This morning in my time with the Lord, I was thinking about the beginning of 2017 and how, so far, it has felt like a rough or rocky start for many who are believing God for great things.
Aside from the refining God is taking us through—removing areas that have robbed and held us back in 2016, pruning and cutting back areas for new growth, there seems to be quite an obvious and sudden opposition that has reared its head as we stepped over into the new year.
As I was taking this before Him, I heard Him say. "Don't look at what's chasing after you, look at what's opening up for you." I instantly saw a vision of the Israelites walking through the Red Sea: the walls of water on their left and right; behind, the angry army of Egyptians approaching; and the unknown in front of them. I felt the Lord show me that many have been so focused on who is after them, what is going wrong, how hard the battle is and has been, but God is saying, "Look ahead, I have great things planned for you!"
The enemy wants to distract you so you stop looking in front of you and begin to look at the problems around you. The word "distraction" means" a thing that stops someone from focusing on something else" and "extreme agitation of the mind." Distraction causes anxiety and double-mindedness. You begin to feel clouded and scattered, and you soon have no energy, passion or flow to operate in the thing God has given you.
"The light of the body is the eye. Therefore, if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light" (Matt. 6:22).
Many have come into this year feeling fearful and intimidated—an almost foreboding of the unknown. Any time I feel unsure or fearful about the future or something I am facing, I recognize there is a fault line in how I see the Father. I begin to magnify the size of the giants in my life when I have disconnected from the Father or haven't given him first-class access to my heart that day. Our connection to Him assures we have a different set of lenses and response—how we see and how we respond.
I believe that one major strategy to overcome this year is by making sure that we are surrounding ourselves with good news, good reports, miracles, testimonies and, of course, vision. This does not mean we negate the bad reports; it just means we hold to a higher truth so we can see things in their proper perspective.
The reality is, we need to have increased discernment in this hour. We need to know the tactics of the enemy and uncover his strategies but without being focused or overwhelmed by them, our eyes not on the enemy but on what God is doing. This is the strange tension to which we are called.
God is for you. This is a year of increase in so many areas, and the only reason you feel like you are in a fight is because of what's at stake. You are carrying greatness that you have been obediently nurturing for many years, and it's about to emerge. Your calling and anointing has been increasing in value as you have stewarded and persisted in it, but the enemy has wanted to strip it from you. Don't let him "dis-mantle" you.
There is an evident increase and upgrade coming to you and you'll need to be on full alert, eyes on the prize, pressing forward and keeping your sword out, especially these next few months.
So how do we do that? How do we steward and guard what God has entrusted to us while also moving forward?
Hebrews 12:1 says: "Therefore, since we are encompassed with such a great cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us."
Allow God to de-clutter you. Give him permission to remove the things that have weighed you down in the past so you can run your race.
A week ago in worship, I had an amazing vision of Jesus handing me a pair of Nike sports shoes. Then, He said, "Now run on the mountains!" I feel as though this vision is connected to what I am sharing. God wants us free to so we can run on the "high places" without being held or weighed down by the snares and heart-issues that limit our elevation.
Keep your vision before you and stay at His feet this year, and you will constantly watch the things sent to harm you fall away, and the goodness of God clear the path before you into the promised land.
Nate and Christy Johnson, who live on the Gold Coast of Australia with their two daughters, launched Everyday Revivalists in March 2016 as a community of powerful and free revivalists. Their desire is to see every person released from shame and past disappointments and free to live the life that Jesus died to give them.
For the original article, visit everydayrevivalists.com.
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