I am humbled by the extravagant promises the Lord is extending to His people for this coming year. I shared some of these prophetic promises last week (Click here to read them), and many other voices are echoing similar themes. 2018 promises to be a year full of expansion, growth, connection, and acceleration.
But this growth is not automatic.
The most important spiritual "key" I can give you to open the doors of God's Kingdom and release His provision for 2018 is this:
You must move in partnership with God.
Just like Jesus, we can only do what we see Father doing. If we want to be part of the expansion He is promising for 2018, we need to sit down long enough with Him to envision it, plan it, understand it.
How do we do that?
First, we must rid ourselves of the notion that in order to "walk by the Spirit" we cannot plan ahead. Many Christians (charismatics in particular) have a tendency to think that the most "spiritual" events are those that are spontaneous or unplanned, when the Holy Spirit just "shows up" on the scene and does miracles!
One look at the Bible shows us this is only partially true. Yes, we do well to be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit, but a diligent reader can also see that the most significant spiritual event in history - the birth, life, and death of Christ - was an intricately planned, highly coordinated event. There are hundreds of prophecies about Jesus's coming, long before He arrives on earth. Even a cursory glance at biblical history shows that God had a plan then, and He has a plan now. The question is, do we know what God's plan is?
As you ponder the promises God has given you for your life or ministry this year, I urge you to partner with God in prayer and set personal goals, together, for expansion. I have created a printable worksheet for you to use as you do this (Click here to view or download). Why? Because without specific goals to reach, you will not have specific testimonies in the end!
Identify Your Plan
Is this just another New Year's Resolution? No. When you take the time to prayerfully plan your year with God's input, you will find that in September, when your "resolved" friends have long since abandoned the gym or their diets, you are still going strong with God, because He is helping you! (See John 14:26.) Not only that, but identifying ahead of time the things you hope to see happen will make it far easier to recognize when they've been achieved - and give God glory.
For instance, many of you know that last year, at the beginning of the year, I had a dream in which a shimmering gold angel gave me a golden book. I knew I was supposed to write a book, but I had no idea what it would be about! As I sat down with the Lord in prayer, I asked Him how this would come to pass. He said: "If you will listen diligently to Me, by the end of this year (2017) I will reward you with a book."
I did, and He did. Although I tried several times to write the book on my own, it wasn't until December that He made it very clear what needed to be written, and with the Holy Spirit's help, the book came together almost effortlessly. It was a partnership empowered by the Holy Spirit, and at the right time, my angelic promise came true. I cried happy tears when the first copy of my book was delivered, and I heard the Lord say: "This is My gift to you." Wow!
So He anoints the plan, but we have a part to play. Had I not listened or taken the time to write, there would be no book today. (You can view the book here.)
Today, as part of your quiet time with the Lord, sit down with a copy of the worksheet I've created and ask Him to show you how you can partner with Him for Kingdom expansion. Remember that expansion and growth happen not just when we capitalize on our strengths, but also when we take time to tackle our weaknesses. The more we work on changing ourselves, the more we will have to offer the Kingdom of God - and the world.
Once you set those goals, if you'd like others to pray for you, contact me here at His Inscriptions or post a few of your goals on one of our Facebook pages. This is, after all, a community of people who like to pray, so who better to ask?
I pray this coming year will be all that you imagine - and more - as God helps you take the limits off and expand the reach of His love through your Spirit-led plans!
© Deborah Perkins / www.HisInscriptions.com
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.