The dawn of each new year brings with it a sense of excitement, anticipation, and renewal. There is so much hope for what the year will bring, and a kind of… relief, for lack of a better word, to be able to start everything on a clean slate.
At the beginning of each year, I take a 40-day fast to wait upon God for His plans for the coming season. Sometimes He is very specific, and sometimes He gives a broad picture that leaves room for faith to fill in the blanks.
This year, though, is special. I get to do all the praying & fasting with Alex. We are believing for the greatest revival that the world has ever seen, and believe that something huge is brewing in the spirit for 2015 (which means that 2014 is a crucial year!). We are living in crazy exciting times! Here are some things we sense about 2014.
1. A year to let go of the old.
This includes baggage, toxic relationships, mindsets, habits, unforgiveness, etc. In 2013, we might seem to have lost some good relationship and opportunities, but it all happened for a reason. God wants to do new things in our lives in 2014, and some of these relationships and commitments will become entanglements that prevent us from moving forward. Cut loose, let go, leave the things of the past. Forgiveness is key.
2. A year of new things & fulfilled promises.
New connections, new missions, new perspectives. Time to be renewed and step into the new things! The pain and struggles of 2013 have paved the way to a new world. They set us up in a position to be ready to receive all the new things in store for us in 2014. God is going to fulfill His promises to His people in a way that is beyond our imagination. Reach for the new things, times of refreshing are coming (Isaiah 43).
3. A year of love.
What is the measure of your life? 2014 is a year to start living like Love is the measuring rod of our lives. Take 1 Corinthians 13, read it, break it apart. Make each attribute (patience, kindness, gentleness, etc) a challenge for yourself each month. Let the value of your life be measured by Love.
4. A year of faith.
Have faith against all odds. Faith for promises yet to be fulfilled. Faith for missions that seem bigger than our ability. Faith for challenges that come because of God’s promises for our lives (Mark 4:17). Trust that God is good, faithful, and has a good plan for His children. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord. Take heart and have courage, let faith arise.
5. A year of preparation.
2014 is going to be a great year, and 2015 will be even better. Exciting things are coming to this generation in 2015, and we need to get ready! We need to strengthen our spirit man this year by:
- Getting rooted in the Word. Read the Word, study the Word, eat the Word. Imbibe the Word of God until the Word becomes flesh within you (John 1:14).
- Praying at all times with all kinds of prayers (Ephesians 6:18). We need to pray. Often. ALL the time. We need to get our hearts into the posture of prayer 24/7.
- Praying in the spirit (Ephesians 6:18). Because praying in the spirit builds up our spirit man (1 Corinthians 14:14), strengthening us and enabling us to hear accurately from God.
- Living a fasted lifestyle. This includes fasting, but is not merely about the act of a fast (Isaiah 58). Rather, it is living a life of voluntary weakness – choosing to forfeit anything that would diminish our hunger and delight in God.
- Living the sermon on the mount. Read Matthew 5-7.
6. A year to let go of fear
As the end time draws nearer, the days will get darker. But as the darkness gets darker, light will get brighter (Isaiah 60:2). And the glory of the Lord will increase upon His children. Do not give in to fear; don’t even entertain it. We must take our eyes off how things look in the natural, and start to see into the spiritual with eyes of faith. We need to learn from the disciple Peter – take our eyes off the crashing waves and keep them fixed on Jesus.
7. A year of challenges
As mentioned in point #4, this will be a year where God is going to fulfill many of His promises to His people. Because of God’s promises for our lives, challenges will come (Mark 4:17) – to test us and to prepare us to receive the promises of God (yes, we need to go through a process to mature to a level where we are ready to handle the full promises of God). Be prepared for challenges (point #5).
8. A year of purification, sieving & sifting
He is preparing for Himself a bride, pure and spotless. Therefore, there will continue to be much shaking in the world in order that what is unshakable may remain (Hebrews 12:27). Don’t be surprised, angry, or discouraged when certain things don’t go your way – let God have His way and you’ll be glad you did.
I cannot emphasize this enough. This includes the things we build our identity & confidence upon, alliances and relationships (choose carefully!), inner heart issues. 2014 is a great year of fulfilled promises and new blessings, but sifting will come along with it.
9. A year of bringing in the ones on the fringes (Isaiah 11:11)
The ones who feel that they don’t quite fit in to the “Church”mold. The ones who wonder where their lives are going. The ones who feel just a little bit lost. God has kept these hidden ones in the wings, and they are the final act. He will gather them and display His glory through them so that the world will know that it is all God, not man. Likewise, He is doing the same thing to His people Israel.
10. A year to pace ourselves
This one has been resonating in my spirit. Pace yourself, pace yourself, pace yourself!! Don’t run behind, and don’t run ahead. Keep in step with the Spirit of God. Make sure you keep yourself strong (Again, point #5) so that you have stamina to reach all the way to the finish line.
What do you think 2014 is going to bring? Share your thoughts and revelations!