From the Desk of Steve Shultz:
If I were to say we are entering a season of lot of thankfulness (Thanksgiving season in the USA), that would be accurate. But if I added that it is the Lord's expectation that we should be very thankful for all of what 2020 has produced in our lives – that would also be true and a more important statement.
In this prophetic article, Diane Lake says:
There's a lot of power in thankfulness and in positive decrees and declaration. If that's not something you've been doing, it's not too late to start.
God actually desires that you look at 2020 with, can I say, "Rose Colored Glasses." That means look at what all of 2020 has produced and be exceedingly grateful for this year, because the result of it all is that God is having His way, and that's always very good news.
Armed with that truth, enjoy Diane's word below. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
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Life Is Just Life
No matter who you are or how clearly you might hear God, at this point I don't think there's anyone who doesn't have more questions than answers concerning 2020. My goal in this article is to be extremely raw and real—super transparent—and ask some hard questions about what's being labeled by many people as, "a hard year."
Recently I heard the Lord say, "Life is just life sometimes—messy and confusing. It's okay not to know exactly where you are going, or exactly how you are going to get there." "Ahhh...ain't that the truth," I said to myself in response. As in, remember how I said that 2020 was going to be a good year?
Yes, well, in case you didn't know, I did say that. So I want to discuss that further, as well as several other things I'm hearing about this very interesting year, which has been largely defined by the COVID crisis.
Let's begin with a flashback—an excerpt from said article, dated October 14, 2019:
The Lord's been taking me back to the basics as we enter this new year. For me, personally, the last several months have been challenging. Several months ago—completely out of the blue—my husband had a heart attack, and although I'm extremely grateful he's okay, I'd somehow fallen into a state of being neither encouraged nor discouraged, just plodding along day to day.
Then one day, in the midst of some wonderful revelation the Lord was giving me, I heard, "Don't be encouraged if you don't want to be." Ouch! Being encouraged in the Lord is a choice—an important one that each one of us has to make individually.
He also began speaking to me of the importance of declaration, especially regarding thankfulness. Now every morning when I wake up, I declare, "Thank You, Lord, that it's going to be a good day. Thank You, Lord, that it's going to be a good year. Thank You that it's going to be a good life!"
When all is said and done, you'll be the judge whether you think that quote (and article) was relevant and accurate or not. But the Lord has continued to show me that it's extremely important to be careful about what you are speaking over your life. Whether it's about 2020 or anything else, you hold the power of death or life in your tongue (Proverbs 18:21). I've heard some people reference 2020 as a "dumpster fire," a "trash heap," a "train wreck" and all sorts of negative things. But that's not how I've chosen to reference it, nor has it been how I've experienced it. (Photo via Piqsels)
Of course we need to be real. I'm sure everyone has experienced some type of loss or another this year. But I took that word I wrote seriously; declaring those statements often over my life. I can honestly say that at this point in the year my husband and I are healthier than we've ever been, our ministry has continued to grow, our finances are better than they were at the start of 2020, and the success of my adult children over this last year has been completely off the charts!
There's a lot of power in thankfulness and in positive decrees and declaration. If that's not something you've been doing, it's not too late to start. I've recently been hearing the Lord say that we've entered a season of comeback and a season of recovery. If that resonates with you then begin speaking those words over your life. With God there's always a way—all things are possible—because the Word of the Lord contains power (Luke 1:37). Begin, even now, to decree the Word of the Lord over your life!
An Army Arising
Another aspect to consider is that we can't always judge a year by what we see with our natural eyes. I don't think anyone who knew Jesus well would have considered A.D. 30 (the likely year of His death) a great year. Their leader and friend had been crucified. So while the Church was birthed a short time later (on the Day of Pentecost), greater persecution began as well. So...was it a good year, or wasn't it?
My belief is that our perspective and God's perspective of 2020 aren't necessarily the same. Colossians 3:1-2 (NKJV) tells us that we are to "...seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." If we could truly see 2020 from God's perspective, from high above the earth—what kinds of things might we see? Furthermore, if the adage that hindsight is 2020 has any prophetic significance, maybe it's too early to tell while we're still in it!
Here are some of the things that I'm seeing. I see a changing of the guard—a change. I see that we've entered a season of the watchman, even of independent watchmen. These individuals are those who are willing to not just be spiritual watchmen who pray, but also practical watchmen who guard against evil to stop or report it—like poll watchers and those who fight sex trafficking.
The Lord has shown me women connecting with other women—strong and powerful women of the Kingdom connecting in new ways with like-minded women—linking arms and hearts as never before. I see a gathering of arms, a Church preparing to execute the word of the Lord—despite the chaos and confusion, an army arising out of the ashes—the army of the Lord.
The Fiery Prophets
It's a lot more fun when a word is proven accurate almost immediately. Another word I wrote for the year in 2017 was astounding in its accuracy. The Lord had shown me that women would begin to see resolution and justice in the area of sexual victimization and abuse—and then came the #metoo movement. But I'm not convinced this word was any more or less accurate than the one the Lord gave me for 2020.
Which leads me to the final thing the Lord has been showing me in this tumultuous season. The Lord has shown me the return of the prophets...to become fiery prophets of God! (Photo via Unsplash)
When I asked the Lord for more clarity as to what He meant by "fiery" prophets, I felt directed to 2 Peter 2:15-16. I don't think you'd say Balaam was a false prophet in regard to accuracy (see Numbers 22-24). However, he had no "horse sense," meaning, the ability to make good judgments or decisions. He had no common sense—he was so consumed with his own agenda he was even rebuked by a donkey!
Prophets operating under the spirit of Balaam cause the Church to compromise or stumble. They might be accurate, but they lack character and maturity. I see the rise of the fiery prophets—the white stone prophets—who, by a spirit of excellence, lead the Church in overcoming compromise to enter a whole new level of greatness (see Revelation 2:12-17).
Greatness is a process, whether you're talking about the Church or an individual. I'm convinced it starts with positive confession and declaration. The Lord recently challenged me to read Psalm 20 and declare its blessings again and again over the remainder of 2020...May you be blessed according to the words of this great Psalm:
"May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
May He send you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;
May He remember all your offerings,
And accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah
"May He grant you according to your heart's desire,
And fulfill all your purpose.
We will rejoice in your salvation,
And in the name of our God
We will set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.
"Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy Heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.
"Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
But we will remember the name of
The Lord our God.
They have bowed down and fallen;
But we have risen and stand upright.
May the King answer us when we call."
(Psalm 20, NKJV)
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Diane Lake¬†is a writer, speaker and minister ordained with both Christian International and Generals International. She and her husband, Allen, co-founded Starfire Ministries with a vision to see the Kingdom established beyond the four walls of the traditional church. They serve as Church Mountain, Regional, and Montana Coordinators for the Reformation Prayer Network (led by Mike and Cindy Jacobs), and as Media Mountain Facilitators for Christian International's newly emerging "7 Mountain Kingdom Influencer Network." They have three grown children and are blessed to call beautiful western Montana home.
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