For the past week I have been seeking God regarding 2016. God has given me five words of what His people need to be this coming year.
Let me tell you about Brad Smith. As an eighteen year old kid, Brad went looking for a Chinese manufacturer to build his motorcycle design with nothing to offer but vision. He and an interpreter visited over 50 motorcycle manufacturing plants and one by one got laughed out of their offices.
In the midst of telling his entrepreneurial story to an audience in Canberra (of which I was a part) he said, “Your ability to deal with rejection is proportional to your growth.”
His statement stuck with me. You see, I don’t deal with rejection well. I hate failure.
Yet if I am to grow, I have to be brave enough to fail. I have to be brave enough to experience rejection.
And keep going.
Think of Peter when he walked on water to Jesus. He may have been reprimanded for his “little faith,” but he was the only one of the twelve who was brave enough to sink.
In 2016 God is looking for sons and daughters who are brave enough to endure and not be deterred by the pain of failure and rejection. He is looking for those who are brave enough to sink. Brave enough to risk. Brave enough to get out of the boat.
Because when you are brave enough to fail, you are brave enough to grow into the man or woman Jesus created you to be.
Ephesians 6:10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Stand your ground. You worked hard in 2015 to take ground from the enemy. Having done all to stand, stand. Don’t back down. Don’t compromise – stand. The devil would like to compromise with you. Be strong. Don’t give in. The fight is almost over. Be strong and brave for the Lord is with you. Victory is yours.
Like Jesus when He was tempted in the wilderness, Satan will attempt to bargain with you. He will try to trick you into compromise. He will twist God’s word and even other Christians will be used to get you to give in. Be strong. Know who you are. Know what God has promised you. It is the devil’s final attack before the breakthrough comes. Don’t settle for second best when you are this close. Be strong. Be firmly held. Be established.
2016 is a year when you will need to be open. Open to the unexpected.
There will be new and unusual opportunities in 2016. Opportunities that will at first seem absurd. This is why you need to be open. Your initial reaction will be to turn down the opportunity, but know God’s hand is in the unusual and it will bring with it unusually great blessing.
For some it is a relationship – a romantic relationship, a business relationship, a friendship, an alliance.
For others it is work – unusual creativity, unusual ideas, unusual strategies. A job you have never considered. A job you are not qualified for.
Be open because the lifestyle and blessing that will come through this door will blow your mind.
Angela Nazworth said, “Being open allows you to pour yourself out while being filled up.”
You can live a closed life. You can allow hurt and betrayal of the past to lock you up in prison. Bitterness and hateful attack can become your language. Refuse it. Instead be open. Be filled up. You have been looking for the key to letting go of hurt for many years. Be open. And as you allow the Spirit to fill you, out of your belly will flow rivers of living water. Rivers of healing. Rivers of forgiveness. Rivers of freedom. Decide 2016 is your year to be open.
Proactive – take the first step
Being open to new relationships and new opportunities means someone will have to take the first step. In 2016, you need to be proactive. You need to take the first step.
Sometimes we like to wait for a fleece or a sign – this is your sign. This is God’s word for you, “Be proactive. Step out of the boat. Be brave.”
What if Abraham didn’t pack up and leave Haran?
What if Joseph didn’t take the first step of forgiveness?
What if Moses ignored the burning bush?
What if David didn’t ask questions of who would fight the giant Goliath?
What if Esther didn’t fast and pray?
What if Bartemaeus didn’t call out, “Son of David, have mercy on me”?
What if Peter ignored the man sitting by Gate Beautiful?
Believe who God says you are. Believe the promises. Believe when others doubt. Believe despite circumstances. Believe regardless of how long you’ve been waiting. Believe.
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
(C. S. Lewis)
Hope against hope.