2012 and beyond: "redeeming the time..."
2011 has been a great year of increase for some, a year of struggle for many, and of challenge for all of us. In hindsight looking back, it has also been a year of old endings and new beginnings. Historically the Holy Spirit has given me a theme for a year and we have taken it, declared it, organized around it and then run with it. But in this season, God has caused me to look further ahead. The thought of the next ten years keeps moving in my spirit, and burning in my heart, with a sense of urgency. Looking forward into 2012, I feel very excited and convicted regarding what needs to happen within this upcoming year, and even more pressing in my spirit is what is supposed to happen within the next ten years.
I believe that what happens, or does not happen, in the next ten years will affect us for many more years to come. Ten is a historically significant number of years, and a lot can be accomplished within a ten year time span. The American Revolutionary War was begun and won, in ten years. The goal of sending a man to the moon was accomplished in ten years. When President Kennedy declared to the world that he would put a man on the moon it was an impossibility, the technology didn’t even exist when the announcement was made. Yet within ten years a man had been sent to, and safely brought home from, the first lunar landing!
It has only been ten years since the iPod was launched, and it has since become the number one selling music device in the world – selling 300 million units. Significant to world finance, politics and cultural climate- in ten years, the Baby Boomer generation will no longer be the largest living generation. Additionally, ten is a number of fullness. After every tenth number a new cycle of numbers begins, and likewise, the Biblical analogies to the number ten are many. The tithe represents giving to God the first tenth. According to Romans 8, there are ten things that cannot separate us from the love of God. Ten times Jesus said “I am”. There are ten virgins discussed in the gospels, the disciples spent ten days in the Upper Room, it takes ten years to fully launch a new ministry, and so on.
The next ten years will be a season of consistent transition, so what will be the result of seizing the next ten years?
- For the youth: the next ten years can be a time of intense consecration. Like Jonathan Edwards, who was considered the father of the Great Awakening - a historical time of spiritual renewal and social transformation for America, youth can be a powerfully reflective time for setting your life’s foundation. Before the age of 20, Edwards made 70 commitments to God, resolutions that he lived by for the rest of his life. The result of this Godward course set so early on, was a life of: accelerated growth, progress, impact and maturity.
- For some, the next ten years will set the direction and momentum as they enter the 2nd half of life.
- For those in their 50’s: the next ten years will determine what you will do and what your life will be like, defining the rest of your life.
- For those in their later years: the next ten years is a keen opportunity to pour into and mentor the emerging generations. A time for passing on heart convictions and passions – the things that make God come to you. Be sure to use your wisdom and experience to leave a powerful legacy!
To waste any of the next ten years could end up being very costly, therefor we must be mindful to seize the moment, and purposefully invest every day toward bringing glory to God. Personal development and strategic future expansion in our walk with God need to be prioritized. Consequently, there are four key things on my heart that we need to make sure are in order and well established within the next ten years or sooner.
Divine purpose"Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble…” (2 Peter 1:10, NKJV). We need to walk out our callings by discovering how we are called, being developed in our call, and being deployed in it. We must be determined to glorify God with our lives by being faithful and fruitful in living the way He wants us to live, and by doing what He wants us to do.
Family and relationships“A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation. God sets the solitary in families…” (Psalm 68:5-6, NKJV). Being strong in these areas will affect every other area of our lives. These relationships are ordained by God as the primary vehicle by which He delivers His: grace – wisdom – council – resources – opportunities – hope and help to us.
Your health“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 1:2, NKJV). Many times God will spend anywhere from 20 to 40 years getting someone’s character in shape before He can really use them the way He desires to. Often however, during that journey, the physical man gets neglected. This neglect results in depleted health and energy, with very little gas in the tank left to carry the vision that God has given them.
Your finances“And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers...” (Deuteronomy 8:18, NKJV). Walking in Biblical prosperity and stability means having enough resources to do God’s will for our lives. A twofold preparation for Biblical prosperity and financial accountability is:
To give faithfully to the Lord, and progressively reduce our debt until it is gone.
- Then save for the needs of our families, spending on necessary things and investing for the future.
God has exciting things planned for the upcoming ten years season. New doors will open and new relationships will develop. In life, in ministry, there will be lots of changes. The next ten years will be full of transition, and in order to be ready for effective long term Kingdom impact, we must prepare strategically now - with a view to the days ahead.
This upcoming year of 2012 will be a time of setting the tone and direction for the nine years to follow, and what happens in the first month of 2012 will set the pace for the rest of the year. How we leave 2011 is also how we’ll enter 2012- so let’s finish well, and start strong. This is the year for us to deal with it, get delivered from it, get developed in it, and get deployed into it!
Apostle Les Bowling