Get ready for an acceleration of new life and new growth.
Get ready for an acceleration of new life and new growth. (Pixabay)

"See, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not be aware of it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert" (Is. 43:19).

Where I live, it has been a very strange winter because it really hasn't been winter. It is February and the temps are in the 70s and 80s when they should be in the 30s and 40s. Bushes and early blooming trees such as the Bradford pears are beginning to blossom—about four weeks earlier than normal.

But He has said, "I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth ..." What we are seeing around us is simply declaring what He is doing in the spirit realm. An acceleration of new life. New growth. New relationships. New things.

It's important as we enter this new season when our eyes are open for new insights, relationships and direction, that we don't miss the miraculous that can be wrapped in the mundane.

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Many missed Jesus' entry into the world because he didn't come in the package they expected. A king, someone important, would come with fanfare and prestige, wouldn't they? But we all know God's ways are higher than our ways, and He rarely does things the world's way. His Word can come as a baby wrapped in swaddling clothing or as a baby wrapped in a Jewish blanket floating on the Nile. It can come as a shepherd with five small stones or an uneducated fisherman.

Often God's amazing gifts and insights come wrapped in the ordinary. So we have to be alert, or we may miss them.

Like many of you, I am walking in some tremendous new opportunities for blessing. It is exciting. But remember as well that "the thief does not come, except to steal, kill and destroy" (John 10:10b).

Even as opportunities for new blessings came into my path, God spoke to my heart, "Be watchful. Don't let these opportunities be snatched away." Almost immediately, while these new and good things were happening on one side of my business, I received not just one but two interactions from people I had not heard from in over 18 months. Their communication was judgmental, accusatory and unfair.

Immediately, my emotions wanted to run away with me. I was angry. Hurt. Frustrated. When we are unjustly treated, our flesh wants to respond in kind. But I knew this was simply an opportunity. I could either pass or fail. To fail, I knew I would forfeit part of the blessing which had been accelerating toward me in recent days. I took a deep breath and worked through the emotions with God. Yes they were being unkind and unfair, but Jesus well understood how we feel when we are unjustly treated and accused. I laid it at His feet and chose to respond in kindness rather than in kind.

The Lord revealed to me again how we often forfeit the very blessing we have been seeking as Satan will almost always throw a distraction our way to cause us to stumble, which can then destroy and shut the door to the very blessing that has been opened. And tragically, we often don't even recognize the two are connected.

Over the years, I've watched on numerous occasions as people have walked away from the very provision for which they prayed. They had desperate needs that God met in response to their prayers, but in a package they didn't expect. Like Naaman in biblical times, this unexpected package seemed unworthy of their consideration. As a result, they refused the provision. They missed their answer because they didn't like the "package" and didn't realize what was available to them had they simply received it and opened it to look closer. (You can read that article here.)

Sometimes the ordinary comes in the person sitting next to you. Or perhaps it comes in the form of an individual you have known for years. The person who seems the least likely.

But what if they had the insights to the provision for which you prayed, but which came in an unexpected fashion?

A gift is nothing special if it remains in its package. It is when we acknowledge it and unwrap it that we are able to receive it.

I remember years ago a ministry team that came to the company where I worked and gave a short presentation. One of the individuals was in her twenties, as was I. As the team ministered, it was apparent there was a unique anointing on one of the members' lives, and God gave me insights on where He was going to take her and use that gift. Afterwards I went up to her to encourage her with a word. I could tell immediately that she rebuffed it and didn't receive it. Immediately I sensed a spirit of pride within her as she "summed me up" as one her own age and determined I had nothing to offer. And so the "gift" God had to impart to her in that word remained wrapped up and passed up. How many times have we done the same ourselves?

We often look for and embrace a "word from the Lord" from those recognized in ministry. But a day is upon us when He is raising up prophets all over the world who are unknown and unrecognized, and yet there resides within them His anointing and a word for this hour. Perhaps you are one of those prophets and this message is burning within you?

There are also those He will send who, although not prophets, may have a prophetic word, a gift of prophecy, dropped in their hearts. If we will simply listen with open ears and open hearts as we go through the day, we will find His encouragement and guidance in the messages they deliver as we keep our hearts humble. Remember it's not about the messenger, but the message He wants to impart.

As we enter this season of new beginnings, let us be watchful not only of what He is doing in our lives, but how He may be using others as well—or we just may miss the miraculous because it appears mundane.

Karen Hardin is a literary agent and published author. She has been in the Christian publishing industry for 25 years and has had the privilege of working on numerous projects for some of the most-recognized names in the industry. Her work has also appeared in USA Today, "World Net Daily," "Crosswalk.com," Charisma, "The Elijah List" and more. She is called to exhort, encourage and help others to walk in identity and destiny to achieve their highest potential. To sign up for her weekly prophetic insights, go to: lightandremnant.com or her website for the publishing world: prioritypr.org.

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