I know, I know. The inter-webs are full of “words” for this upcoming year. Many of them are generic, lack substance, and offer little. Many…well, they just aren’t from God. They’re from the “prophets” own brain. Others still have a tinge of truth but are laced, overbearingly usually, with political innuendo, religion disguised as holiness, and just hurt my heart to read. I’m still waiting for most of the ones giving these words to go back and repent that none of what they said would happen in 2015 happened before telling me what is going to happen in 2016. Unfortunately, we live in a day where the ‘prophetic’ is consumed instead of stewarded. It seems people care more about delivery and cool Christianese words than accuracy and purity.
Beyond those guys, thankfully, there are a few that are sharp, edifying, challenging, and offer help. I prayerfully hope to be one of those, and to offer some of what I believe the Lord is saying for 2016. I know it is serving as a guide for my year. Some of them are more personally rather than corporately directed, but as we say in ‘charismatic world,’ you ‘go ahead and claim that for yourself.’
In November-ish of each year I start devoting some time seeking the Lord on the direction we are to take for the next year. This is usually geared towards my personal ministry, and as God elaborates on personal direction He interweaves some of the direction of the corporate body as well.
The Lord’s Roar
‘The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the heavens will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.’ Joel 3:16
- This verse began popping up every time I went to prayer for 2016. It has been engrained in my understanding for what this year holds. The ‘roar’ of the Lord in scripture carries many connotations, but prophetically in this instance I believe it to be the Gospel and the message of the Kingdom of God going forth in power. Let me expound a bit on how the Lord is opening this verse up to me for the next year specifically, and what I believe He is saying. I’m sure a lot of it has to do with global stuff, and Israel, and geo-politics…maybe I’m just not that prophetic yet. 🙂 God seems to keep most things He gives me centered around something actionable on a more personal level. Here goes!
- There has been a foundation laid the past 6 years for a resurgence of the Jesus People movement. I’ve seen pockets of it. 2016 will see the first bricks laid, the first visible part of the structure, on top of that foundation. God is saying ‘my people are finally getting it! They are finally understanding again that every person that follows me can walk in power.’
- There will be a roar from pulpits with a call to be a passionate disciple of Jesus. We will begin to see the end of the ‘self help’ era of preaching. Will there still be ‘self help, motivational’ preachers. Absolutely, but God is telling me ‘I am roaring in the prayer closets of many pastors that have succumbed to many church models. I have been patient with them, loving with them, and I’m rekindling flames in their devotion to me. I’m realigning motives. And I’m providing strategies to reach the same people but with the power my Spirit.‘ You see, many pastors that you would call ‘seeker sensitive’ aren’t heretics, they have followed a model with good intentions to reach as many lost people as possible. If you can talk horribly about them, but you don’t personally walk with any, know they’re devotional life, and pray for them…you’re a pharisee. God is awakening the seeker sensitive pastor to the necessity of Holy Spirit culture again. A few year ago I prophesied that God had allowed the seeker sensitive movement to grow so large so that we would have spaces large enough to house awakening. 2016 will be the genesis of this, but it will primarily manifest in the private times of truly devoted pastors and leaders that ascribe to this model.
- There will be a rising tide of radicals. The radical-ness won’t be in the delivery. Don’t look for traditional expressions of passionate “pentecostal preaching.” Many of these ‘radicals’ will be meek, humble preachers that even appear stoic at times. The radical nature will be seen in their fruit, in the disciples they are producing, in the boldness they exhibit. God is highlighting that he looks at the heart, not the performance. It doesn’t mean they will be devoid of passion, but it does mean they will be devoid of the religious calisthenics that we generally ascribe to people that are ‘burning for the Lord’ but really just like being loud and saying controversial things.
The Great Re-Commission
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching html to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
- Now this is one of those more personal words, but I believe we will see it in the Church at large as well. This past year has been a rediscovery of what it means to make disciples, and it seems through nearly every conversation I’ve had with different pastors and leaders that I’m not even close to being alone!
- God says ‘this year will not only be a re-discovery of discipleship, but it will be a discipleship born out of the POWER of the Gospel, not just the NECESSITY of the Gospel.‘ People quote ‘go into all the world’ but they forget that they can do it because ‘all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me‘ and consequently, has also been given to you and me!
- Discipleship will become trendy in many circles of Christianity. The enemy tries to take this legitimate move of God in America and turn it into a fad so as to steal it’s impact and influence. Disregard ‘discipleship hype’ and ensure that this principle, this commission is active in your own life. Guess what, if you’re not personally discipling someone, you are probably part of the hype.
- The Lord is saying the ‘spirit of evangelism meets the spirit of Jonathan.’ Can I be honest? I’m still working out what that means with the Lord. These days God speaks to me pretty plain, but I get stuff like this sometimes and it’s usually an invitation to a whole lot more for me personally. I’m sure there is a corporate application, but what I’m hearing is almost purely for the individual or the two’s and three’s. When I heard this I was drawn 1 Sam 14:6 that says, Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.” When I pray through this I get the sense that God is saying ‘enough talk. Just DO SOMETHING for Me. There is the boldness of a lion on the inside of you. Let it out.’ Jonathan didn’t have an iron clad word, he just said ‘maybe God will move. Let’s go do something for His glory!’
- Power evangelism will begin becoming less taboo and will become even one of the preferred methods of reaching people far from God, even in more traditional streams. God is saying ‘my Spirit moving through the life of the unbeliever is not offensive. Rid yourselves of this mindset. Healing is not offensive. Deliverance is not offensive. Prepare your hearts this year. You will be expected to deliver. I am setting you up for power encounters that will see the bound set free, the lost saved, and the skeptic turned.’