We are now fully engaged in 2016. As I have prayed and contemplated all that is happening in the earth, I believe that God would have us be prepared for a year of contrasts and apparent contradictions.
Up front, and for the record, I am NOT offering a “Thus saith the Lord”. That kind of thing got people killed in the Old Testament and I would prefer to avoid a rock concert given in my honor.
At the same time, however, God has been faithful over the years to reveal many things to me – and others I have known – ahead of time. Have I ever missed it? Yes I have. Have I learned and grown from my mistakes? I hope so. The Apostle Paul illustrated our current understanding of God’s truth by the word picture of a dark mirror:
“For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God].” (1 Corinthians 13:12 AMP)
I do not presume to understand everything God is speaking, nor do I believe He tells me everything. That being said, I know from experience that God does indeed speak to His children. Our job is to listen and respond in obedience.
With disclaimers out of the way, allow me to relay what I believe God is speaking about this year. I trust that you will prayerfully consider and test it as the Bible commands. (1 Cor 14:29)
As stated in the opening, I believe that this year will be a year of contrasts and apparent contradictions. Those who follow the world system will suffer under one reality while those who embrace God’s Kingdom will thrive under a different one. Like Israel in Goshen, we may share a common experience with the contemporary equivalent of the ancient Egyptians, but what is devastation for them, will be deliverance for us. While God truly desires deliverance for everyone, some will resist Him and suffer the dire consequences of abandoning the shelter of His wings. (Psalm 91:4) This will not only be true for the unsaved, but for the worldly minded Christians as well.
When I first publicly pronounced this message on January 3rd, even I had no idea how quickly we would begin to see it unfold. The very next day on January 4th – the first trading day of the year – the U. S. Stock Market suffered what many described as the biggest hit since 2008. In one week, we watched as Iran unveiled hidden weapons, North Korea rattled the world with news of alleged advanced weapons testing, Saudi Arabia hinted of possible arms build-ups, a self-proclaimed ISIS convert shot a police office in Pennsylvania, and the list goes on. So much for week one.
I do not believe this is coincidence. I believe it is a prophetic sign of firsts that will continue this year. Don’t forget the great news however, God’s people are never abandoned. (Psalm 37:25)
In a nutshell, here is what I believe is ahead in 2016:
Confusion vs Clarity
While the world sinks further and further into confusion, Kingdom people will get clarity and understanding from the Throne of God.
Controlling vs Conforming
While the earthly-minded desperately seek to get control of their own life, and politicians seek greater control over others, the Kingdom-minded will conform to the mind and will of God. They will begin to look more and more like Jesus.
Confrontational vs Cordial
While the world argues, Kingdom people will gain a new understanding of love. They will not feel the need to prove what only God can reveal, and will spend more time praying for the opposition and less time fighting them.
Chaotic vs Calm
While the world devolves into greater and greater chaos, Kingdom followers will discover a peace that passes understanding. They will find tranquility in the midst of the storm.
Condemnation vs Conviction
While worldly-minded people are condemned by their lifestyles and mindsets, Kingdom people will respond to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit and will, as mentioned before, conform to Christ’s likeness.
Created vs Creator
While the world looks for answers in people, policy, technology and other created things, Kingdom people will seek out the creator of all things for the only solutions that will make a difference.
While the Egyptians were wailing over the loss of their children, God’s people were preparing to leave for the Promised Land. I trust you are preparing for your promises this year as well.
Do you believe you have a Word from God for 2016? I would love to hear from you. I hope you will stay connected with me this year as we traverse unknown territory together.