It’s no surprise that 2020 was a difficult year for so many people around the world and understandably so. Many people were confronted with financial hardships, heartache, rejection, distance and loneliness, uncertainty of the future, health concerns and some even lost a loved one to a horrible virus called Corona.
With the start of our journey as Lions of the Valley in May 2020 the Word and Vision for our church were as clear as daylight. It only needed a step of faith and we leaped! Our hearts were bound, our minds fixed on the plan God had and our passion for His Kingdom was set alight.
This, by no means, meant that we won’t be facing challenges during these incredibly uncertain times (Luke 21:11), but we did know our Father’s heart, we knew He was in control and leading the way. We knew He would not leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and that He was holding our hand. We knew we serve a faithful God and loving heavenly Father who has a plan and that there’s always hope in Jesus (1 Peter 1:3)
Last year was also a year in which we realized God was not caught off guard by any of this, nothing ever has and nothing ever will.
He is steadfast and His love will always prevail. We connected with the knowledge that there’s power in living a Godly life, that the power of God can touch and change our circumstances, that He is a God of testimony. Every word God speaks over us will never return empty to Him (Isaiah 55:10). We’ve learnt that there’s always a fight between light and darkness, but even in the darkest of seasons God’s open hand is on His children (Ezekiel 37:1). He will give us favor and let His light shine upon us.
We know that when God takes us through the valley of dry bones that we can be encouraged because it doesn’t matter what it physically looks like, God knows where we are and He knows where we’re going.
We’ve come to know that God often leads us on a detour so that there can be an encounter, so that He can touch our hearts because Jesus leaves no stone unturned. In the words of Kung Fu Panda (what a resource!), “One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it”. Jesus is living water, water of eternal life. In this fight between good and bad, light and darkness, satan is defeated, outnumbered and outmuscled but he can lie and deceive His way into people’s lives and does, in a very strategic way. We need to be aware and on guard for his lies and deceptions, submit ourselves and obey the word of God, resist the devil so he will flee from us (James 4:7). Temptation will come but God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear and He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
During this time, we were also confronted with decisions – many of the situations we physically found ourselves in we had very little control over, but we had a responsibility towards Christ to make certain decisions in spirit, mind and heart. It was our choice to make – will we walk by faith or by sight; are we going to be obedient to God’s voice even when it goes against the things we naturally want; are we living a life glorifying Jesus Christ or are we submitting to the ways of this world; are we quenching our thirst with eternal living water; are we going to obey God’s word and will we remain faithful under temptation?
If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan? [Jeremiah 12:5]
During the month of September we included a two-part sermon by Pastor Chris Hodges (Church of the Highlands) called, “Running with the Horses”. We launched our very first digital conference, DISCERNING THE TIMES, not long after. The series makes reference of the 4 horses of the apocalypse and it becomes clear that we’re on the doorstep of the end times.
In 1 Thessalonians 5 (from verse 12), the apostle Paul leaves us with a checklist. A end-time checklist that allow us to discern the times we find ourselves in, one that will help us rise above it, so we can run with the horses. Don’t be blown away by this, if you can recognize it, you can prepare and finish the race. Whenever you’re feeling fearful, remember to…
Run with covering. Run with ministry. Run with grace. Always be joyful. Run with prayer. Run with gratitude. Run with discernment. Run with wisdom. Run with vision. If you’d like to refer back to these videos, just click on the buttons below!
With the new year ahead, many of what we’ve gone through will remain unchanged…for some this is a daunting thought but the same God we journeyed with, will be the same God we trust and rely on during every season we’re still to face, not only in this year, but every year hereafter. We trust God for the revival of dry bones, for an extraordinary army of testimony and to light fires in the name of Jesus.
This year will be all about putting God first, surrendering everything we think we need at the feet of Jesus, so that we can live a life that glorifies God. It will be a year of acting on the truth, being the truth and living the truth. It will be about giving God your heart and everything that you are. It will be a daily commitment to making sure we’re listening to His voice and ignoring the many voices of this world. Our lives need to evolve around making sure we only move if God moves and that Jesus is our only compass. Just like you won’t embark on any unknown adventure without your compass, your guide or your map, don’t embark on the year of 2021 without your Jesus. It will also be a year of realizing that you can’t inherit the fullness of His promises, if you don’t take care of what He’s already entrusted to you. It will be a year where God will show up and reveal himself to you.
Undoubtedly, this year will be another year of seasons and situations where God will place you in an area of dry bones so that you can prophecy and speak what God tells you to speak. So that the resurrection power of Jesus Christ can bring dry bones to life, so there can be a testimony. It’s time to start speaking and declaring life. In faith, prophecy restoration, life and protection in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.