New Year’s Revelation
I’m the kind of person who prefers a clean plate for dessert. My husband doesn’t seem to mind if his piece of cake is swimming in remnants of spaghetti. I’d rather have a clean plate as well as a clean fork, even if it means doing a few extra dishes.
To me, starting off the new year with a fast is like getting a clean plate. I don’t want to put 2017’s cake on top of 2016’s spaghetti. For whatever reason, this year I have been greatly anticipating the January fast. Do I miss eating whatever and whenever I want to? Undoubtedly. Do I miss Netflix and Facebook and Instagram? Without question. I just feel like I have a whole lot more to gain than I could ever lose.
Some people make New Year’s resolutions, but more people do not, because they are largely destined to fail. The definition of resolution is “the act of determining an action or course of action.” Therein lies the problem. It is OUR idea of what should change, dependent on OUR ability to change it. Years ago I began asking God for a “New Year’s Revelation” instead. From a biblical perspective, a revelation is when God “reveals or discloses something.” I just figured He knew more about the future than I did, so I’d rather hear what HE had in mind for me.
Some years God has given me verses, other years phrases, and some years just a word or two. But I’ve tried to be faithful with whatever He gave me, agree with His heart, and just bathe it in prayer. And it’s been incredible to see things that were birthed in His heart, rather than my mind, unfold.
At the end of 2014, we had a significant time in our lives when someone who had hurt us deeply a decade prior came to Gary to apologize and make things right. He then emailed us a prayer that he was claiming for our family in 2015, that it would be a year of “unprecedented favor, blessing, adventure, and wonder at God’s goodness.” I felt like God said that was to be our “New Year’s Revelation.” And so we prayed into it faithfully, even though at this point in life, I’m looking for “smooth and steady” more than I’m looking for “adventure!” But wow, what a year it was! That was the year God called us to join Lifeway and to relocate to Annville. I could regale you with stories of God’s favor and blessing and goodness that year, but suffice it to say, He blew us away in the midst of adventures we could not have dreamed for ourselves.
This year I felt God asked me to claim “peace and prosperity” over my family. I confess that my initial thought was, “Great! This year sounds pretty easy to me!” But as I processed it with the Lord, He reminded me that His peace is a peace “in spite of” our circumstances, not “because of” them. So in essence, it doesn’t matter if 2017 goes down in history as a good or bad year; either way, I am promised His supernatural peace that “which transcends all understanding, (and) guards your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
I was also shocked to discover that the word “prosper” is used 91 times in scripture. We tend to think it is wrong to ask God to prosper us, as if it isn’t a very spiritual request. But prosperity in general is not strictly connected to finances. It simply means “to move forward” or “to advance.” I’m incredibly excited to see how God wants to prosper my family, my marriage, our business, the young adult ministry, and our walk with the Lord. Daily, I am agreeing with God for the “peace and prosperity” that He has promised us in 2017. The great part about it is that this is all His idea, and while it’s my job to be obedient to anything He would require or ask of us, essentially it is all on Him to make these things become a reality. So much better than a New Year’s resolution which has usually dwindled away to nothing by week three!
It’s still early, folks. Still time to ask for some vision for 2017. Never too late to seek God’s heart for you and your family. I’d encourage you to spend some time in the secret place this week asking God for a revelation for the year ahead. And then pray as if your life depends on it … because it does. 2017 is destined to have some sweet stories and crazy God moments and more surprises than you could imagine! So grab a clean plate and fork and get ready!