Each year, God speaks a significant prophetic word to me for the upcoming year. These words give direction and help us align ourselves and our lives to receive the blessing God has ordained for us. It is amazing how the prophetic word unfolds throughout the year!
This year, God has given me what my husband, Mark, and I believe to be five strategic keys for 2009. ... Now more than ever, it is imperative that we hear God and follow His word. Never before have we found ourselves at such a crucial stage in history! It seems that everything is changing so fast. Indeed, the overwhelming outcry of our nation has been for change. The recent election certainly can attest to that.
Our newly elected leader, President Barack Obama, stated on his Inauguration Day, "The world has changed, and we must change as well."
I believe that our nation has made a drastic change. There has been a major shift in both the natural and the spiritual realms. ... As we watch the news and listen to celebrities, we see that the spirit of this nation has swung from godliness to unrighteousness.
In 2008, God gave us the option of going through the gate and making our way back to Him. Sadly, as a nation, we continue to slip further and further away from the principles that this nation was founded upon. We have chosen to do what seems right in our own eyes.
Life will never be the same from this point forward! Change has come, and we have entered into a new season.
The number 9 (2009) represents finality, the ending of an era, if you will. God is saying the year 2009 signifies we have crossed over, and what we have always known will never be the same again!
No longer will our nation be known as a "Christian" nation. Those days are behind us. As Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, "We're not in Kansas anymore!"
Through the sins of our nation, there has been a loss of innocence in our nation. We have so blatantly denied holiness and righteousness and have strayed so far from God ... that a spirit of anti-Christ has risen in our land.
I am not declaring God's judgments on America; however, there are consequences to our choices. Our nation cannot continue to murder innocent babies by the thousands, condone and applaud same-sex relationships, and continue to stray further and further from God [without repercussions].
I believe that as time progresses, the days will become darker and more difficult. The Bible confirms that in the last days this will happen.
However, here is the awesome news: Though the world darkens, we, the church, brighten! We are called to be a light on a dark hill! Our best days are ahead of us!
This is our time to show the world what the true love of Christ is all about. We will make an impact, but not by our old ways. The days of protests and picket signs are behind us! That type of behavior only reinforces the world's opinion that the church is full of radical, judgmental bigots who hate everyone else. If you don't believe this, just watch CNN!
Yes, it is time for change--not in the church's message, but in our methods.
It has been documented that the world changes every 3-5 years. I carry around a Blackberry, and I can e-mail, phone, or text anyone in the world. I can watch TV, listen to music, and access my personal computer files. Wow! What happened to eight-tracks and record albums?
The problem is that the world is rapidly evolving, but the church changes only every 30-40 years. What does this say? That we are lagging behind, that we are not keeping up with the ever-changing culture.
Our old way of reaching the world is not making it. News flash! Unbelievers are not knocking our doors down to get into church. We need to learn to "do church" in a new way!
It's time to reach the world in a relevant way that gives people hope. The Bible says the whole world waits in earnest expectation for the revealing of the sons of God. Another translation says the world is groaning (as in birth pains) for the children of God to arise.
The world is waiting for us to reveal we are God's children. And how will they recognize us? By our love!
Here are five key strategies that God is saying we must begin to activate in our lives in 2009:
1. Strengthen key relationships
2. Create a covenant community of believers
3. Demonstrate love through compassionate outreach
4. Learn to operate in the supernatural
5. Get your finances in order
Strategic Key #1
Strengthen Key Relationships
When God wants to bless you, He brings people into your life. When Satan wants to destroy you, he brings people into your life.
Perhaps you have heard this saying before. There are basically four types of relationships: those that add to your life, those that take away, those that multiply, and those that divide your life and your relationship with God. It is time to evaluate every relationship in your life. Strengthen "God-ordained" relationships. Evaluate the people and relationships of those you minister to. Work to create healthy relationships in every area.
Here are some ideas to help you:
- Focus on relationships that encourage and celebrate you
- Focus on relationships that motivate you to be better than you are
- Focus on relationships that challenge you out of your comfort zone
- Focus on relationships that look to your future and do not hold you to your past
I realize that we all have people we minister to who are in our lives for the purpose of ministry. They may not fit into the above categories. In other words, you pour out for their sake while receiving very little in return. That is OK, but be sure to use wisdom in developing and maintaining these relationships.
Here's how I handle ministry relationships. I am willing to minister to anyone who is willing to receive help. I look for hungry people, not just hurting people. Hurt people hurt people. Hungry people are willing to do whatever they have to do. Hungry people can push past their pain because they really want to be different.
I pour out only to those who want to get better. And I do not let them drain me. This is one of the enemy's biggest tricks. He will distract you with someone who will keep you preoccupied and not focused on what God has called you to.
Finally, look for strategic key relationships in business, in the community, in ministry. The saying, "It is not what you know, but who you know" is totally true. You need others to help you reach your destiny, and they need you!
