Happy New Year! There is an excitement and expectation when a New Year comes, and you have every right to believe for and expect great things in 2016! Are you ready to put the past behind you and move forward—higher than you have ever been before? That is exactly what God wants, and with your attention on His Word, you WILL get there!
Psalm 37:23 says The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. I have visualized these steps in a linear fashion—as in the Lord leads us step by step, one foot in front of the other—but when I was in Brazil in October, the Lord showed me something new in this verse. Yes, He does lead us step by step, but the steps He gives us take us higher. It may feel at times like we are just putting one foot in front of the other, but recognize that the Lord is always directing us to a larger place.
A few weeks ago I was getting ready to minister in a church and the Lord spoke very clearly to me a word concerning this New Year. That word is RESTORE…RESTORE! It is the blessing of Abraham at work in your life that is going to produce the RESTORATION that belongs to you.
During 2015, the Lord emphasized to me the importance of the BLESSING of Abraham in the life of the believer, and I preached it many times. Many testimonies resulted. One lady in particular reported that her business doubled as a result of keeping the blessing activated in her life—through her words and actions—and she was able to accomplish some goals that seemed impossible at the beginning of the year.
In Second Kings, there is a perfect illustration of a woman who experienced restoration that only God could make happen. The Shunamite woman who established herself in God—prioritizing the things of God, put herself in a position to receive full restoration.
This woman had seen the hand of God work the impossible in her own life. Not only did God give her a child she didn’t think she would ever have, He raised that child from the dead when he was a teenager. Then, when the prophet gave her instructions to sojourn in a land that was unfamiliar to her because of a famine that was coming, she obeyed. Though it looked like she was leaving behind and losing all she had worked for and ever known, it was a step the Lord gave her.
The Shunamite woman’s obedience placed her in position to receive the restoration of all that belonged to her.
II Kings 8:5-6, And it came to pass, as he (Gehazi) was telling the king how he (Elisha) had restored a dead body to life, that behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life. And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer saying, Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now.
This passage has spoken volumes to my heart recently because I recognize that there are seasons when it feels like you’re in the midst of a famine, sojourning. But in these seasons, it is so important to keep your attention on His Word and not on how you feel—that’s faith!
During our years of pastoring, Phyllis and I saw the power of God move in some miraculous ways. We saw the dead raised, the incurable cured, the blind restored to sight, the indebted set free, broken families restored, and I expect God to demonstrate His power in miracles, signs and wonders in 2016.
When people ask me what I see for 2016, I see one thing—RESTORATION—restoration of God’s power manifested when the saints are gathered together, restoration of joy, restoration of peace, and restoration of financial resources, and it is the blessing of Abraham on you and me that will cause this restoration to take place.
As you enter 2016, enter with expectancy like the children of Israel entered Canaan—the Land of Promise, and recognize that when the Lord gives you a step, it is to take you not only farther, but higher.
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