guides, including her No. 1 bestseller, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds. Her sixth book, Sweet Surrender: Breaking Strongholds, is available for preorder. She blogs at TeresaShieldsParker.com. She is also a Christian weight loss coach (check out her coaching group at Overcomers Academy) and speaker. Don't miss her podcast, Sweet Grace for Your Journey, available on the Charisma Podcast Network.
This article originally appeared at teresashieldsparker.com.
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