Welcome to 2017! Wow. Another year is upon us. I said to someone recently, “2016 was interesting for me. It seemed like it was the longest year of my life in many ways, yet it also seemed to fly by. How is that possible?” Truthfully, between you and me, “sweet 16” was great and terrible. It was glorious and agonizing. It was an answer to prayer and the reason for prayer. It was sweet and sour. However, I am forever thankful for my Sweet 16 year. That is the year I met the man I will soon marry and partner with for the remainder of my days. In fact, I will introduce you to him in this post. For now, let’s dive into 2017 ….
For starters, I was awakened from a dream this morning that got my attention. In the dream, I was studying – very deeply – the sixth chapter of Genesis. This is the chapter that speaks of the wickedness in the world, Noah building the ark, and the flood that is to follow. I vividly remember frantically writing notes in a spiral bound notebook related to Genesis 6 and also Genesis 9. I was fervently explaining to the people and pastors I was with in the dream that these two chapters were critical and significant to this hour of history.
Without muddying the waters, I will share here what I believe the Lord is highlighting through those two chapters today:
Genesis 6:18, “But I will establish My covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.”
Noah found FAVOR in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8). There is GRACE in His GAZE this year.
Noah did everything just as God commanded him (Genesis 6:22).
Twice in Chapter 9, the Lord commanded Noah and his sons to “be fruitful and increase.” Then in verse 9, He says, “I now establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you.”
This will be a year of multiplication for you and your family. This will be a year of covenant – establishing of covenant, reminding of covenant, restoring of covenant. I could write for hours about COVENANT, but there is not time or space for that here. I encourage you to study Biblical covenant this year, as it pertains to our relationship with God and one another.
As it relates to 2017 and more specifically the number 17, the flood started on the 17th day, and the ark came to a resting place on Mount Ararat on the 17th day (see Genesis 7 & 8). The number 17 symbolizes “overcoming the enemy” and “complete victory.”
From biblestudy.org regarding the number 17:
In the Bible the number 17 symbolizes “overcoming the enemy” and “complete victory.” God overcame the sins of rebellious humans when He began to flood the earth through rain on the 17th of the second Hebrew month. Noah’s ark and its eight passengers rested on the mountains of Ararat on the 17th of the seventh month (right in the middle of God’s annual Holy period known as the Feast of Tabernacles). Jesus Christ gained a complete victory over death and the grave when God resurrected Him near sunset on Nisan 17.
Regarding “COMPLETE VICTORY,” the year 2017 also coincides with the Hebrew Year 5777, a year that is promised to release the GRACE (#5) for a COMPLETE VICTORY (#777). Read more about 5777 here.
PERSONAL AND POLITICAL PROMISES
Simply stated, 2017 will be a year of promises fulfilled, a year of covenant, and a year of victory. However, this will also be a year of GREAT TRANSITION. Anyone who is familiar with transition will confirm that it does not come without some labor and delivery. Read a post about transition here.
This will be a year of DELIVERY. A baby is on it’s way, Beloved. A NEW THING is coming. A bundle of joy is being released. But the labor must come first, THEN the delivery. Are you with me? There will be some work on the front end. There will be some hurdles and challenges, but there will also be GRACE to PUSH. The ever-present hand of the Lord will lead and guide you into all perfection and completion this year. His covenant with you is SURE, Beloved. He will never leave you or forsake you – not even for a nanosecond.
Remember, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. I hear some people sighing as they read this, frustrated at the thought of “another difficult year.” I hear some grumbling in the spirit. I hear a bit of complaining. And I hear the Lord saying, “Be of good cheer,” as He said to Paul in Acts 23 when Paul was in the midst of a challenging circumstance. That directive from the Lord Himself could also be translated as “Take courage!” or “Be encouraged!” Yes, in the center of our trials stands the One who is Perfect Peace, and He exhorts us to have a good attitude, rejoicing in the truth of who HE is rather than meditating on the magnitude of our problems. Oh Beloved, do we really know Him?!
As 2017 collides with 5777 this will be a year of promises fulfilled – personal and political. The climate in our nation and in the world is electric as I write this. We are in one of the greatest and most historic transitions America has ever known. Just as God made promises to each and every one of us regarding our lives and destinies, He also made promises to His Beloved Bride in America. He made a covenant with her. He promised her beauty from ashes. He promised her a future and a hope. This year of political transition will not be without birth pangs, but the bundle of joy that is birthed on the other side will be worth every moment of discomfort endured. Only God can appoint a Cyrus (see Isaiah 45) as the 45th President and cause him to help America fulfill her destiny in the earth. America is in covenant with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and she has not been forgotten. She WILL return to who she knows she is, and her God WILL get all the glory!
