Every time we cross into a new year, the internet is abuzz with predictions of what the year holds. Much of it in Christian circles contains dire warnings creating a fearful expectation of coming events. The more dramatic the headline, the more clicks. Such as… URGENT MESSAGE… SHOCKING MESSAGE… followed by a tantalizing sub headline usually about a political figure screaming or dying, or the Russian bear, etc.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the “prophets” and Alex Jones. For the record, I do believe in the operation of the gift of prophecy in its various manifestations. I do believe Jesus when He promised the Holy Spirit would show us things to come (John 16:13). But it seems to me, we moved to more of a carnival atmosphere, with sensational “words” being offered daily, competing for likes and views and subscribers.
Many today are hungering for the next prophetic word, the next big thing. They want to know what’s coming next. That’s understandable. I’d like to know that too. But what seems to have happened is that…
Many believers are more focused on what’s coming instead of on WHO is coming. And that is a mistake.
Here’s the reality… What we are witnessing in the world and are about to see more of, is what Jesus promised in Matthew 13:24-30… the wheat (believers) and tares (unregenerate) growing together. As time progresses, the wicked will become more wicked and stronger AND the church will also grow stronger in their own walk of righteousness.
Some prophesy at length about the wicked and their plans, and disasters soon to befall us. Others prophecy only about good things. But the truth is, the wheat will continue growing and becoming more and more fruitful in the midst of a generation that is increasingly godless.
It’s not either / or.
Let BOTH GROW TOGETHER until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “FIRST GATHER THE TARES and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn. (Matthew13:30)
If you want a “sure word of prophecy”, you can certainly take the words of Jesus and know without doubt they will come to pass. The words of many today (as sincere as they may be) are coming from their heart or maybe from “Q Anon” and will fall flat, only to be followed by the next one and the next one, etc.
So, let me give you a sure and certain word of prophecy. One you can take to the bank. One you can rely on. One I urge you to take seriously and apply immediately. Are you ready?
It’s Psalm 23.
I was going to keep this to myself because saying that Psalm 23 was going to be a key for 2023 seemed a bit like a cliche. A bit cutesy. But as I meditated on it, I realized it is very much relevant for the coming year. For those who heed it, it will make the difference not only for how they finish the year, but even IF they finish the year. I’m serious!
Every verse of Psalm 23 is powerful and worthy of deep consideration and application. However, I feel compelled to draw your attention to two prominent promises…
“He restores my soul.”
Yesterday, I had a very special talk with a dear brother in Christ whom I had not spoken with in about 40 years. When we hung up, my wife Judy said she believed 2023 was going to be a year of restoring the soul for many. God had quickened that to her and that message immediately resonated within my spirit.
In order for us as wheat to grow stronger and thrive in a field with many tares, we may need to have our soul restored, our faith restored, our love restored, our trust restored, etc. And if you will let it, God’s Word can and will do that for you.
If you want to stand strong in 2023 and bear fruit, let the Good Shepherd lead you in pastures of provision and drink in the calming still water of God’s Word (Eph 5:26).
And though every word of Psalm 23 is for us today, the portion in the first part of verse 5 was also pressed upon my spirit as being of key importance for the coming year…
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”
This goes to what Jesus prophesied about the wheat and tares growing TOGETHER. They are in our midst. They are frauds, fakers, deceivers, malicious at times and are determined to take the ground you are standing on.
They want your churches and pulpits. They want all the places of influence. They want to dominate social media, the arts. They want to crowd us out of the political realm, and subordinate us in the business realm.
They want to tell you what you must inject in your body and what to wear over your mouth as a sign of obeisance to supposedly protect the vulnerable, while demanding the right to kill the most vulnerable among us through abortion at the rate of nearly one million annually, just here in America.
Yes, the battle will definitely heat up in 2023, and more so until Jesus returns. But He has prepared a table of provision in a setting of protection for whoever chooses to DWELL in the secret place of the Most High (Psalm 91:1).
This “secret place” is not a tourist attraction or a place to visit on special occasions. It is a way of living in a conscious awareness of the presence of the Almighty God who indwells us with His Holy Spirit. And God the Father who sees in the secret place will reward you openly, dare I say… in the presence of your enemies.
So this year, it is safe to expect the tares to continue growing and for the wicked to act wickedly.
That’s not news.
Jesus even prophesied what that would look like… “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
It is also safe to assume, that believers will grow stronger yet and find their sustenance in the secret place and at the dining table that has been set before us in the presence of the tares.
Some however, will choose entertainment over intimacy with God, opinion and disputation over the authority of Scripture. (Titus 3:9) And the thing they feared greatly, will indeed come upon them, and to them seem like validation.
What will you choose?
And what food is on the table set before us in the presence of our enemies? Jesus said that His food was to do the will of God and finish His work. (John 4:34) That is also your food. And mine.
It is hard to do the will of God, if you don’t know what it is, but you can find it easily in the secret place.
It is also hard to finish the work you are called to if you’re not equipped.
That is what the Jesus School of Business is all about… equipping believers with Biblical marketplace skills to compete powerfully in a world of tares, with a heart that is both fierce and loving. If you haven’t already, I strongly encourage you to ENROLL NOW and get your year off to the best start ever.
God has amazing things at His table. Don’t forget to pass the salt!
Pursue God and prosper in 2023!