I believe 2021 is going to be a time of great contending in the earth. In 2020, the whole world was drafted into engaging in a fight against a virus we came to know as Covid-19. As we entered into this pandemic fight, I felt the Lord say to me that the real virus we are fighting as a church is summed up in 3 crucial areas: FEAR, FATIGUE & FATALISM.
The assignment of fear, panic and intimidation in this season is real and is more than just the effect of the circumstances we are facing. This fear has to be understood in the light of the admonition giving by the Apostle Paul to Timothy when he said that God has not given us a spirit of fear. Fear is a spiritual assignment formed by the enemy to get believers to withdraw and retreat from the battlefield. The agenda behind this pandemic, both naturally and spiritually, is a full-on assault of the antichrist spirit to bring to pass an antichrist agenda. Like with any war, if you don’t engage in the battle, you are doomed to fail. The enemy’s efforts have been focused on trying to get the Church to back up when we are called to advance. We do not fight with natural weapons, but we do fight! When we use them purposely and rightly, we are made to win! Our God, Jehovah Nissi, is our Banner of Victory, and as Jehovah Sabbaoth, He is the Lord of Hosts, the Lord of the Angel Armies!
While praying about this year of 2021, I felt led to look at the Strong’s numbers in the Hebrew and the Greek corresponding to the number 2021. I had never done this before in regard to a new year, but what I found was compelling. The Hebrew word corresponding to the Strong’s number 2021 is the word hotsen, which means “sharp and strong, as a weapon of war; a chariot.” and the Strong’s number 2021 in the Greek is the word epicheireo, which means “to take in hand or to undertake or put the hand to.” I believe God is speaking to the church that we must be strong and sharp and put the weapons of war of the spirit in our hands!
We can’t afford to be passive or fatigued in the battle. The enemy’s plan is to wear us down and wear us out so he can take us out. Scripture is clear that the joy of the Lord is our strength and implores us to be strong and courageous, not afraid or dismayed. Joshua was instructed four times in the beginning of the Book of Joshua, “Only be strong and courageous.” God promised that he would bring them into their land, and they would possess it. They would fight, and God would fight for them! The Lord of Hosts would bring them victory as the Captain of the Angel Armies. The word for “possess” in the Hebrew is the word Yaresh, which means to possess by dispossessing or driving out the previous inhabitants. In other words, receive your inheritance of promise by being a contender who drives out every pretender! It’s not a time to be discouraged, or robbed of courage, nor to be disheartened or robbed of heart for the battle, nor to be weary in doing what is right or required. Keep praising, keep praying, keep fasting, keep prophesying, keep giving, keep living right!
The ploy of the enemy is to try to get us to accept that he will inevitably triumph. However, God revels in impossibilities and impossible odds! Don’t give up in the face of overwhelming forces. Believe God like Gideon did, like David did when facing Goliath, like Elisha did on Mt. Carmel, like the four lepers did when they marched to the camp of the enemy. Fatalism wants to convince you that it’s over before you get started. It whispers to you, saying things like “Don’t you know that it’s the end times, and that it’s too late? The antichrist will arise and there is nothing that you can do about it.” However, that has never been God’s word to his people. He said that He will have a glorious Church without spot or wrinkle before He returns. He said to occupy until He comes, and that is a military term, which means to rule in the land. God prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies and causes us to triumph over them. Jesus said that He will build His Ekklesia and they would be given the keys to the Kingdom, having the power to bind and loose and shut down the gates of hell and open the gates of heaven in the earth.
Daniel declares that there will be a time when it feels like the enemy is prevailing or winning, but then a decree will come from the Ancient of Days that will loose favor on the Saints of the Most Hight so that they can take the kingdom. This is not a time to shrink back, kick back or give up, but rather to advance God’s kingdom in the earth. Let’s contend for God’s purposes in the earth as overcomers filled with faith, power and passion to welcome the King of Glory, the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord strong in battle, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords!
I hear the Lord saying, out of Isaiah 42, that He is getting ready to do new things as the prophetic declares it; to arise in His power in the midst of worship; and to deal a mighty blow to his enemies:
“Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”
The LORD shall go forth like a mighty man; He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war. He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud; He shall prevail against His enemies. “I have held My peace a long time, I have been still and restrained Myself. Now I will cry like a woman in labor, I will pant and gasp at once.
I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, And not forsake them. They shall be turned back, They shall be greatly ashamed, Who trust in carved images, Who say to the molded images, ‘You are our gods.’” (Isaiah 42:9, 13-14, 16-17 NKJV)
Don’t Run Away, it’s time to Run to the Battle!
