Understanding the times is one of the great spiritual skills we need in order to stay in step with what God has planned for us. In 1 Chronicles 12:32 , we read about an amazing group of men ‘who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.’ Knowing what God is going to do in the next season is of primary importance, for every saint and for any leader hoping to lead his people into the things of God.
We can’t just thumb-suck a few choice Scriptures or randomly page through the Bible until we find some verses that we like and try to apply them to our lives, unless God has specifically given then to us. Now, in one sense, all Scripture – interpreted correctly – is applicable for us, but in another sense, the Holy Spirit does speak and highlight some promises or verses as particularly relevant for each season.
In Israel’s days, it was the prophets who picked up the heart of God and explained to the people what God was on about. Sometimes God would hide His face from His people, but at other times He moved powerfully to deliver or bless them. Knowing what God is doing and responding accordingly is arguably one of the greatest vehicles of bringing us into the perfect will of our Heavenly Father.
As we grow deeper in our unity, partnership and love for each other this year, God is going to respond powerfully.
At the beginning of this year, I feel that God opened a window to me of what He wants to do. Understanding the times and what God intends to do in us across our Four12 partners this year has filled me with an inexpressible joy! In fact, I don’t think I’ve been this excited about the coming year for ages. There is a deep sense in my heart that this is a year of great favour for us. The Lord is speaking blessing over us. We are uniquely positioned for favour and I believe that the Lord is going to give us tools and vehicles to grow in the favour He has placed on to us, to unbelievable places. As we grow deeper in our unity, partnership and love for each other this year, God is going to respond powerfully.
As individuals and churches, God is looking for us to wait on Him and move with him as He moves. As we do this, we will see Him move mightily in our circumstances, with a fresh wave of power and grace.
The Power & Grace We Can Expect
Here are a few things I believe God is going to do ‘in this time’:
- We are positioned for His favour. We need to expect it and act with faith in matters. God is telling us, like Joshua of old, wherever we place our feet, He will give us. New faith ventures will produce great fruit, and great evangelism with exponential growth across our field.
- I heard the word ‘reformation‘. I believe that God is going to go down into the foundations of our churches to reform them, shift them, heal them, and change them into what He is looking for. The Lord is going to change the way we meet, and much of the things we understand – to reform and align them with His purposes. God is busy building strong, local church bases, and drawing people together to form incredible hubs of His life, grace and power.
- God is going to restore desolate inheritances. Some people have made bad decisions, or simply seem to have ‘lost’ the promises of God for their lives. This year, God is going to restore and reassign inheritances. God will also add people to us from other places who will suddenly seem to burst into new things and will become pioneer leaders who will break open the things of God within us.
- I see a new wave of young leaders coming through, some from within us and some who will be added to us this year. Many of them will become heroes of the faith, who will extend our territory and enlarge our inheritance.
- We have become too pragmatic. God wants to stretch and develop us as a Spirit people, out of our comfort zones, this year. Expect the power of the Holy Spirit this year. Prepare yourselves for the wild, uncomfortable, risky and mystical things which accompany His movement. God has not called us to be safe but wild, and I believe that this year, things will feel extreme to us. Our balance will come not by perfectly weighed preaching and weighted theology, but by us being able to hold the extremes of God’s hand moving in tension together. Like a tightrope walker holding a pole for balance – what balances us will not be perfectly-centred theology, but rather far left and far right teaching and experience, held together by the pole of love, which will keep us in balance. Being centred will come from us moving into things which seem extreme.
Prepare yourselves for the wild, uncomfortable, risky and mystical things which accompany His movement.
Prepare your hearts and don’t be offended. God is going to do some strange stuff in us this year. Things that may seem off-kilter. Our ability to hold those who are always balanced and moderate with those who are extreme and wild, will be our pattern for success. I’m expectant of God’s favour, power and presence within us, such as we have not experienced before. This is going to be one fun year! In this ‘time’, I’m expecting nothing less than a roving revival, married to reformed Christianity, which will spread across the globe, bringing Christ’s glory with it wherever it goes!