(Pixabay/Hans)

Everybody wants a "word" for 2018. Everybody longs for a personal, prophetic declaration that will deliver direction and encouragement for the New Year. I certainly long for God to speak to me in order to guide my footsteps and to give to me great purpose for the as yet unlived 12 months.

Oh! How I want to hear His voice daily and to live in sweet communion with the One Who is still speaking. I also deeply desire for great men and women of the faith to speak words of wisdom and prophecy over my singular life.

When I attend a service where a known prophet is speaking, I always ache with the question, "Will You give him a word for me, Lord?  Will You?"

When I am with a general of the faith, I always wonder what word they will speak over my life. Often, I find myself echoing the words of Samuel, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening" (see 1 Sam. 3:9).

I have even been known to seek out those in my life who I deeply trust and ask them, "Do you have a word for me?"

Although I am well aware of the fact that the gift of prophecy has at times been misused by fallible men and women, I still believe in it. I stubbornly believe in the prophetic because I believe in a God who still speaks. I believe that it is the heart of the Father to speak with His children. I believe that we serve a God who is a communicator and that He is the same yesterday, today and forever!

I was brought up in Pentecostal churches and was taught from an early age to listen for the voice of God as spoken through His servants.

Often, when I crave for a missive from heaven, the Holy Spirit gently whispers to my soul, "Carol, have you tried opening your Bible?"

And with that sweet reminder spoken by the wisdom of the ages, I am reminded of the purpose of the Word of God. The Word of God was meant to be timeless, personal and directional.

The Bible was written for every man, woman and child in all of recorded history. The Bible is the story of God's people, and it communicates the heart of God toward those He loves.

When I long for a word from God, rather than seek out a person, I must seek the heart of God through the Word of God. When I am lacking peace, I must read the lines of the greatest peace treaty ever bestowed. When I am in need of love and friendship, I must open the Bible and thrill my lonely soul with the love letter written by the Groom to me, His chosen Bride.

When I need wisdom, I must listen to the teacher who is never wrong. When I need power, I must read the battle strategies of the conqueror who has never lost a battle yet!

If you need a word from the throne room as we begin this momentous year, will you, with me, open your Bible?  When you open the Word, expect God to speak to you!  Expect wisdom, encouragement and strategy as you read the words upon the sacred pages.

God is still speaking ... are you listening?

Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books, including No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart and Defiant Joy! Her most recent book, Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire, was released last August. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol or inquire about her speaking to your group at justjoyministries.com.

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