Hello all! As I wish you all a happy new year, I can hardly believe that the first month of the year is over. I sincerely hope and pray that this year will offer new opportunity, exciting adventures in God and dreams fulfilled beyond our wildest imaginations.
As I worked through December, I only got to take a short break now for a week in January. It was much needed and as I drove to and from my destination I got to put on my favourite worship music and started to “wind down” after quite an interesting year. These are always times I can ramble on in conversation with the Father and there is plenty of quiet and time for Him to speak and respond back to me. I love to ask God what He has in store for the year, for me personally, and for my local church and for the church in South Africa and even the world. This time I found God speaking rather clearly. I would like to share some of this with you. Please remember that God does speak in part, so this is just probably a very small bit of what He is saying.
Last year 2013 was not an easy year for most, the church in South Africa and worldwide has come under the microscope in a number of areas. I think of the issues of religious freedom, the human rights issues and the Gender Equality Bill, to mention but a few. I have a sense that things will not necessarily get easier in 2014. That in the midst of confusion, encroaching darkness, and chaos, that God’s people will shine brighter than ever before. We serve a living, extraordinary God and Isaiah 60:1-3 will be a scripture that will come to the fore again and again this year. Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. (Isaiah 60:1-3 ESV)
There is going to come a great desire, a yearning and needing in us as Christians to learn to depend on God to the fullest. It’s also a time to stand shoulder to shoulder as believers, and not fight against each other. I had this picture of rows and rows of believers ready for battle, their faces lifted up to heaven, seeking God’s face and their hands lifted in praise. This army advanced in victory after victory.
While I was In Brazil God showed me a picture of young lions, and showed me how the youth, young people in our churches worldwide, are rising up and without even knowing their strength ( like young lions) are going to start roaring, I saw how in the beginning it’s like a game and then as they grow they become fearless and the sound of their voices becomes louder and louder and their stature greater and greater. I believe many young people are going to become leaders, apostles and prophets and teachers, being bold, fearless and outspoken for the truth. They will be the ones forging the way forward for the next generation; the younger ones will see the way they are and want to be just like them.
This year will be one of overcoming; the power of temptation to sin and attaining the power of faith to overcome obstacles. The Greek word for temptation (scandalon) is exactly the same as the English word scandal. The original meaning of scandal is a trap or a stumbling block which causes one to stumble and fall. The scriptures warn us about the enticement to go astray and to do what is evil. Keep me from the trap which they have laid for me, and from the snares of evildoers! (Psalm 141:9) Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling (1 John 2:10).
While Jesus warns against the sin of bad example and scandal, he also demonstrates the power of faith for overcoming temptation and His grace to resist temptation and obstacles. We are His servants, and He is ever ready to work through us and in us for His glory. This year let us all live lives full of faith, linking it with trust and obedience in active submission to God and a willingness to do whatever he commands.
This is a year to recalibrate. There is a “magnetic north” and a “true north”. Jesus is at “true north”. As we go through this year, let’s again and again make sure we are headed in the right direction. God is preparing us, His people to move forward “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— (1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV). How very exciting! He is preparing us to be like Him. He knows how to get us to the end destination. As we get a small glimpse into the future, we are able to align ourselves properly.
I want to encourage you all once again to become more thirsty and desperate for Jesus.
Every difficulty has an expiry date, breakthrough will come. Learn to be content ; contentment is enjoying what you have, while you wait for what you want. Please, I urge you, don’t give up the fight; if you have, get back in. The most dangerous place for you to be in this year is self sufficiency. Throw yourself on the Rock that is Jesus.
This year make every effort to Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly and serve Jesus and His bride with everything in you!
In His Grip