A – INTRODUCTION.
The year 2012 has passed, but it is not to be entirely left behind for it was a year of the beginning of the restoration of the fullness of God’s true Divine government in His Church. But now – 2013 is hear, signaling a new season, a new chapter in the things of God is unfolding according to Isaiah 43:19.
The verse reads: “Behold (this word has to do with God’s prophetic declaration and when this word is declared, we need to pay close attention to it), I will do something new. Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it and will you not give heed to it?”
HEED – to take notice of with care, observe and be watchful of. Proverbs 8:34, “Blessed are they who listen to Me, watching daily at My gates, waiting at the posts of My doors.”
As we enter the New Year – 2013 – it is a time to Prepare Yourself to Be Launched Into God’s Higher Purposes On, In and Through You.
Listen to this from the cutting edge book by Sean Smith titled Prophetic Evangelism: “In the Spirit, I sense a barometric rise pointing to the release of a “NEW WIND” of spiritual influence. This NEW SEASON is the hour of the (Holy) Spirit. There’s a NEW PAGE turning in the heavenlies. To live at a time when God turns a NEW page in the heavenlies, in a nation, or in a person, is a powerful blessing and realization. We are in a hallway of human history preparing to enter the threshold of a new epoch (EPOCH – any event or time of an event marking the beginning of a relatively new development).”
It is most important to have a clear definition of this NEW referred to in Isaiah 43:19. NEW means – according to: Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words – that which is unaccustomed to; different from what one is used to. Webster’s American Family Dictionary – concepts, ideas different to us and better – Haggai 2:9, “The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former.” The Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language: new is that which is produced by change; different from a former; not familiar with; not before experienced.
All that God purposed, planned and fulfilled through Mary’s life beginning in Luke Chapter 1, was entirely NEW to her. Let us note Luke 1:26-35. She was entirely stretched beyond her wildest dreams, imagination and understanding. Yet she yielded entirely to it – Luke 1:38, “Behold, I am the handmaiden/bondslave/servant of The Lord, let it be done to me according to what you have said.”
B – GOD’S END TIMES PURPOSES ON, IN AND THROUGH YOU
MAY NECESSITATE HIS PROFOUND STRETCHING AND CHANGE IN YOU.
Isaiah 55:8-9 are two interesting and exciting verses, yet involve stretching and change – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Those verses declare that God is desiring and purposing to launch us into His end times purposes in greater measure, in accordance with John 14:12 – Jesus is speaking – “I assure you, most solemnly (seriously) I tell you, if anyone steadfastly (unwaveringly) believes in Me, he/she will himself/herself be able to do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father.” That means we need to prepare ourselves for His increased impact and stretching, yielding to change.
Prophetic Evangelism: “The greatest blessing God can entrust you with is when He can put you into a position where He can stretch you!”
From the book titled, For Such A Time As This – A Prophetic View Of The Church from Esther by Fuchsia Pickett: “Though we can all relate to a painful resistance within us to accepting change, we must not allow that reluctance to keep us from obeying God. Many local churches and fellowships, leadership, Christians, have become bound to doing things the way they always have and cannot accept the fresh life God breathes. We must be willing to change our ways, submitting them to the Holy Spirit, if we expect to grow in the life of God.”
C – BIBLE TESTIMONIES OF SOME WHO HEEDED ENTIRELY TO GOD’S STRETCHING
AND CHANGES IN BEING LAUNCHED INTO HIS NEW AND GREATER PURPOSES.
ABRAHAM in Genesis 12:1-3, “Now the Lord said to Abram (Abraham), Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you.” Then more stretching: Genesis 17:1 and 18:10-11, “When Abram (Abraham) was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said … I will surely return to you when the season comes round, and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in years; Sarah was past the age of childbearing.” Talk about having your beliefs, your faith stretched beyond measure! PERHAPS GOD DESIRES TO SEND YOU TO A DIFFERENT PLACE SO HE CAN USE YOU TO FULFILL HIS PURPOSES THERE THROUGH YOU.
MOSES in Exodus 3 – this story begins in Exodus 2:23, “After a long time [nearly forty years] … the Israelites were sighing and groaning because of the bondage. They kept crying, and their crying because of slavery ascended to God.”
Then when Moses came to a mountain place, God got a hold of him – the burning bush experience – Exodus 3:4 and 10, “And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush and said … Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring forth My people out of bondage.” PERHAPS GOD IS CALLING YOU TO BE ONE OF HIS DELIVERER’S, RESCUER’S.
JOSHUA in Joshua Chapter 1 – called by God to step into a most challenging and stretching place of leadership – Verses 1 and 2, “After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua … Moses My servant is dead. So now arise [take his place], you and all this people.” PERHAPS GOD IS CALLING YOU TO STEP INTO A PLACE OF MAJOR LEADERSHIP IN A LOCAL CHURCH OR FELLOWSHIP, OR START A NEW ONE.
