Summary: Each year pastors in this country and around the world attempt to discern what God is saying about the year ahead. The word I am hearing is, "danger ahead." The current of the river of evil we live in is speeding up rapidly. 2 keys to survive: Humility and Hunger.
The Word of the Lord for 2019
PPT 1 Series Title
PPT 2 Message title and pic of river overflowing berm
Each year pastors in this country and around the world attempt to discern what God is saying about the year ahead.
There will be the usual voices saying, this will be the year of breakthrough, or year of Jubilee, as if nothing but good was ahead for us.
Many resort to numerology, which in my view is little more than a variant of looking at your horoscope.
Numerologists 9 = finality or judgment. Jesus died at the 9th hour.
Day of Atonement 9th day of 7th month
Don't like judgment than you can go with 9 representing fruits of the Spirit, 9 gifts of the Spirit. (So God is only interested in the fruits and gifts in years that end with 9?)
Where are the other 9? Won't hear much preaching on that text.
Numerology is a don't make a big deal out of it area of theology. Did Jesus ever teach on numbers or tell us to pay attention to them? No. There are patterns in ways numbers are used in the bible, but they don't determine or declare what will happen in individual years.
In my prayer for the year ahead, I didn't get any of that, this is what I got:
I am not wanting to put other preachers down, but here is an interesting complaint of the Lord's found in the book of Isaiah
Isaiah 56:10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
My dog is getting a little old, he used to bark when cars passed by on our road. (We live in a cul de sac not much traffic) Then he only barked when they got in my driveway, then only when they knocked on the door or rang the doorbell. Now he only barks when we open the door. He has lost his bark, like a lot of preachers.
We have spiritualized watchmen on the wall to some special prayer groups, but biblically they were employed to sound the alarm and to alert for danger. They looked for incursions, enemy attacks, and were to sound the alarm on God's holy mountain. Seems like the only message from many is peace and safety.
I asked the Lord for a word and some advice for 2019 and basically He told me to talk about the fact the road ahead is full of danger, AND GRACE.
I felt impressed of a violent rushing river. The river represents the current of the world that is rushing to do evil. The current has greatly increased and we need to be aware and act accordingly was the message I felt impressed with.
The picture that encapsulates this message is of the Mississippi River overflowing a berm that was constructed to keep it in its banks and from destroying farmland, farmland represents our fruit bearing. Here is something amazing about the picture, it was the secondary levee! The flood had gotten through two levels of protection. I chose this image because it visually displays the danger and power of an overflowing river. We are living in a day and a time where the current of the river of life around us has significantly increased. I want to show you a text in the book of Hebrews
PPT 3 text
Hebrews 2:1 For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.
If the current has increased so has the danger of drifting, You better be tying off with a stronger rope! You better anchor yourself more securely.
PPT 4, 5 Los Cabos pics
In May of 2017 my oldest son and I dove Los Cabos Mexico. It is at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula where the Gulf of California meets the Pacific Ocean. There are some very large rock formations there and it is a very popular diving site. Because it is the place where two bodies of water meet, there are very strong currents active in the area. If fact it was the strongest current I have ever swam against in my life. I was with my son and a dive instructor (we were going for advanced certification) and several times I thought I wasn't going to be able to keep up. It took everything I had to swim against that current. I kept thinking, "When is this going to stop!" That scene for me is a picture of what is happening and what is ahead for believers in the years ahead. The current we have to swim against is getting more and more fierce.
Now for the kicker, I didn't know it at the time but my widow maker (main heart artery) was 95% blocked and within a month I would have a surgical procedure to implant a stint and open up my artery. I was swimming in a very weakened condition. By the grace of God I survived, the challenges ahead for believers and the church will require us to be in top spiritual condition to survive the current we are swimming against.