The word the Lord gave me for 2017 was that the body of Christ would come into a year of thriving and flourishing, growth and momentum.
On the night of the first of January, I was in worship when I saw a vision of a garden of rich soil that was ready for planting. I began to see my own personal dreams and aspirations being planted like seeds in this soil and it began to grow, but then I saw blackbirds coming and scattering other unknown seeds into this soil that also began to grow. As they grew, they started dwarfing my dreams in size, stealing sun and nutrients.
I asked the Lord, and He showed me that many this year are about to birth dreams that they have been carrying and stewarding for many, many years. I saw the price many had paid to keep carrying these seeds even in the driest and loneliest of seasons. These weren't just any seeds but seeds of greatness—seeds that would unlock new doors for these people and for the body of Christ. I saw teachings, books, movies, documentaries, songs, new inventions, technology and kingdom revelation unheard of, concepts and themes that would revolutionize the way we see God and his plan in this time on the earth. But these other seeds were imposters sent to dwarf and kill the ones planted by God, or stunt their growth.
The seeds of the weeds looked the same in the vision, and even their seedlings. It was only as they grew side by side that I was able to see physical differences. What's God saying? That as we begin to see God birth our dreams, we must have discernment to see the things that look and seem like good things but are counterfeits. If the enemy can detour us, distract us or lead us down another path, we will be drained of energy and passion, and fail to tend to the things He has planted. Counterfeits seem like God-dreams until they begin to mature and then are revealed as the hope-thieves they truly are.
As I began to write the vision in my phone notes, my auto-correct kept changing the word soil to "soul," and I knew the Lord was highlighting an even deeper revelation to me about the kinds of weeds the enemy wants to plant this year: soul weeds. The enemy wants to assault us with as many issues and circumstances that give us an opportunity to get as hurt, bitter, disappointed, discouraged and disillusioned as possible so we are too burned-out and tired from fighting our weeds that we can't manage our dream seedlings.
Coming into 2017, I actually felt to pray over myself, my family and many others because I could sense an assignment of heaviness and fogginess sent to rob God's people of vision and passion for the beginning of the year, sickness and fatigue and burnout. If you have felt that, recognize it for what it is and shake it off. Don't accept it; whack those weeds.
Tend to Your Garden
You and I have the power over the weapons of darkness, and I believe God is calling us to an increased awareness and authority to protect these seeds of greatness in us so they reach their full potential.
The key to thriving this year is to tend to our gardens, to be intentional about our connection to God, to abide in the vine, allowing Him full access to prune us as we grow. As we make our connection the main thing, we sharpen our focus and see with heavens eyes over earthly situations.
The Line in the Sand
This will be a year of great separation between man-made aspirations and goals and the God-given ones, the relationships created with motives of opportunity and the ones designed by God, the doors opened by us and the ones God has opened, and old wine mindsets and beliefs and the fresh and new wine of his glory.
We will see great unity begin to form in unexpected groups and streams this year, those who have previously opposed the move of the Spirit turning their hearts for Him and linking arms with other parts of the body. There will also be an obvious void in those who refuse to move with God and instead choose to stay loyal to the traditions and molds of modern Christianity over the heart of God. We were made to go from glory to glory, so we need fresh manna, a fresh message and a fresh move of the Spirit.
Less is More
Treasure your time and where you give yourself this year. God is revealing areas to us that have been sabotaging us in 2016. Many have allowed their rest to come under fire by striving, man-pleasing and by managing and orchestrating what God wants to manage and orchestrate. We need to streamline our lives to be simpler and directed at accomplishing what we have grace and anointing to accomplish.
Less is more, and as we learn to move with the rhythms of heaven, we will find that God will add and multiply our seed, and open doors we never could.
I prophesy exponential growth over your dreams this year, that you would stay in tune with heaven and see the goodness of God with your own eyes, and you will see the fresh buds of hope in areas where you have only seen disappointment for years. You will begin to reap a harvest out of the ashes of defeat and failure, pain and sorrow, and you will be known as a beacon of God's restoration and favor in all the earth.
Your seeds of greatness are about to be revealed!
Nate and Christy Johnson, who live on the Gold Coast of Australia with their two daughters, launched Everyday Revivalists in March 2016 as a community of powerful and free revivalists. Their desire is to see every person released from shame and past disappointments and free to live the life that Jesus died to give them. Please visit Nate's website at unite2ignite.net.
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