DAVID in 1 Samuel 16 – called by God to become a great leader, but first, called, appointed and anointed to face a giant of intimidation that was causing fear, doubt and unbelief. 1 Samuel 16:1 and 5-13; then 1 Samuel 17:1-11 and 32-51.
PERHAPS GOD IS CALLING YOU TO BE HIS MIGHTY APOSTOLIC/PROPHETIC WARRIOR LEADER WHO WILL DO WHAT HE COMMANDED IN JEREMIAH 1:10, “See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” How? Very possibly God would have you do it through the high praises – Psalm 149:6-9. Psalm 66:17, “I cried aloud to Him; He was extolled and high praise was under my tongue.” That’s what David did in Psalm 18:3-6. Here’s what happened as a result – Verses 7-18. Once things are cleared out, then you can plant and build.
MARY in Luke 1:26-35 – PERHAPS GOD IS CALLING YOU TO BE STRETCHED BEYOND ANYTHING, THAT HE MAY USE YOU TO BIRTH HIS END TIMES PURPOSES OF REVIVAL AND RESTORATION IN HIS THROUGH INTERCESSION.
Alice Smith, from her most cutting edge book in intercessory prayer titled Beyond the Veil, which I consider a high priority textbook for anyone desirous to be an intercessor or called to that ministry: “Burning, believing, prevailing, persuading, persevering, intimate prayer always precedes a move of God. Revival happens as a result of intercession. Intercession can literally order or change the course of a nation, a city, a family or a church. Intercession is expressing a holy dissatisfaction with the way things are and taking the necessary steps to bring change through prayer. Intercession is the act of standing in the gap between the need we see and the provision of God that we long to see. Earnestly ask the Lord to fan the flames of passionate love for Him in your life as you enter the Promised Land of intercession.”
PETER – he wasn’t very successful in what he was doing, so The Lord gave him different, NEW strategy. Luke 5:1-7. Prophetic Evangelism: “Radical recalibration (readjusting) is what Peter did after fishing all night and coming back empty-handed. When Jesus told Peter to go out deeper and drop his nets again. Peter probably pulled a muscle in his brain trying to justify this command, THIS NEW STRATEGY. Sometimes your brain can be your biggest enemy.”
TESTIMONY – One time when we ministered in a local church that had vision to expand to other communities, The Lord gave me this prophetic strategy for them and I believe it is very good. Here’s what The Lord had me tell them: “Go to every city, town, village in your county; when you get there, find a vacant lot and pull up a handful of grass or weeds by the roots; then prophesy to them and declare, “Roots of bitterness, stubbornness, resistance – no longer shall you prosper (note Isaiah 54:17).” Then they were to cast the weeds into the air and let the wind carry them away, or cast them down on the ground and stomp on them (“the enemy is under my feet”). Then The Lord had me prophetically tell them to scatter some sweet herbs or grass seed where they had pulled up the weeds – something similar to 2 Kings 2:19-22.
TESTIMONY – When I was coaching high school boys varsity basketball in North Carolina, we were involved in a major tournament. On our way to the championship, we had to adopt and entirely NEW STRATEGY in order to keep winning. WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO GRASP AND APPLY NEW STRATEGY FROM GOD THAT YOU TOO COULD BE SUCCESSFUL IN WHAT HE HAS CALLED YOU TO DO?
PAUL in Acts 9 – he had his life completely changed by God through an unknown prophet sent to minister to Paul, thus Paul’s life completely lined up with the purposes of God on, in and through him for the glory of God – Verses 1-20, plus 22 and 31. WOULD YOU ALLOW GOD TO TAKE HOLD OF YOU AND COMPLETELY CHANGE THE COURSE OF YOUR LIFE, THAT HE MAY USE YOU TO FULFILL HIS END TIMES PURPOSES?
C – OK: IT’S TIME TO PREPARE YOURSELF TO BEING LAUNCHED
INTO HIS GREATER PURPOSES ON, IN AND THROUGH YOU.
To be prepared is to be fit or qualified for a particular purpose; to take the necessary measures or steps to make one’s self ready. The word fit means to be furnished with or adjust to; the word qualified means to fulfill the requirements after you have been furnished with what is needed.
PREPARE ACCORDING TO Isaiah 40:3-5.
Matthew Henry Commentary: “The people of God must be prepared by faith for the favors designed them. We must get into such a frame of spirit as will prepare us to receive all that Christ has prepared.”
If lack of faith or unbelief or trepidation be resident in us, “those obstacles must be cleared away” and that through repentance of harboring such things, otherwise those obstacles will hinder us.
