I believe this is a word of the Lord for 2021. Of course, it goes without saying, I don't have a monopoly on God's word. So to clarify, this is not THE word of the Lord for 2021 - I believe this is A word from God.
Before you read any further, it will be helpful if you would read Judges 6:1-10 first.
Every time Israel planted seed, an innumerable number of Midianites and Amalekites would come and destroy all their produce, their animals, their economy and their morale. This cycle repeated multiple times.
What happens when you go through repeated cycles of attack, failure, demoralization, fear, pain, unfulfilled hopes, injustice and lack of progress?
"When hope is crushed, the heart is crushed" Pro 13:12
😔Constantly living in 'flight or fight' mode
😔Memories and mental records of pain
😔Unhealthy coping mechanisms
😔Guilt and shame
😔Loss of vision
😔Fatigue and depletion of energy
😔Loss of faith
😔Lack of self-worth
"Israel was brought very low because of Midian" Judges 6:6
The promise for 2021:
Perhaps this has been your story too. You have sown a lot and have nothing to show for it. However, I believe in this coming season, God is going to break the hold of the "Midianites" and the "Amalekites" over your life. Whatever that may represent for you. I believe 2021 is going to be a year of relief, rest, recovery and reward.
Relief - because you get a break from fighting battle after battle instead of being worn down by it constantly.
Rest - because your confidence is in the finished work of Jesus and therefore you have constant conscious awareness that God is fighting your battles instead of striving to make things work all the time.
Recovery - because you will start a process to rebuild from your losses instead of licking your wounds.
Reward - because you will enjoy the journey instead of constantly looking over your shoulder waiting for the next bit of bad news.
Receiving gifts - conditions for the promise:
What should you do to see these promises fulfilled? You need to receive 3 gifts from God. When Israel was 'brought very low' by the Midianites, God sent them 3 gifts:
💝The gift of revelation
Verse 7 onwards says that when Israel cried out to God because of their condition, God sent them a prophet. Why? Because God always creates through His word. In 2021, may we constantly receive the gift of revelation. Revelation is a 'now' word from a 'now' God into a 'now' season. Your life is moving in the direction of your focus, your thoughts and your words. May our focus, our thoughts and our words be navigated by revelation of God's word. Receive the gift of revelation. It will lead you to relief, rest, recovery and reward.
💝The gift of God's rest
What was the first thing the prophet said to Israel? He reminded them of the finished work of God. He reminded them that God had brought them out of Egypt, fought battles for them and gave them land to settle in. Now when did this happen? Way before these people were even born! Way back in Moses and Joshua's times. God's rest for a follower of Jesus is not putting up your feet up and being lazy. God's rest is faith-filled activity that is born out of the constant conviction that Jesus has paid it all. It is finished. Let go of stressful striving. Surrender to Him. Receive the gift of God's rest. It will lead you to relief, rest, recovery and reward.
💝The gift of unusual worship
The second thing the prophet said is that they shouldn't have reverence for other gods. What is your god? - anything that overwhelms your awareness, while depleting your faith. For some of us, our god is our pain. For others, our god is holding on to a sense of revenge and anger. It could be your guilt, your shame or your sense of brokenness. Unusual worship starts when your awareness of God begins to overwhelm your awareness of everything else and you start responding to His overwhelming awareness through personal expression. It doesn't necessarily make the problems or the pain go away instantly but His story becomes much larger than your story. Worship Him beyond your pain today. If needed, through gritted teeth and tear filled eyes, worship Him. It will lead you to relief, rest, recovery and reward.
In 2021, my prayer for you is that you will experience relief, receive rest, begin recovery and enjoy reward.
Much love & happy new year.