I always like to ask the Lord for a word for the year for me personally and for us corporately. More times than not they are the same. Every time I have prayed I see the word written in bold. Victory. The word means to overcome an enemy. To see any victory in our lives personally or publicly we will have to do what feels risky and risk requires courage. Love will always be our motivation for courage.
I love the story in the OT where the people of God got to enter their promised land. The lessons for us are parallel for what we see and face today. Just as Joshua is translated from the Greek into Jesus in English, Jesus is still leading us into all of God’s promises. Joshua was commissioned by God in Joshua 1 three times to ‘Be Strong and Full of Courage’ to be able to live in this land occupied by the enemy. Verse 9 says ‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’
Sounds a lot like Jesus’s commission to us in Matt 28.
To accomplish what we are called to accomplish it will require great courage wrapped in great love. No one needs courage to compromise, go with the flow or live with their enemy. However, we will need it when we decide enough is enough and face any ground the enemy has occupied in our lives or those around us. There is a reason that Jesus’s commission would require all power.
I recently heard quote ‘You can’t conquer what you won’t confront.’ We must be willing to confront issues we’ve battled personally and corporately. Things like addictions, emotions, diseases, generational sins, patterns of destruction etc… Publicly there are things that are patterns in our community, things impacting people in our Valley. This is a year to confront it and see Victory. This starts personally and privately but always ends up publicly. Remember God’s strength is perfected in our weakness. We will engage in prayer, practical serving in our community and proclaim his good news.
What I know this means for us in the new year is that if we want to see Victory we have to take more risk and risk requires courage. Small steps, big steps, steps in private and prayers in public. Great faith requires great risk and sometime some of the smallest steps lead to the biggest breakthrough’s. Choose to confront it.
The problem happens when we face an enemy either personally or publicly and we experience loss or defeat. We feel disappointment and without processing that with our Father we begin to lose heart, lose courage and we justify our situation. We build bad theology and gather with others to justify our victim mentalities. Remember life doesn’t happen to you it happens through you. Jesus only does life and life abundantly the enemy is steal, kill and destroy. The tension is to ‘Trust in the Lord with ALL my heart and lean not on MY own understanding….’ When I’m called to live a life of faith It means I will have to trust God sometimes beyond my understanding.
Some questions to ask ourselves entering this new year; Am I compromising somewhere personally and privately? What am I fearful of confronting? Does fear have any influence over my decision making? Am I seeing problems through the lens of love?
We are called to encourage one another while it’s called today because I know that when you experience breakthrough we do to! We need one another. Make no mistake Jesus is Victorious and he has paid it all. If we aren’t seeing it fully, go back pray in private and keep taking risk publicly. Who knows but that you exist for such a time as this.
Chris Abington, Jan 2020