Yesterday I talked about the season we have endured in 2010 — “The Year of Measurement.” I sense that we may continue in this season for a while yet. But God has some things to say about how to make it through successfully.
The temptation to run from our relational alignments, God-given assignments, and even geographical locations is common to many of us right now. Sometimes knowing that others are going through the same thing — knowing that we are not alone — is all that we need to help us hold steady.
“Stand firm and hold fast” is what I feel God is saying in this hour. How do we do that? How do we come through into better times?
Strengthening our God-given relationships and committing to them — through thick or thin, no matter what — is a key strategy to get us through. Those relationships are going to be important in the days ahead. If God is the One Who connected us into these relationships in the first place, He has purpose in them. The spiritual battle to retain them is very real; the enemy will provide all sorts of plausible reasons for why the bond is no longer valid. Don’t listen to that stuff!
What kind of relationships am I talking about? Family, friends, and even work associations, yes. But one of the key relationships to protect is your alignment with your spiritual covering, whether this is an apostle, pastor, or other spiritual mentor. Don’t let yourself become offended with him or her. Dividing us from our spiritual leadership is one of Satan’s most effective tactics to render us ineffective. In God’s order, anointings and authority flow downward through His designated leadership into the church body. Without healthy connection to that leadership, we cut ourselves off from God’s flow. Staying aligned with God is not possible for those who refuse to stay aligned with the leadership He has placed them under.
It is also important to keep our horizontal (peer-level) relationships in the Body of Christ in good working order. There is no place for offense among us, if we are to be the Church of power and light that we are meant by God to be.
Above all, stay aligned with God by persevering in what He has already spoken to you, both in His Word and by personal revelation. Here are five ways to hold yourself steady:
1.) Wait and trust. You’ve heard the expression, “The darkest hour is right before the dawn.” It’s true! Just about the time you decide to give up and do something that takes you in a direction away from what God has spoken to you, He’ll show up, just as He said. King Saul found this out, much to his undoing (1 Samuel 13:5-15).
2.) Stand firm in the original vision — what God has said from the beginning. You may not have interpreted every detail right along the way, but if you look back over a period of time, usually you will find a theme or thread in what God has been speaking to you, and it has stayed the same over time. God is not fickle in what He speaks. Stick with what He has spoken.
3.) Don’t second-guess what God has clearly said. From the Garden of Eden to the present, Satan’s ploy to derail God’s plan for our lives has been to ask the question, “Did God really say … ?” He does that primarily by throwing circumstances in the way that do not seem to line up with the promise God has given, and then injecting doubts into our mind that the circumstances seem to confirm.
4.) Speak the same things God has spoken — in your thoughts and aloud. Don’t align your mind and mouth with how the situation currently looks; align yourself with God’s word to you. Speaking things that do not line up with what God has promised causes unnecessary fear, doubt, and discouragement for you and for those who hear you. If you have already done this, it is not the end of the world, however. Repent and realign yourself with the Lord’s word. He can still bring you into all that He has said.
5.) Believe in God’s suddenlies. Many times we become discouraged because we can’t see a steady progression toward a promise’s fulfillment. We may even feel, at times, that life is moving us away from where God has said we are supposed to be going. We humans tend to think in terms of moving forward at a uniform rate of speed. God doesn’t work that way. He is the God of Suddenlies. He is constantly working toward His goal for us, but most of the time it cannot be seen on the surface. When the hour is darkest, know that God can, and most likely will, turn everything around suddenly and unexpectedly.
As we enter into this new year, let me encourage you to stand firm and hold fast. The season of measurement will not last forever. It is merely a time of preparation for the glorious future God has in store. Ahead is an explosion of His miraculous goodness upon the earth, with an influx of millions of souls into His Kingdom.
May Jesus be honored and glorified in us, as we await the unfolding of His plan.