Oh like many other people I’m excited for 2017. Super excited. I mean for various reasons. Personally, 2017 is a year of stepping up and stepping out into greater things. It’s a year of birthing and of bringing forth all of Gods babies that I’ve been pregnant with literally and figuratively! I’m expectant and you should be too! I know with a new year comes a new desire for a fresh start or for God to do a new thing. Great, but it’s going to require a greater level of boldness, obedience, tremendous strength and deeper sense of commitment and intimacy with God.
That being said, I have news for those who think God is going to do a “new thing” because it’s a new year or 2017 is their year of “fill in the blank space”. Now while for some this could very well be their reality, I’m so sure that for some others this won’t be the case.
Let me tell you why…
A new calendar year doesn’t always equate to a new season in God. God is not controlled by “time”. He’s the author of time and works beyond time. God does not need a new year to bless you or shower you with “unmerited favour”. And a new year does not automatically make you a new person. As much as we mean so much to God and He loves us dearly, a new year may not be the “answer” to some of our problems. Sometimes the answer or should I say that which we so desperately desire is dependent on our season in God and not a new year.
Most of the time, its manifestation is tied to the last instruction God gave us and a new year won’t change the fact that God is still expecting you to Obey! So when you find yourself still going through a process in 2017 don’t assume that God didn’t hear your prayers at the “cross over” night. It just means that you’re still in a season in God and a new date may not change that. The nature of God does not change with the dates. He is still the same God. Let’s look at Jonah for example…
“The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up”.
“The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?” “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”
“Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights”.
First of all isn’t it interesting that sometimes we cause the storms we face as a result of our disobedience? To the extent that we put others around us in danger. Jonah ran away from his assignment, which caused a storm and he was eventually thrown into the sea and a fish swallowed him. Being in the belly of the fish for three days and nights also signified further confusion, darkness, stagnation etc.
“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said: “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me”. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’” And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land”.
“Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh”
We see that Jonah cried out to God and God saved Him. The interesting thing here is that God gave Him the same instruction that He did before Jonah ran away. God could have said mehn this past 3 days (year 2016) has been hell for Jonah, let me pity him and let him rest since it’s a new day (2017) but Noppe! God gave the same instruction. So you see 2016 may have presented all these not so great things but have we considered if we’ve had a major role to play in that through our disobedience? What instruction did God give you in 2016 that you’ve been running away from? Get to it now…
For every promise you may be receiving in the new year, remember that there is usually an instruction attached to it, and that instruction could be the one you have been running away from since 2016. Thus, we have to make up our minds and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance to follow through in the coming year.
Another thing is, regardless of whatever season you are in, know that God expects fruitfulness because those who are deeply rooted and planted in God bring forth fruit in their season. Their leaves do not whither and whatsoever they do prospers (regardless of the calendar year). But are you planted? Is God the one watering your “plans” “visions” and ideas for 2017? We can only have a meaningful 2017 if we are rooted in Jesus. And heres the thing: God is not interested in developing your vision or plans first. He is interested in developing you.
so, are you obedient and faithful in your present season or you’re a “runaway bride”? Do you spend time with God like He’s been asking you to? Have you reconciled with that family member like He’s asked you to? Have you started that project as He’s asked you to? Have you changed your church as He’s asked you to? Have you quit that job as He’s asked you to? Have you gone back to the place that He’s asked you to? Have you broken ties with that friend as He’s asked you to? Have you stopped that business as He’s asked you to? Have you preached to that soul that He’s asked you to? Have you gotten rid of anger? Have you gotten rid of that bad habit? Have you surrendered your life completely to Him as He’d love you to?
Check your heart and ask the Holy Spirit for His help and guidance to do the will of God at all times new year or not.
So when your pastor gives you a tag line for the 2017 “a year of abundant Grace” or “supernatural supply” always remember that you’re a child of God and you operate in these things regardless of it being a new year. However Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us that “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted”
Please know that the manifestation of some of these “blessings” for some people does not automatically translate to Gods presence or His will, neither do the lack of manifestation translate to Gods absence. It may just be the season you’re in. So, just incase 2017 comes and you don’t experience these things remember that you may still be going through a process in God and in that season He’s longing for your obedience, steadfastness and faithfulness and you will always be fruitful and it may just not be in the way the world considers fruitfulness. You are successful when you fulfil the purpose that God created you for at the right season.
My Prayer: Lord help me to be obedient and faithful in my season. Help me to see more of you and see less of me. Help me to be unwavering through the storms in my season. Help me to enjoy and do good with my harvest when the time is here. Above all in 2017, help me to remain planted in You and when the days get tough, please give me the strength to overcome. And Lord not my plans, ideas, desires or my will but let your will be done through me. Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine”. That by the end of my season, I would have completely done and become everything you desire of me.
This is not intended to burst anyone’s new year bubble of which I don’t think I’m that powerful but it is get us to be aware of our seasons in God and be properly aligned to His will for our lives. One thing is for sure though; your latter will be greater than the Former. Job 8:7 “Though your beginning was insignificant, Yet your end will increase greatly”.
Have a blessed year ahead!! Cheers to 2017!