There is something wonderful about getting to start all over. Everyday feels full of potential. Some of us need to press delete, forget the failures of last year and press ahead! We get to throw off sin and every weight that so easily entangles and run the race that’s been marked out for us. The truth is that this is an invitation for every day of the year, but somehow on January 1st, we are ready to believe it. Hallelujah! Are you ready?
The Lord has given me a few directives for the year. While it’s true that every day is new with His mercy, there is a kairos for us to step into during specific seasons. Mercy and love are for always, but there are seasons for each of us.
I. THE YEAR OF RESURRECTION
- Recently, a friend of mine called to say that she saw the church standing in front of a tomb, it was a specific ministry in our region. The ministry had died, and its death was the beginning of a fatal epidemic that targeted many ministries in our city. She saw the church standing before this tomb of death, and then she heard the Lord say, “This ministry shall rise again. It shall be resurrected.” The directive from the Lord was for the church to make intercession against this principality of death that has infiltrated so many churches and ministries in our areas.
- God is going to make us witnesses of resurrection this year. Ministries will be resurrected. Callings will be resurrected. Dreams will be resurrected. Marriages will be resurrected!
- There are things in your life that seem so dead… Praise God, you are ready for a resurrection! God won’t resurrect what isn’t dead. There are things that needed to die in us, vain ambition and pride needed to come to an end. But death wasn’t for death’s sake…NO! Those things were brought to an end so that you could live again in newness and freedom! Things that were almost in decay, God will suddenly resurrect. We will know resurrection personally. We will know it like Lazarus and we will know it like Mary.
40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet.
13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
II. THE YEAR OF POWER
- This year God will release great power through everyday saints. The ministry of Christ is for the believer not just the pulpit preacher! There will be more power in the pulpit, but there will be a marked increase of power in the body for the body.
- There is power that belongs to the Gospel… 2014 will be a year of power encounters. There will be prophetic songs released that will shake regions, there will be small groups that are rocked with the Spirit of deliverance. This is going to be a year of increased supernatural activity. 2014 will be marked with signs and wonders.
15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
III. THE YEAR OF SMALL
- Small is the new big! Cells and small groups are going to explode this year. Real community, real commitment to Christ and each other, real activation and accountability. Small is where it’s at! The Lord is going to pour out His Spirit in our homes and small gatherings. The body is going to come into the stride of health. And healthy cells grow and multiply. The immune system of the Body of Christ, the church, is going to come into balance. There will be a sense of godly satisfaction as each part gets to function properly.
- We will come out of this year knowing what it means to be interdependent, leaning on Christ and connected with one another.
1 Corinthians 14
26 …When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.
IV. THE YEAR OF CONCIEVING AND COVENANT
A. It’s time to receive the Word of the Lord again. There are real assignments that He will call us into for this season. Things that we will carry until they expand and come forth. But this time we have a corporate track record of giving birth! This pregnancy we will be at rest in a new way. First babies are always the hardest. First labors are always the most difficult and the longest. But with each pregnancy the body learns to rest!
- This pregnancy, this conception, is going to be a joy for your heart. Refuse to be anxious! There are new assignments for us this year.
- At the beginning of every year I always start reading the Bible from the beginning. Our God is a God of covenant… He’s a God of His word. He doesn’t just do a thing. He speaks it into us. He allows us to conceive it within our hearts. There are stages of growth and expanding that happen in the secret place. He’s knitting it all together in the deep places of our hearts (Psalm 139).
- There are real words, real assignments for us that will translate to real territory and land. God’s covenant is always about the reconciliation of heaven and earth. We receive the word of heaven within us, and it connects to real breakthrough in the earth. Go back and read about Abraham and the prophetic word of promise.
15 And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” 19 God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac**. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him.
**Isaac means laughter
9 They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” 10 The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
E. We know the funeral dirge, but this year we will learn the wedding march (Matthew 11:17). Even at the sound of the Word of the Lord for this season, we will enter into His joy. I don’t know why Sarah was afraid to admit she laughed… the Lord had prophesied that in her pregnancy she would be literally full of joy, full of Isaac. Get ready for the oil of gladness.
V. THE YEAR OF SEPARATION
A. This year will be a separation of bone and marrow. God will divide what looks indistinguishable to us. Secrecy and hiddenness are not the same thing, although they look the same on the outside. Popularity and influence are not the same thing, although many times they look identical. God will give us help this year and divide what we can’t.
B. Secrecy is the place of running away from God, hiddenness is the place of refuge in God. Popularity comes from men, influence comes from God. In His love toward us, God will come to separate the holy from the profane.
12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
VI. THE YEAR OF EXPANSION
12 he said therefore, “a nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. 13 calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘engage in business until i come.’ 14 but his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘we do not want this man to reign over us.’ 15 when he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. 16 the first came before him, saying, ‘lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 17 and he said to him, ‘well done, good servant! because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ 18 and the second came, saying, ‘lord, your mina has made five minas.’ 19 and he said to him, ‘and you are to be over five cities.’
A. God is releasing real authority to those who have been faithful in small things: Authority to pray, authority to declare and authority to demonstrate the kingdom of heaven. This is the year of expansion. It’s time to stretch out your tents! It’s time to lengthen your cords.
2 “Enlarge the place of your tent,
and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords
and strengthen your stakes.
3 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,
and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities.
B. Many of us have cried out for the Lord to make America a sending nation once again. He has heard us. We have prayed, now it’s time to go. It’s time. There is real authority for us in real cities. What qualifies us is not our popularity, but out faithfulness in all the small things. This is going to be a great year!