As one year comes to an end and another begins, my usual habit is to ask God what He would like to say about what lies ahead. Sometimes I hear things for the Body of Christ as a whole, but this year, I mostly heard the Lord speak about priorities I need to have in my relationship with Him. Even though I am filing these in my “personal” cabinet, I thought I would share them with you, just in case what I have been hearing might resonate with you or be confirmation to solidify what you are already hearing Him speak.
First of all, this is The Year of Invitation. (Actually, I do think this one is for the whole body of believers, not just me.) God has left His door open, and He’s saying, “Come in. I am waiting for you.” I am reminded of Revelation 4:1, which is an invitation into His Presence, into seeing from His perspective: “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as a trumpet talking with me, which said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must be hereafter.'”
I am asking the Lord to help me become more focused on Him — less wandering in my thoughts during prayer, less distraction, more discipline in keeping my thoughts attuned to Him. I want more than ever to make a concerted effort to wait quietly upon Him and to ask, “What is on Your mind, Lord?” (Staying focused is really hard for me. My mind is prone to flitting about, hither and yon. The Flight of the Bumblebee could easily be my theme music, so getting where I want to be in having a quiet mind and heart is going to take a lot of grace and dependence on Him!)
I have always taken comfort that my life is transparent to the Lord. I am so glad that He knows it all, that nothing about me is hidden from Him. That way, He can bring things to my attention which need to go. Strongholds (mindsets not in alignment with His truth) can come down, and I can become more like Jesus. This is the desire of my heart — to be conformed to Jesus’ image, as He is the express image of the Father. So, the removal of even more strongholds is a goal for this year.
Praying the Scriptures is something He wants me to make more of an effort to do. When we are fairly familiar with the Word, it is easy to pray the concepts we know are in the Bible, without actually opening it to particular verses and then speaking them directly as prayer. I feel the Lord wants me to grow in wielding specific verses in petitioning and prophetic declarations over my life and the lives of my loved ones (or the nation, or world events, or whatever the Spirit is prompting me to pray into), so I’ve been more deliberate about this. The result so far is delightful! The glorious Presence of God seems to fall like a blanket about me as I launch my prayers with the Word, and the Spirit leads me along a path from one verse to the next in a way beyond what I could think up on my own.
The Lord has been speaking to me for some time not to look at the events taking place around me, but to look at Him. Colossians 3:1-4 has been huge for me:
If you, then, are risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For you are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with Him in glory.
I think on those verses a lot. They help me to endure in peace, and to keep what’s happening around me in the right perspective.
The Lord surprised me by telling me several times that there are good things yet ahead in the days to come. It surprised me because our world seems to be unraveling at such great speed, and so many Christian leaders are constantly talking about the extreme seriousness and increasing darkness of our times. Although I don’t understand what God means by “good things yet to come,” I believe what He says. I suspect He has a few things we haven’t even thought of in store, which could turn everything around, upside down — or better yet, right-side up. We’ll just have to see how that unfolds. But these days, I’m looking for a Romans 8:28 ending for all sorts of seemingly bad happenings: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. Perhaps the key will be in what perspective we hold to — having eyes to see what others can’t.
Quite a few prophets have been saying that this will be a year of radical change for many of us. One person put it that if last year was like a new chapter, this year will be a whole new book. That resonates with me. Several of my dear ones are already on the verge of that kind of extreme shift taking place in their lives in a very good way.
Those are my thoughts as we enter the new year. What has God been speaking to you? I’d love to hear about it!