Personal promises of love, family, healing, and community will also be fulfilled this year. I hear the Lord saying, “Watch and see.” This is a significant year. I feel that so deeply as I type it. This is a year that will set some things in motion in the lives of those who are called and chosen for such a time as this. This is a year that will usher in a HOLY, CLEANSING, PURIFYING FLOOD and also a year that will cause you to COME TO REST ON THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD. Oh Beloved, this is a Genesis 6 year! Only believe! The wickedness WILL be purged and the HOLINESS of the Lord will return to our lives and to our land!
The Lord will CAUSE you to come to a place of rest on His holy mountain. This is not something you can strive to attain. Your primary duty this year is desire. Think about that. Desire Him. Enclose yourself in the ark of His presence. And do life. Simply do life in that place. As you do, you will see that He will CARRY you forward in the storms, in the flood, and cause you to find a place of rest where everything will begin anew … very soon, Beloved … very soon … in an instant, in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52). Do not underestimate the power and possibilities of the God who says NOTHING is impossible if you believe.
GRAB ON TO GOD
I got engaged on New Year’s Eve to Todd Ganovski, my partner, my best friend, my WHOLEmate. That is the very thing that made 2016 so sweet. I will introduce you to his prophetic encouraging voice at the end of this post, but I want to share something that happened to us last night as we were driving out of town for work. The Lord encounters us sweetly and powerfully on our road trips. Last night was no exception. We were having a discussion about the transition we both feel is upon us this year and Todd said, “This is a year to brace yourself, not in a bad way. We’ve got to find something to grab onto … to keep our balance … everything is about to shift … we are in a mega-shift.” As he was saying those very words, he said he was hearing, “The only thing you CAN hold on to is God.” In that exact moment, we looked up to see a church sign that said “GRAB ON TO GOD IN 2017.”
Beloved, this was such a direct and immediate confirmation that Todd did a u-turn to go back and make sure he read the sign correctly. Needless to say, he did. How beautiful it is when God speaks! I love that Todd used the phrase “GRAB ON TO” as he was speaking, then in an instant the Lord beautifully responded to our hearts with the exact same phrasing. He hears us! He sees us! He knows us! He loves us!!!
GRAB ON TO GOD IN 2017! This is not a suggestion, it is a command. We are instructed to TAKE HOLD of Him this year. What does that mean? It means we live like Noah, in complete obedience to His Word and will, doing all things for His glory. It means we hold tightly to His presence. It means we commune with Him. It means we COMMUNICATE with Him. 2017 is a year to GRAB GOD! Think about that for a moment. When someone GRABS something, it typically has some force behind it, a sense of urgency perhaps. This is that! Take hold of GOD HIMSELF – His person, His reality – with urgency and force this year. A flood is coming, beloved, and you will want to nestle safely in His ark as He carries you to your desired destination. GRAB ON TO GOD this year!
The following and final segment is a word Todd shared during our Christmas vacation that we believe is relevant and timely as it pertains to this post and to 2017:
The Cement Trucks Are Coming!
A few days before January 1st, I was sitting at a table with Jodi and a dear friend talking about the happenings and challenges of the past year. Jodi asked the question, “If you were to look in the spirit, what phrase comes to mind to describe what you see the Lord doing in the next year?”
I immediately saw a picture of a very large, square dug out hole, like the foundation of a large building. Nothing but rich dark brown dirt that had been fully cleared of all roots, rocks and debris! It was a perfectly square and cleaned out area.
I then heard the phrase “the cement trucks are coming” and saw a fleet of cement trucks fully loaded, coming toward the perfect square hole!
BELOVED, this past year has been a time of removal of years of junk and old root systems and debris that needed to be removed so the Lord could come and lay a NEW fresh foundation for the future of what He has for you! Obviously Christ is the Chief Cornerstone and everything is built on Him, but at times the Lord has to disassemble something old and demolish old ways of thinking and operating so He can put something greater in its place!
Watching cement being poured and smoothed, and waiting for it to dry is about the least glamorous thing one can imagine! However, that foundation being laid correctly is by far the most important part of the building, and upholds everything!
The Good News is that the Lord dug you out to do a New Thing. In the next season as the foundation is laid, you will see the beginnings of the New Building, and the fresh work the Lord has begun!
Stay steady, stay patient, and “Grab on to God” once the foundation is set, the other stuff is a little more fun!
The weekend Todd and I got engaged, we visited the life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark in Kentucky. Here is a picture of my beautiful engagement ring in front of Noah’s Ark.
As I was inserting this picture, I was listening to a song with lyrics, “Hand in my hand, I love to dance the dance,” and a tiny white angel feather floated down in front of my face practically landing on my nose. It occurred to me that this is a picture of our hand in God’s hand. He IS the ark.
“When the world is shaking and nothing stands, I will hold on to Your hand ….” – Darrell Evans, Refuge
Happy 2017 to all!