2020 is one year that I have looked forward to seeing in hindsight. It has been a year like none other we have experienced. Yet now, as I look back over the trials, I’m still impressed with how the Lord prepared the way in spite of surprises. One thing I have learned is not to be surprised by surprises, and God is never surprised.
Early in the year my series of teachings on the Spirit of Diotrephes – the spirit that desires preeminence and desires to conquer the people – seemed to be important. But as the year moved on we saw this spirit take on new meaning and significance as we witnessed its evil working in many locales through left wing mayors and governors. It was a much more applicable revelation to the secular government than I had at first even considered. Where we have revelation we have authority to bind and loose.
My only international travel for 2020 was scheduled for January and it became apparent as the pandemic progressed why this was the case. After March, international travel was impossible and national travel very restricted. Yet our ministry relationships are not built on travel but on relationships so we were able to adapt nicely. One way things advance is now is through our NETS courses which have become available as accredited classes through CMM School of theology in the Bachelors and Masters program globally.
My word for 2020 was 20/20 vision from 2 Chronicles 20:20, “Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” The pandemic was a good example of this. While we were not expecting a pandemic this year, there had been so many prophetic warnings about a pandemic coming that we were prepared for when ever it did come. This is not negative faith, it is Proverbs 22:3, positive action. We found that there were still surprises this year, but through obedience we were not unprepared. The old saying, “you can’t make an appointment for an emergency” came to my mind a number of times and I think a lot more people have prepared themselves for future surprises.
Early in the stages of the pandemic I shared about panic and pandemonium, that both could be a greater danger than the pandemic, and we should emphasize Acts 5:29 more so than a modern interpretation of Romans 13 – submitting to all powers, even evil. It is shocking to see the attacks on the church and our rights as citizens of the nation and of heaven, yet I’m also encouraged to see resistance and Supreme Court opinions released striking down unconstitutional limits on the right to worship and assemble. Eph 6:13, 14a, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore …”
This is not to say the pandemic has not been devastating in many ways. Our family contracted the virus in early December and Terri and I, as well as our daughter, who lives only 2 miles away, had to quarantine for ten days until it passed. We were fortunate in that the symptoms were more like a slight cold than anything else. We never experienced fevers, only some aches, some tiredness and loss of taste and smell for a few days. Basically is was a “work from home assignment.” We’re grateful for God’s mercy and a quick recovery.
Here we are in a transitional period at the end of the year, and to me it seems like how it must have felt to the Jews in Shushan while they were wondering how things would work out with the King’s edict to kill all of the Jews, but, through the prayers and fasting of the believers and the behind the scenes activities of Mordecai, God did the impossible and revealed the hidden works of darkness, caused Haman to be hung on his own gallows and the riches of the wicked to be transferred to the righteous. I recall that in the 2020 Superbowl the score was 10:10 at half time – John 10:10, “The thief comes to steal … I am come to bring life abundantly.” Thieves are trying to convince us we are at “game over” by running out the clock, but according to the legal votes we are at half time and we have caught the thief in the act. We have to pray for four more years to make the thieves pay sevenfold return (Prov 6:30, 31). We are, like many others, in fervent prayer for salvation to come from the Lord. The alternative is unacceptable. I am encouraged to hear so may prophetic voices using 2 Chronicles 20:20 as a rallying cry, not because they heard it from me, but because the Holy Spirit has stirred it in them. While I believe there is more shaking to come before us, I am sensing Psalms 20:2 as a word for the coming year, “May He send you help from the sanctuary, And strengthen you out of Zion.”
This is the time of year it is customary to say thank you to all who have partnered with us in the past year and say thank you for thinking of us in the coming year so that we can continue the work of the FLInt Net unhindered. http://flintnet.org/donations/