Looking Back and Looking Ahead
How To Know What God Is Really Saying!
It’s that time of year when everybody likes to forecast what lies ahead for the up and coming year. Likewise we all like to reflect and ponder what went right and what went wrong. Where did we as individuals get off the path God has for us, or did we do alright? If you are one to make New Year’s resolutions, then by now you probably have taken an inventory of how well you did.
But is all of that really important? Remember it is only what God says that really matters. If you are disappointed with your results then ask God what He thinks. Repent and ask for grace to move on. Still, why do we need to make resolutions. I believe it is important to have goals both short-term and long-term. We must make sure they are of course bathed in prayer and based in the Word of God.
In the ancient days the Children of Israel knew when it was time to reflect, repent, and look for the New. That took place around three seasons called ‘feast days’. The spring feasts, focused primarily on Passover, then 50 days later there was Pentecost, then the ‘fall feasts’ beginning with Trumpets, Atonement, and finally Tabernacles. There were other times like New Moon Feasts, and Jubilees that had special significance, and special meanings.
So, we have precedent to take a season to stop and look back and ask God to examine us over the past season. Yes, it is a daily thing but sometimes we need to see the bigger picture. In the Book of Acts we typically don’t read of New Year’s resolution, but see Peter talking about repentance and experiencing seasons of refreshing. The early Church began with just Jews and until later centuries they always celebrated the feasts. The feast were and are a good time to also sow special seed.
That seed sowing can be giving an offering to your church or a missionary or orphanage, or special need. We can sow our time and from our talents or skills. It helps us to break the cycles we have fallen into over the year. We can see others less fortunate or in need and we have not only opportunity to help but we are ‘storing up treasure in heaven.’
I began by talking about looking ahead. How do we know what God is really saying when we have 20 prophetic words over our nation or church or government. Or the prognosticators of the world start speaking. Who do we believe? We need to always submit everything to the Spirit of the Lord and His Word. Pray, and ask the Lord first what are His plans for your individual life for the upcoming year. Seek Him in prayer the Word, worship, and then pray with others. Every Word is not for each of us.
If the Lord moves on you to make changes be obedient, but make sure if you are married you are both in agreement. Pastors and leaders need to fast and seek the Lord for their Churches. Business and government leaders should seek heaven. The world is not where we get our guidance. Psychics, astrologers, wiccans, or anything from the world is not for believers of Jesus Christ to seek out or even give an ear to. Pray about everyone in authority over you and what they are telling you and make sure that it lines up with God’s word and that your spirit bears witness.
By staying in God’s Word and seeking Him in prayer you will be on the right path, and it will keep you there if you are obedient and if you stray and are quick to repent He will forgive and be merciful and bring you back to the place you need to be. Embrace the new seasons ahead with joy and delight and be thankful that it is also a time to just ‘wipe the slate clean’ in some instances.
It is my prayer that each one will seek God first before making any decision and obey. Perhaps this may be your biggest year where all of your dreams and everything you have been waiting for God to do will be accomplished. But, if not, grab onto the horns of the altar and don’t let go. Enjoy Him every day and do not give the devil any place.