Strategic Key #2
Create a Covenant Community of Believers
If we are going to make a difference in the world, we have to focus on the body [of Christ] first. We can't have an impact until we get the church in order. We can't be effective if we come to church and can't stand the person sitting at the end of our row.
We have to unite together to make a difference! We need each other. Hillary Clinton wrote a book titled It Takes a Village [in which she makes the point that it takes a village to grow a child]. Well, it takes a covenant community to change the world!
The Bible says we all bring something to the table. There are diversities of gifts and different manifestations of those gifts. We need them all. None are too small!
We must rethink our very purpose in coming to church. Instead of wondering, What can I get today? think What can I give? Don't come to get; come to give!
Strategic Key #3
Demonstrate Love Through Compassionate Outreach
Love is the most powerful force in the universe. It is what compelled the Father to send Jesus.
I was ministering in another nation recently. While preaching in a somewhat traditional church, I saw a woman sitting in the back of the sanctuary. I could tell she was not a "regular." She was wearing a rumpled, slinky, tight-fitting dress, and her hair was a mess. When I looked her way a few minutes later, she had disappeared. I whispered a prayer in my heart that God would draw her back by His love, that somehow the message I was preaching would touch something deep in her.
At the end of the service, as I ministered around the altar, I saw her. I don't think I will ever forget the sight. She was broken. Her body shook badly as she wept in hopeless desperation. Her mascara was streaked down her cheeks, her stockings had runs in them, and she smelled.
Yet, in that moment, I was overcome with love. It wasn't my love. I am not sure I am capable of pure love like that. It was the love of the Father. It was His heart I was feeling. It was His hope for this woman who stood before me that evoked this overwhelming force I was feeling. It was for her Jesus came.
As you may have guessed, she was a prostitute. She told me she was drawn into the service as I preached. She shared with me how she had to leave to turn a trick because her pimp was expecting her to meet her quota. She would receive a beating if she did not. But when she was finished, she rushed back, hoping that the doors would still be open, that someone would be there who cared, that someone would love her.
I prayed with her as she asked Jesus into her heart. I introduced her to the pastor, and he promised to get her help. He promised to help get her off the streets. I may never see her again, but I remember her often.
She is just one in a sea of hurting people. They are everywhere, and we must love them in the midst of their situations. We must not turn them away or be freaked out by their sins; we must reach out to them right where they are. We must learn to love those who are different from us. We must love the woman who just had an abortion, the young man who just came out, those who are of a different religion. For them, Jesus came.
Strategic Key #4
Learn to Operate in the Supernatural
Now more than ever, we must operate at a higher spiritual level. We must receive training and impartation to operate in the supernatural.
Here are some things you need to be focusing on:
- Learning to hear the voice of God for yourself
- Learning to hear the voice of God for others and to use your prophetic gift
- Praying for increased discernment
- Praying for an increase of signs, wonders, miracles and healings
I know that our mind-set is that we are not spiritual enough, not holy enough, not called to be used by God. But Jesus said that we would do greater works than He did.
Everywhere I go, I see God healing and doing miracles! For the past several months, in every service, God has been performing incredible healings. I would say 98 percent of those sick and in pain are healed instantly. Every week, I see people healed of various sicknesses and injuries. But not just in church. In everyday life! Right where people live. So be bold and believe God wants to use you at work, at school, at Wal-Mart.
Strategic Key #5
Get Your Finances in Order
God is giving us an advance notice to get our finances in order. At some point, there will be an economic collapse in our nation. I don't think it is in the immediate future, but I do believe it is looming. God is giving us advance warning to start preparing now!
In times like these, we tend to get fearful. Fear not! God will provide for all our needs. Now is not the time to decrease our giving. In tough times, we give more. It is a spiritual principle that we cannot out-give God. In fact, the more we sow, the more He brings back for a harvest.
Keys to Godly Finances
- Tithe and give offerings (Increase giving in your season of need.)
- Live within your means (If you can't pay cash, don't buy it.)
- Pay off credit-card debt (Pay off higher-interest debts first.)
- Look for bargains when purchases are necessary (I don't pay full price for anything.)
- Evaluate the necessity of a purchase (Do you need it, or do you want it?)
- Save for the future
- Ask God for creative, multiple-income streams
I pray that you will put the five strategic keys God gave me into action right away. Pray each day about how these words apply to you personally and keep them before you. Declare them for 2009!
We are living at a most exciting time, and there is much work to do in the kingdom. Together we can make a difference!
Editor's note: The Lord is speaking to many of His leaders about what is on His heart for 2009. Nicki Pfeifer, co-founder with her husband, Mark, of Open Door Ministries in Chillicothe, Ohio (opendoorohio.com), believes He told her there are five key strategies believers must follow in order to bring about the changes in the church and in our individual lives that will allow us to be effective for the kingdom this year. Nicki is an ordained prophet and the co-pastor of Open Door Christian Fellowship, a church she and Mark planted in 1991. She ministers at conferences nationally and internationally and leads the Fire School of Prophetic Training, which has locations throughout the United States, Asia and Africa. Nicki posted this word on January 28, 2009.
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