I just wanted to share the word I believe I have received for 2021. First let me begin with an important caveat, we all know in part and we prophesy in part. I am learning that everything I hear from God must not be held without the understanding that is probably incomplete. It is in exploring the Scriptures as well as in receiving and sharing from brothers and sisters in the body of Christ that I get a more robust picture of what the Lord is saying to me.
More strongly than I have ever felt before, this phrase from the book of Matthew 11: 28-30 has imprinted on my heart, “Learn the unforced rhythms of grace”. Another translation that I am paraphrasing says “learn of me for I am meek and lowly; my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. And a sister scripture from 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is made perfect in your weakness” has also been resonating.
In 2020, we relied the grace of God to get through, in 2021, we shift our focus to using the grace of God to get lost in Him. That the things of the world, the pandemic upheaval, the financial storms, the political battles, the continued unravelling of world institutions, etc will all grow strangely dim in our enrapturement in Him. Even the works that we did to try to be seen to please God or that came from a place of striving but never actually created intimacy with Him, need to go.
Does this mean we ignore our responsibilities? No! In fact, I believe that for many there might be even more activity this year than ever before. It is a year for starting to bear fruit. The bible teaches that faith without works is dead but it also teaches that we are saved by grace through faith. So faith and works are important but, grace comes first. We now need to take actions from a place of grace not from a place of striving. It is a switch in the heart that only God can see, not man.
It is about living our lives for an audience of one; the King of Kings. Or maybe a better imagery is perfecting an intimate dance with the Best Partner in the universe.
This past year, the Lord has thankfully allowed me to go on a painful but necessary deep-dive into the roots of some of my infirmities. God is teaching me not to be ashamed of my weaknesses and my frailties because when I am weak, then He is strong on my behalf. In short, God’s perfection in our lives can only blossom when we admit to our imperfections and give it to Him.
Trying to be perfect by following rules and procedures (such as needing to pray so so many hours a day, reading so soo many chapters a day, waking up at a certain time ) is man’s way to reach God and only causes hypocrisy and frustration and yields primarily leaves but not fruit. Do not misunderstand me, these things can be good, I certainly love my early mornings with God and they have deepened by intimacy with Him over the years, but religiously relying on it and judging others who may have a different rhythm with God is where the problem arises as it makes us more like the Pharisees and Sadducees of old who preferred works to grace.
My prayer for 2021 is that we will leave inauthenticity behind and all come to trust God enough to see our true selves all our brokenness, hurts, pains, weaknesses and lay it at the foot of the cross so that His transformative power can help us to truly become more like Christ in our hearts, not just in the image we present to others. I pray that the Lord will teach us to embrace His unforced rhythms of grace in 2021 and beyond. As we learn to dance with Him intimately, we will manifest His glory and not even know how it happened.
I will close with this word from the book of Isaiah that I see as a picture for 2021 and beyond. The best thing I love about this word is that it happens without us, it’s all God. Our only part is to wait, not gaunt and pale like the symbolic Jacob in the verses, but in worship, filled with the joy of being lost in His presence.
“And then before you know it, and without you having anything to do with it, Wasted Lebanon will be transformed into lush gardens, and Mount Carmel reforested. At that time the deaf will hear word-for-word what’s been written. After a lifetime in the dark, the blind will see. The castoffs of society will be laughing and dancing in GOD, the down-and-outs shouting praise to The Holy of Israel. For there’ll be no more gangs on the street. Cynical scoffers will be an extinct species. Those who never missed a chance to hurt or demean will never be heard of again: Gone the people who corrupted the courts, gone the people who cheated the poor, gone the people who victimized the innocent.
And finally this, GOD ’s Message for the family of Jacob, the same GOD who redeemed Abraham: “No longer will Jacob hang his head in shame, no longer grow gaunt and pale with waiting. For he’s going to see his children, my personal gift to him—lots of children. And these children will honor me by living holy lives. In holy worship they’ll honor the Holy One of Jacob and stand in holy awe of the God of Israel. Those who got off-track will get back on-track, and complainers and whiners learn gratitude.””
Isaiah 29:17-24 MSG
Happy New Year and God Bless You!