We are a month into 2024. As we continue to watch the events of the world – the heating up of evil against the Church - we can see there’s going to be plenty of conflict, persecution, spiritual attacks, deceptions and evil that as Believers we cannot even imagine how someone can think like that. The attacks against those that are Pro-life are nothing but evil control. The idea that sex trafficking is not wrong since everyone is born a “sexual being” and those being used and abused like what is happening. I think 2024 will be the most corrupt, evil year I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. Yet, I believe we will see so much victory and see so many people crying out for justice and peace. I believe that the more the corrupt side portrays Believers as bad “Christian Nationalists”, the more those seeking will see us as genuine and full of Christ’s love and will run to the Church looking for answers and healing.
The Lord told Ed and I to be preparing. Theres so many unknowns and the place we’ve been won’t satisfy where we will need to be. We need to go to the next level of surrender, and a deeper intimacy with our Father. There can’t be walking the fence, being lukewarm or even at a “delicate” temperature. We have to be boiling. My hot pot has temperature suggestions for different kinds of tea starting with delicate, white tea, green tea, etc. then boiling. We can’t afford to be anything but rapidly boiling for Him. This year we won’t be able to play games, be wishy washy. We did that before 2020. Life looked so good that many let down their guards and played a bit too much with the world. This year we will need to stand stronger than we did in 2020. There will be very little we will be able to trust from our government. We will be called to fervently pray, get our priorities in order and be obedient to the word with our finances and our calling. There won’t be time to be tossed too and fro with doubt about our callings and what we are to do for the Kingdom of God. Our “recreation” time may look differently as our hearts are set on ministry to the lost and oneness in the Body of Christ.
This past month we’ve been preparing our hearts. The last few years we’ve let stuff creep in that will hinder us from going forward as we are called to do. Seems like every week this year the Lord has brought to our attention an inroad we’ve allowed to affect us – even unknowingly. Before we can open and walk through the doors that He has before us in 2024 we have to close some doors we’ve opened that are hindering our path forward. One of the first things He showed us when we went to church in Florida was the power of offense. So many are offended at God and they don’t even realize it. Offense holds us back. The church as a whole is not seeing results because it is full of offended people. Offense is so subtle and easily disguised as justice. Even taking offense with what the world is saying about Christians and coming against the truth will keep the truth from going forth.
Another door we have to close is the with the spirit of disappointment! We didn’t even realize how powerful this was until we identified it in our hearts and the Light shone on the corruption it has caused in our hearts. Disappointment comes when an “appointment” was missed. Appointment could be called an expectation. Something you prayed about that didn’t work as you thought. Caleb’s death was a disappointment. Expectations on people, places or things cause disappointments. Some are disappointed that their marriage ended, or at their childrens choices in life. You are disappointed when you weren’t healed as you expected, your job didn’t turn out like you thought. Disappointment is a spirit that keeps our thoughts and hopes on yesterday.
Along with a spirt of disappointment there is a spirit of grief. An “appointment” not met can cause such a loss that grief sets in. Grief doesn’t just come with a loss of a loved one but it comes from sickness, physical infirmities, loss of a relationship, job. We can let grief overpower us so quickly. Grief comes when we focus on ourselves and what we no longer have. It comes from self-focus. It doesn’t matter who you are we all get to this place at times and we must keep our focus on Him and who we are in Him. There will be plenty of opportunities to be disappointed and grieved as our country goes through this storm and that’s the enemy’s plan to get us distracted. The devil knows he lost and Jesus will win but he wants to take everyone he can down with him. Then there’s also a spirit of shame that gets hidden deep inside us that we don’t know it is affecting so many of our thoughts. Many times, shame is deep rooted from childhood. This door also needs to be closed! We have spent this 1st month of 2024 healing from these heart issues and closing the door to each of them – locking the door and throwing away the key. There will always be heart issues we will have to deal with until we go to be with the Lord and this isn’t everything but it was a lot of stuff uncovered and brought into the light as we ask the Lord to prepare us for what is ahead.
It's easy to get distracted. That’s one of satan’s biggest deceptions. He knows if we are distracted with anything our mind isn’t on Jesus. I read this in a devotional and it really stuck with me. “Trials and disappointments dangle in front of us as if they’re something worth contemplating and our mind takes the bait.” Without Him we can do nothing. Without His grace, His Righteousness, His love we have nothing. There’s no peace, no joy, no hope. Our answer is in knowing who we are in Him and taking authority over the little foxes that creep in and steal from us. We will persevere in Him. We will have victory in Him. Everything is in and from Him and nothing from self-effort. His gift to us is victory today. His promise is victory tomorrow. Rejoice. Rejoice. Rejoice!!!
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” Ephesians 3:20
“Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you.” Psalm 86:11 NLT
“I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.” Psalm 16:8 NLT
“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14 NLT
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:10
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
We are so excited about this coming year and being able to watch the Lord be glorified in all the earth. What an honor to be born in this time and season. We were all called for such a time as this and as we go together as one in Him we will see His shining glory and victory at every turn. It’s exciting but we must stay focused on Him and encourage one another and others daily.
“That their hearts may be encouraged, and knit together in love and in all the riches of a full understanding, to know the mystery of God the Father and of Christ,”