WE MUST RUN TOGETHER
There is such power in unity, and that’s why it was the focus of the Lord’s Prayer in John 17 when Jesus prayed, Father let them be one, as you and I are one, so they may share in our glory. I believe God is going to continue to forge unity among true believers around the world in this season. The pandemic that was meant to divide us can become a catalyst for new connection to draw closer to God and to each other.
In the midst of the heat of world events, persecution and pressure, God is going to help us recognize how much we need each other. A new appreciation is going to grow for the Body of Christ. Petty differences are going to pale in the light of the perils we will be facing. This also will be a time that God is going to expose the difference between the Sheep and the Goats, and in doing so, He will unite His true church more than ever before.
This year will bring a greater distinction between those who call themselves Christian but have compromised with the spirit of the world and are uniting under a banner of tolerance, dead religion and globalism, vs those who are aligning with the Word of God in a Biblical Kingdom worldview in submission to the King of Kings above any worldly system of man.
Persecution will come to those who stand up and will not bow the knee to the music that Babylon is playing. Instead, like the three Hebrew children, Hananiah (God has favored), Mischiel (Who is what God is), and Azariah (God has helped), God will use their trials to bring powerful testimonies of His glory to a hurting world. In the midst of troubling times, God will favor, God will help, and God will have a generation who will be like Him in the earth. God will have a company of young, brave and bold prophetic reformers who will be willing to go through the fire to bring a testimony of the Living God to a generation. God will turn the hearts of the children to the true fathers in the church just as Hananiah, Mischiel and Azariah were mentored by Daniel to be a powerful witness in their generation and nation. God is going to cause the generations to run together in greater measure, healing the divides and gaps that the enemy has purposed to exasperate.
The pandemic tried to divide and isolate us, but God is going to cause what was meant for evil to be turned for our good as we choose to run together! In this digital age, God is going to cause a greater closeness and intimacy to emerge amongst His true believers who shine as a great light in the midst of a dark and dying world. A greater unity is going to give rise to a new Kingdom mentality in the church and release a greater harvest than ever before. We will need to bring our boats and nets together to take care of the mighty harvest the Lord has commanded in these last days!
So don’t be a loner, or you’ll be a loser! Don’t allow anything to separate you, isolate you or divide you from the ones you are called to in your family or the family of God. It’s time to reach out, break down dividing walls and run together. Break down walls of abandonment, rejection, offense, isolation, division and pride. We need each other, and we must be there for one another!
WE MUST RUN UNTIL THE JOB IS DONE
God is releasing a finishing anointing on the church. We are going to see Jesus as the author and finisher of our Faith in a new way. We will learn to run for the tape and lean in and on God until the work is done. I see God breaking old patterns off those who in the past have excitedly started projects and purposes of heaven, only to then falter along the way. God is going to come with special grace to finish what we started in faith. We are going from faltering to finishing.
If a car stops running or breaks down, then the journey will be sidetracked, delayed or our destination may not be reached. It is imperative that we take care of ourselves, just like a car needs maintenance and tuning to keep running well. We are going to need to take care of our bodies, our souls and our spiritual life meticulously this year. We can’t afford to break down or run out of gas on our critical journey this year. God will be faithful to supply times to be refreshed and rested as well as trained, resupplied and equipped. Take advantage of those times. Keep your vessel full!
My wife once preached a message called FOCUS. She spelled it out this way: Faith Operating Consistently Until Satisfied. Focus on the important issues; don’t get distracted; stay in faith; keep your eyes on the prize! A lot will try to grab our attention, but let’s not allow it to detour us or cause us to crash on this road of 2021.
There will be a very keen release of a finishing anointing upon those who stay focused on the kingdom agenda. God will supply in amazing ways! There will be provision for the vision and mission of heaven in abundant and miraculous ways. We must keep running the race that is set before us and shake off every weight, sin and soul issue that wants to drag us down. Set a pace for the race, and keep moving forward! Those that run, Paul said, must run to win! You are called to run like a champion in this season and receive the victor’s crown of the overcomer!
RUN INTO HIS HEART, SEIZE THE DAY AND BE SAVED
God’s heart is a covenant keeping, faithful and true, loving heart, which releases strength and comfort to His people and empowers them to seize what has already been established prophetically ahead of time as an unshakeable hope!
Hebrews 6:18 in the Passion translation says it like this: “So it is impossible for God to lie for we know that his promise and his vow will never change! And now we have run into his heart to hide ourselves in his faithfulness. This is where we find his strength and comfort, for he empowers us to seize what has already been established ahead of time—an unshakeable hope!”