PREPARE BY BELIEVING WHAT GOD HAS PROMISED, as Mary did according to what her cousin Elizabeth declared to her in Luke 1:45, “And blessed is she who believed that there would be the fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” Mary believed the promise that she was to give birth to Christ as the Man child; she believed in the promise of how this was all to happen through The Holy Spirit coming on her.
This from an unknown author on receiving and believing God’s promises: “Why are many not seeing/experiencing the blessings of God upon their lives? Is it because we have no promises from God? No (there are over 600 just in the book of Psalms in the Bible), it’s because we have refused or have been negligent to tap into those promises with fervent reading and studying them and asking God for the fulfillment of them in fervent, believing prayer.” Luke 1:38 – Mary prepared herself for God’s promises on, in and through her with this statement: ”Behold, I am the handmaiden/bondslave of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said.” Living Bible: “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to do whatever He wants.” HAVE YOU TAKEN HOLD OF GOD’S PROMISES SPOKEN TO YOU?
PREPARE ACCORDING TO:
Isaiah 43:18 in regards to God doing something new/different on, in and through you: “Do not earnestly remember the former things; neither consider the things of old.” Living Bible: “But forget all that – it is nothing compared to what I’m going to do.”
Philippians 3:13-14, “I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us forward.”
If you prepare properly for the call of God on, in and through you, and invest all that He has equipped you with, then the prize you will receive will be His statement from Matthew 25:21, “Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys.”
PREPARE BY UNDERSTANDING AND GRASPING GOD’S TIMING: timing involves the selecting of the best moment in order to achieve/reach the desired or best or maximum result or fulfillment, whether it is over a period of seasons, or suddenly.
Jeremiah 1:11-12, “Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Jeremiah, what do you see? And I said, I see a branch or shoot of an almond tree [the emblem of alertness and activity, blossoming in late winter]. Then said the Lord to me, You have seen well, for I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it.”
From Clarke’s Commentary: A rod of an almond tree – to be ready; to hasten; to watch for an opportunity to do a thing; because the almond tree is the first to flower and bring forth fruit. It blossoms when other trees are locked up in their winter’s repose; and it bears fruit just at the commencement of Spring, when other trees only begin to bud.
Habakkuk 2:3, “For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait earnestly for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand (tardy, delayed) on its appointed day.” Abraham, Joseph, David, Mary all waited earnestly for God’s appointed time for them.
PREPARE BY UNDERSTANDING THAT THERE IS WAITING WHEN IT COMES TO GOD’S PURPOSES. Luke 1:80, “And the child (John the Baptist, the forerunner to Jesus, even though John was powerfully saturated by The Holy Spirit while in His mother’s womb – Luke 1:13-17) continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts/wilderness until the day of his public ministry.”
To wait on God is to have hope and stay in a place of expectation of Him; to look forward expectantly. To hope is to desire with expectation of fulfillment; to long for with expectation of obtainment; desire accompanied by expectation of belief in fulfillment. Hope is built on promises from God that are yet unseen. To expect suggests having confidence and assurance of the possibility that what one desires or longs for, will happen. To be expecting is to be watching for; having a high degree of certainty, and it usually involves the idea of preparing to be envisioned.
A major peril that sometimes or often tempts the Christian as the result of this waiting is heavy pressure – most often from within oneself – to consider abandoning the call that God has set before them. That is why the middle part of Psalm 27:14 exhorts us in saying, “Be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring.”
God created all human beings with at least some measure of courage, because courage is an ingrained capacity for meeting strain or difficulty with firmness of mind and will, and able to recover or adjust to change. Courage means having a quality or temperament enabling one to hold one’s own when opposed or threatened to consider giving up. Courage means having a firm determination to achieve one’s end. Courage is having a stubborn persistence and unwillingness to give up.
PREPARE BY LEARNING AND UNDERSTANDING TO TRUST THE LORD. To trust The Lord is to confidently look to Him, and be assured that with His authority and reliability, He will accomplish His plan on, in and through us; and we are not to be fearful of the outcome, or question how He’s going to do it, or where, or when.
PREPARE BY BEING IN THE SECRET PLACE WITH THE LORD OFTEN. Matthew Henry Commentary: “Those who are called to bring forth the things of God must yet find time to be in private with Him and keep up their converse with Him in solitude. Habakkuk (2:1) set himself, as it were, upon his watchtower. If you are going to be spoken to and shown (SEE) the things God has purposed on, in, and through you, you must get to your watchtower. It will come and go if you do not get alone with Him and seek Him humbly and earnestly.”
2013 IS HERE – A TIME TO BE PREPARED FOR GOD’S INCREASED FAVOR!