Happy New Year!
For several decades now, I’ve enjoyed hanging out with people who consider themselves to be “prophetic” – able to sense what God is presently saying to His people by His Spirit.
Perhaps your theological camp says the Lord quit speaking long ago, but that’s simply not true. Jesus said His sheep would hear His voice, and that amazing promise has never been revoked (John 10:27).
Prophetic folks love to model their lives after the “sons of Issachar,” those who “understood the times” and had insights into what God was calling His people to do (1 Chronicles 12:32). I love it. We certainly should aspire to divine insights like that during these chaotic and bewildering times.
New Year’s is typically an awesome season for me and my prophetic friends. Many of them like to make lofty predictions about what God is saying to His people for the coming year. Although I used to be interested in such messages, this year not so much.
Let me explain…
Before we attempt to hear a “word from the Lord” about the times we’re living in, we’d be wise to stop and consider whether we’ve obeyed the instructions He’s already given us in His written Word.
Yes, I’m grateful that God can give us timely perspectives on current events, but I’m alarmed at how easily we forget that most of His instructions apply to us every year. Rather than God constantly zigzagging and changing His mind, the Bible says “His purpose is unchangeable” (Hebrews 6:17 NASB).
Let this sink in for a moment. It means that before we try to discern the Lord’s purpose for 2020, we should first recognize that His purpose for us is eternal and unchanging. Starting in Genesis 1:26-28, He’s been working to create people who reflect His image and are devoted to the task of multiplying across the earth.
In the New Testament, we refer to this as the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8) – winning souls and making disciples. God’s unwavering objective is for us to turn the world upside down by loving people and declaring the lordship of Jesus (Acts 17:6-7). His unchanging purpose is ultimately to fill the entire earth with His presence and glory (Habakkuk 2:14).
Jesus warned that we “must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4). That’s a big job, and our time is short. It’s urgent to throw off our distractions and get busy about the Father’s business!
Doers of the Word
Before we seek some “deep” revelation about what God wants to do in 2022, shouldn’t we start with what He has already told us to do? Do we truly need a “prophetic word” to tell us to love one another, share the gospel, or be devoted to prayer?
I’ll never forget the day I cried out to God after I had been a believer for 20 years. “Lord, if I never learn even one more truth from Your Word, it will take me the rest of my life just to do what You’ve already shown me!”
Think about it… If you’re like me, you’ve read lots of Bible verses and heard countless sermons. But it’s likely that one thing is still missing: We have yet to put much of this knowledge into ACTION!
If you’re still scrabbling to come up with a prophetic word for 2022, you may want to consider this one:
START DOING WHAT THE LORD HAS ALREADY TOLD YOU!
While it’s great to desire a timely word from God, we must begin with obedience to the timeless Word of God. My prophetic friends and I get excited at the thought of God always getting ready to do “a new thing” (Isaiah 43:19), but I’m convinced He more often wants to do the same old things – working toward completion of what He’s already started (Philippians 1:6).
An Encouraging Picture
Although my main message to you today is to grasp and obey God’s unchanging purpose, I also want to share a personal word picture I received while praying for the coming year…
I was gazing into 2022 and saw myself and some friends enthusiastically unwrapping presents, much like children would unwrap their presents under a Christmas tree.
“But, Lord,” I questioned. “Christmas is over. I’m trying to get Your perspective on 2022!”
As I continued to pray, I sensed the Lord saying He wants us to be expectant about the coming year, just as children are before Christmas. I believe He has many SURPRISES in store – wonderful surprises – and we should enter the year with great anticipation.
Just as a child would do, I tried asking the Father, “Please tell me what the surprises are going to be!”
You probably can predict His answer to my query: “If I told you what the surprises will be, they wouldn’t be surprises!”
Happy New Year, my friend. I hope you will commit yourself as never before to fulfilling God’s unchanging purposes. As you passionately pursue His will, I’m confident He has some great surprises waiting for you in the coming year. Be alert and be expectant!