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Impressions for 1998

 

While praying for insight into the Lord’s will, plan and purposes for His people for the upcoming year, 1998, three (3) words came to my mind, which I believe to be some of what God wants to do in and through those who believe in Him and call upon His name.

The first word given to me was ILLUMINATE. Along with this word came the understanding that God wants to illuminate the reality of who His really is, to His people. A simple examination of the meaning of the word illuminate from the dictionary reveals the following definition:

"To make understandable; clarify. To enable to understand; enlighten."

He intends to "make understandable", or "enable us to understand" , to give us the ability (rhema) to understand who He is. I believe the connotation here is to "open our understanding" more in the upcoming year. Let me give an example from scripture to further illustrate what I am talking about:

3Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (Jer. 33:3)

The New Living Translation (NLT) translates this verse as:

"Ask me and I will tell you some remarkable secrets about what is going to happen here".

The emphasis is on the word "secrets", an "opening" of things that were previously unknown.

The "Spirit Filled Bible - NKJV" (Thomas Nelson, Publishers) adds the following commentary about Jeremiah 33:3:

"God promised Jeremiah that if he would call to Him, not only would He answer him, but He would reveal to him ‘great and mighty things’ that could not otherwise be known. The word ‘mighty’ (Hebrew - batsar, Strong’s 1219) is better rendered ‘isolated’ or ‘inaccessible’. The suggestion is that God would give Jeremiah ‘revelational insight’, revealing things that otherwise would be inaccessible or isolated. Such ‘revelational insight’ always has been essential for a clear understanding of victorious spiritual warfare. One cannot pray effectively without insight into how to pray, as well as into what things God truly longs for us to seek after in prayer."

Additionally, the Hebrew word "batsar", used here also means "clipped off; as in to gather grapes; to restrain and withhold". Consequently, I believe God is saying that in 1998, He will reveal and show those who call upon Him and trust in Him, things about Himself that were previously "hidden, withheld and restrained" that had been "clipped off and gathered as grapes, isolated from man and here before inaccessible".

Even though many of us profess to know the Lord, we really don’t understand Him, by that I mean His real nature, His character, methods or ways. As soon as He does something that is beyond our comprehension, we usually complain or think He has forgotten us. I confess I do this too often, proving I don’t really understand Him at all.

This new year, the Father wants us to really understand and know Him. He wants to illuminate to us who He is! For to truly know God is to understand that nothing can come between Him and His love for His people, which brings me to the second word He gave me, which is MANIFEST.

During the upcoming year, God will manifest Himself through His love for His people. I don’t mean we will just simply know He loves us, but we will "see" Him in it. We will see evidence of His love and compassion for His people and for mankind. To this date, I don’t believe we have ever seen the full manifestation of His love, outside of Jesus’ death on the cross, the ultimate manifestation of His love. The word manifest means:

"Clearly apparent to the sight or understanding; obvious. To show or demonstrate plainly; reveal. To be evident of; prove."

We will "see" more evidence, actions of His love, thus getting a better understanding of Him. Not that He is obligated to do any more than what He has already done, giving us His Son Jesus, the embodiment of all that God is. However, just as we "do" things for our children as a demonstration or extension of our love, I believe God will do more of this in 1998, thereby manifesting Himself to His church and to the world.

"7Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." (I John 4:7-16)

" 21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me." (John 14:21-24)

The final word given to me for 1998 was REVEAL. Along with this word was the understanding that God was planning to reveal the "paths" of the enemy. Not just the plans, but the "paths", the ways or entry areas of the enemy into our lives. The enemy, namely Satan, doesn’t enter under his own power, he is given, by us, an entryway into our lives, an opening whereby he gains position and influence. Now, this is not to be confused with an "attack", which is launched from the "outside". No, this addresses the "inner" battles, the exposed areas of weakness and sin where he has been given access by our actions, inaction and sins. God wants to reveal to us exactly how the enemy gained access, the path he has traveled, so we can see exactly where the work must be done to seal off the entrance and close the door on Satan’s influence. This "revelation" will be extended not only to our lives but also our families and loved ones, so that by prayer and intercession, the enemy can be rooted out.

"11Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (2 Cor. 2:11)"

In the above scripture, the Apostle Paul stated that the church was not ignorant of the "devices" used by Satan to gain advantage over God’s people. This word, noema, (Strong’s 3540) and the words it is derived from, mean "perception, purpose, the intellect, disposition, mind, understanding", and seem to convey that we (the church) are not ignorant of Satan’s thoughts and methods, or at least they are revealed or made available to us. The New Living Translation (NLT), states it this way:

"… so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are very familiar with his evil schemes."

The point to be made here is that the Lord will not allow us to be "outsmarted" by the evil one, but rather reveal exactly "how" Satan plans to gain entry into or advantage over our lives and the lives of our family members.

In the case of this reference, Paul was urging the church at Corinth to forgive a member of their congregation that had caused damage to the entire church, "otherwise he may become so discouraged that he won’t be able to recover." (vs. 7, NLT) Paul understood that unforgiveness would not only destroy this person, but the entire church, if left unchallenged. This may have been the plan or "device" of Satan that Paul was referring to.

In summary, I believe all three "words" are interconnected and important for a victorious walk during the upcoming year. We must seek the Lord and His will, allowing us to "see" Him more clearly and in greater depth than ever before, that He will be manifested or made known by His love and how well we walk in that love and that as we come to know Him better, He will reveal the schemes and plans of the enemy before they can bring damage and bondage to us, our families and the Body of Christ.

 

Willie and Cheryl Jefferson

December 14, 1997


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