Prophetic word for 2011

It is important that, as we start the New Year, we are aware of what God is saying to us about this time, the things that we can expect as well as the things that are expected of us.  To enter into this New Year without His directions would indeed be a folly.  Any farmer would be able to tell you that what he harvests this year will depend upon what he sowed, if you want to harvest carrots, you must sow carrots.  If we want to reap the Lord’s harvest this year, we need to sow the right seed.

God’s word for this year is very clear; there will be times of challenge.  Don’t sit back and think that you will not be affected by this, for you will.   These challenges are going to produce one of two things to happen, either they will bring change to your life or they will bring you problems.  The difference between these two outcomes will be determined by where you stand with the Father.

You will, I’m sure, remember from your bible readings that Joshua gave the Israelites an instruction and a choice.  The instruction he gave them was, “Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth.”  The choice he gave them was simple, “If it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.”  When he had done this, he told them clearly what choice he was making, “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:14-15). 

This passage of scripture emphasizes an eternal truth that we should never forget.  It shows an instruction and a choice that are as relevant to us today as they were to the Israelites then; and just in case we find it too difficult to make the right choice, this scripture tells us what choice we should make.  The times of challenge that we will be facing this year are based upon that instruction and the choice we make.

In the book of Jeremiah, you can see that God had set His judgement upon Judah because of their unfaithfulness to Him.  Thus they have loved to wander; they have not restrained their feet. Therefore the LORD does not accept them; he will remember their iniquity now, and punish their sins (Jeremiah 14:10). 

Chapter 15 begins with His statement of the surety of His decision, “Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me, My mind would not be favourable toward this people. Cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth.”  That chapter continues, in that vein, to define the certainty of the outcome of His judgement, “Can anyone break iron, the northern iron and the bronze?  Your wealth and your treasures I will give as plunder without price, because of all your sins, throughout your territories. And I will make you cross over with your enemies into a land which you do not know; for a fire is kindled in My anger, which shall burn upon you.” (Jeremiah 15:12-14).  The northern iron and the bronze that He set against Judah were the Chaldeans.  They were to them an unbreakable people.  No strength that Judah had could stand against them.

If you have read this far, you might be right to feel afraid.  However all is not lost for the Lord says, “If you return, then I will bring you back; you shall stand before Me; if you take out the precious from the vile, you shall be as My mouth. Let them return to you, but you must not return to them. And I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall; and they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you; for I am with you to save you and deliver you,” says the LORD.  “I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible.” (Jeremiah 15:19-21)

These are the challenges that will beset His people this year.  Will you separate the precious from the vile in your own lives?  Will you allow Him to perform that level of open-heart surgery in your life?  If you will accept that, the real challenges will arise when you stand as a fortified bronze wall against the flow of mankind.  If you will make this stand, God will deliver you.  You will stand in His blessing; in His favour, receiving His grace.  However, if you will not make this stand ... it says that in verse 1, God will let you go forth. 

God does not ask you to be a fortified bronze on your own, He says, “I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall.”  God is calling His people to stand up this year and be counted; to stand firm on His word and to exercise their faith.  God is asking for a level of honesty to come from His people; He wants His people to be faithful to His word and to declare His word as the truth rather than accept what other people want to believe.

God is not asking you to do something that is beyond your ability; He is just asking you to fear the Lord.  That has always been His commandment to you; it never has and it never will change.  Joshua put it this way, “Fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth.”  If we try to serve Him in our own way, it is not in sincerity and in truth; if we try to serve Him in our time, it is not in sincerity and in truth.  This is what we do when we are putting ourselves before Him.

When you understand what it means to fear the LORD, you understand that His way is the only way that we can serve Him and our service has to be done in His timing.  His love for us is so great that He will only ever ask us to do something that is for our benefit.  Why would we want this to be any different?  However, when we do it our way or in our time, we change the outcome of what we are doing and we step outside of His favour.  When we serve Him in sincerity and in truth we have to take our desires out of the equation.

Whether we understand it or not, there is a simple principle at work here, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” (Matthew 12:30).  When we decide to do things for Him our way; when we decide to do things for Him when we are ready, we are not with Him.   When the challenges come this year, we will need to stand firm on the word of God.

This is what scripture said of the priests in Jerusalem, “Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.” (Ezekiel 22:26).

God does not want His people to act this way.  He wants His people to distinguish the holy from the unholy.  His word is holy; that which other people want to believe is not His word.  God is not asking His people to argue His case. He is asking His people to make known the difference between the unclean and the clean; between His word and that which other people want to believe.  Whether people choose to believe His word or not is their choice.  It is not our responsibility to convince them of His word by our carefully constructed arguments or by our clever rhetoric.  God is calling His people to take their responsibility and to be seen to be living a life that is faithful to His word.

The real challenges that we will face this year will not be from outside of ourselves, they will be from the inside as we learn to stand on the word of God; as we learn to Fear the LORD, serving Him in sincerity and in truth; as we learn to be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard (Acts 22:15).  God will allow the situations to arise where we may face these challenges and discover that we are indeed, more than conquerors just as His word tells us.  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:37).