Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I set My Face as Flint

The Lord God is with me, therefore I have not been disgraced. I shall set my face like a flint and I know that I shall not be put to shame, Isaiah 50:7
One of the greatest challenges to choosing a single word for the year is narrowing it down to a single word. I think of it like a piece of flint that is chipped away until it reaches a razor edge. See, in addition to its firestarting properties, flint can be used as a cutting tool. In fact, this was the tool Joshua used in Joshua 5:3 to circumcise the children of Israel before the entered the Promised Land.

So, why the awkward reference, Sarah?

Biblically speaking, the process of circumcision symbolized a removal of the old dead flesh,
"Circumcise, therefore, the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer," Deuteronomy 10:16
"In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ." Colossians 2:11
This process wasn't possible (or was made painful or dangerous) without a sharp piece of flint. The idea of setting your face like flint implies sharp, unwavering focus. Like a surgeon's scalpel or Joshua's flint knives, One Word is a tool that can be used to excise the old, dead parts of yourself, but it has to have a finely honed edge to be effective.

If you read my last post about One Word, you may be getting a mixed message here. A few weeks ago, I talked about how full-sentence (or longer) vision statements are too specific, and trimming it down to a single word broadens the field for God to work, and now I am talking about how your word has to have a sharp focus.

Nonspecific, yet focused?


See, the beauty of choosing a One Word, His Word for you, for the year is that, because you are submitting to God's hand, you open the door to anything He brings. It is like the taproot of a huge tree, the width of the trunk, the spread of the branches, these are not part of your focus. They are His, you only look to the one thing.

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