As I have prayed about the coming year, I’ve sensed three clear directives.
Some people are
terrified of 2012. They worry because the Mayans of ancient Mexico
mysteriously ended their 5,126-year-old calendar on Dec. 21, 2012—as if
they expected the world to end that day. This silly hypothesis became
the basis for several New Age books and a goofy disaster movie, 2012,
in which actor John Cusack avoids meteors and earthquakes just in time
to get his family aboard the modern version of Noah’s ark (built in
China!) before the rest of the world is destroyed by a tsunami.
I’m not afraid of 12/21/12 because (1) Ancient Mayans never actually
said the world would end in 2012—and even if they did, they didn’t have
an inside track to God; (2) Doomsday predictions have never been
accurate; and (3) Jesus holds the future in his hands. As long as I’m in
relationship with Him, it doesn’t matter what happens on earth. I’m
Despite strange weather patterns, global terrorism and the specter of
an economic crash, I’m actually optimistic about where we’re headed in
2012. And as I have prayed about the coming year, I’ve sensed these
three clear directives:
1. Expect major transitions in kingdom leadership.
The world is focused on leadership in the political arena, but God has
been working behind the scenes preparing men and women for kingdom
assignments. Our focus should not be on Democrats, Republicans, Obama or
Romney. 2012 is not about a presidential contest. Just as David was
prepared for the throne during years of testing in the wilderness, a new
battalion of Christian leaders has been trained in obscurity. They will
be commissioned and appointed in the new year. And their influence—not
that of a political figure—will shift the nation.
Jesus said He would call the humble from the back row and seat them
at the head table. He openly rewards those who pray, fast, give and
serve in secret. God will exalt those who have walked with Him in
faithfulness and crucified selfish ambition. As in the days of Elijah,
He has reserved thousands of prophets who have not bowed their knee to
Baal. They have been in isolated caves of preparation for years, and
some have been on the verge of quitting. A wind of new strength will
cause them to stand and assume their positions.
2. The sound of evangelism must be amplified. The
prophet Isaiah said: “Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer
of good news, lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good
news; Lift it up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, ‘Here is your
God!’” (Isa. 40:9). Just as the early
disciples prayed for boldness in the midst of persecution, and the Lord
answered with a supernatural earthquake (see Acts 4:29-31),
the Lord wants to turn up the volume of our message and empower us with
a spirit of might. We must put aside our timidity. We cannot hide our
light under a basket.
Many churches in the United States have not made outreach a priority.
We’ve catered to the saved and preached to the choir. The Holy Spirit
wants to remodel and revamp weak churches and make them into powerhouses
of spiritual impact. He can take a church with a four-cylinder engine
and outfit it with eight; He can turn up the volume and cause a quiet
congregation to shake a city. In 2012, expect small churches to be
revitalized. God specializes in using small armies, like Gideon’s group
of 300, to catch the enemy by surprise.
3. Supernatural provision will be released. The
great recession has brought heartache and difficulty to families,
companies and churches, but it has a silver lining: God has used it to
purify motives, refine faith and refocus priorities. The Holy Spirit has
exposed our materialism, and His fire has also consumed unhealthy
prosperity doctrines that tainted the church with scandal and greed.
Today, a new passion is arising in the church to fight injustice,
feed the poor, show compassion to the broken and share Jesus’ love with
unreached nations. We’re tired of giving money to support charlatans who
demand private jets and luxury treatment; we want to serve the orphan
and the widow in the spirit of Christ. And we are asking God for His
supply, knowing that if God can feed a multitude with one lunch, or
provide for a family with one jar of oil, He can open sources of
provision we never knew existed.
Missionary Hudson Taylor said: “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.” I pray you will experience this truth in 2012.
Isaiah 66:9 says: “Shall I bring to the
point of birth and not give delivery? … Or shall I who gives delivery
shut the womb?” Don’t fear the future. Receive new strength from the
Lord as you step into this new year. No matter what disappointments or
delays you have encountered during the past season, don’t give up. God
brought you to this point, and He will not fail you now.
J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of The Mordecai Project. You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady.