Ordained and licensed ministers with Christian International Apostolic Network and Generals International.

A New Year: A New Era

January 6, 2013 – Allen and Diane Lake

A New Car

In November of 2011, my husband and I felt the Lord led us to buy a new car. I know this may seem hard to believe, but this was actually not even the first time we received such direction.

The first time we felt the Lord directed us to buy a new car was in the spring of 2008. We sensed the Lord told us that this act of obedience would break a spirit of poverty off of our lives that had been present for many years. The economy had just started a downturn, our construction business had stalled, and a lawsuit had been filed against us at that time. But we obeyed what we felt we had heard from the Lord, and we did see the hand of the Lord move on our behalf and a new level of provision manifest in our lives.

Then, in November of 2011, we experienced similar direction. We searched and prayed over several days. After feeling sure in our conviction that this was really of God, off to the car lot we went.

From an economic standpoint, it did not make sense to buy a new car either time. And we certainly felt uncomfortable and crazy at times! But in each case we witnessed our obedience release something in the spiritual realm, which later manifested in our lives.

The second time, we felt the Lord said our obedience released a progression, that we would begin to see things in our lives move faster. A prophet spoke a short time later that supernatural windows of provision and restoration had opened over our lives. I believe this was confirmation that it had been of the Lord.

We can look back now and see that the Lord honored our obedience. We didn’t really need a new car either time, and we were way out of our comfort zone. But for some reason, it was the “vehicle” the Lord chose to use to bring breakthrough to our lives.

A New Era

Recently, we wrote an article called No Need to Fear, which spoke of the significant spiritual shift which has recently taken place. No longer will we be able to rely on the things that worked in the past, or on the old way we did things before. (See Luke 22:35-37.) The Lord is requiring His people to receive new strategies and to prepare in physical, practical, and spiritual ways.

This significant shift, which could be called the start of a new era, brings with it a need to draw close to the Lord. There will be no substitute in the coming days for being able to hear His voice and then obey. (John 10:4, 5; 15:14, 15) It could mean all the difference – even life and death – in the days ahead.

The Lord has given us spirits of power, love, and a sound mind, so there is no need to fear. (2 Tim. 1:7) We can move in confidence when the Lord gives strategy, even when it seems contrary to what we have known.

Preparation for Famine

Genesis 26 contains the story where the Lord gave strategy to Isaac in the midst of famine. Isaac must have heard his father, Abraham, tell of going down to Egypt in famine in an earlier time. (Gen. 12:10) Probably Isaac assumed that he would do the same thing his father had done, but God had a different strategy for a different time.

Isaac was told to stay in the land God would show him, rather than go down to Egypt, and that God would be with him and bless him. God promised to perform the oath which He swore to his father “because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge.” (vs. 5)

Just as Abraham was blessed in his obedience, so would Isaac be. We are told that Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold, and the Lord blessed him. He began to prosper and continued prospering until he became very prosperous, indeed. (vss. 12, 13)

We may or may not experience literal famine, but by following the principles found in God’s word and obeying the voice of His Spirit, we, too, can expect to prosper in any difficult circumstances in the days ahead. (See 1 Sam. 15:22.)

Persecution Will Increase

I recently had a dream. In this dream, our ministry had aligned with someone who had taken a firm stand for righteousness in an area that had become divisive in current culture.

Law enforcement officials warned us that if we did not back away from our stance, we would be on our own. We were told they did not have the manpower or resources to protect us from those who might disagree with our views.

The next scene in the dream was in an apartment, or dwelling of some type, that had large expanses of windows facing the street. It was nighttime, and I was aware that hostile individuals watched us from the dark. At some point, I began to wonder if rocks would be thrown at us through the glass, although I woke up before this actually occurred. I woke up to hear the Spirit say that persecution will increase.

The large expanses of glass speak of exposure. Those who have made a public stand for righteousness (especially those who stand for the biblical definition of marriage) will be vulnerable through exposure to hostility.

My point is to be straightforward, not to incite fear. We must be willing to call things what they are, or we will be unprepared and caught off guard by what lies ahead. It’s time to take a hard look at where we stand on tough issues and weigh the cost, knowing the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us. (Heb. 13:5)

Not long ago, the Lord took my husband and I through a Garden of Gethsemane experience in which the Father said He would not force us to take a stand (for the biblical definition and principles of marriage). We had to want to do it because He asked us to, and He asked us to think and pray about it before answering. In the end we said, as Jesus did, “Father,… not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)

And after Jesus had spoken these words, an angel appeared and strengthened Him (vs. 43). There has been and will continue to be increased activity in the angelic realm; we will need the help and strength angels will bring us in the days ahead.

An Activation

Our focus should be on the positive in God rather than on what seems negative or threatening. God is moving, even as we speak. He is bringing His great glory to the nations of the earth and will use His saints to display it. (Isa. 40:5; 60:2) The good news is, there’s enough for you!

Several points come out of this understanding.

First, we have entered a time where the need for mature mothers and fathers of the faith has never been greater. If you are one who is seasoned in the Lord – who can hear His voice and has been found faithful in His ways – please consider anew who the Lord might have you sponsor. It might be a young person, a new convert, or a believer who has never heard His voice. The Lord is asking His saints to look for those who can be sponsored or mentored. You might be the key to someone’s destiny.

Second, if you are reading this and feel that God has somehow passed you by, let me say it again—God is moving, even as we speak. Some who are reading this have a seed of God planted in their heart. By faith, you can allow this message to help you activate and appropriate it in your life. If you recognize yourself in this word, please pray these words with me:

Father, if You have planted a seed in my heart – a vision, an impression, a creative idea or inventive inspiration for ministry, business, or any kingdom activity – I invite You to breathe the breath of Your Spirit upon this seed at this time. Father, I acknowledge that You are the giver of life, the author of my creative mind, and I give You all the glory for what You have planned for me. Help me to hear Your voice, and to believe that what seems unattainable or impossible might be exactly what You have, by faith, in mind for me. Thank you that the just shall live by faith, and that You will provide all that I need for the task. (Hab. 2:4; Phil. 4:19) I pray for clarity, direction, and the necessary motivation to see Your divine purposes come to pass in my life. Amen.

Prayer Points

1. Pray for strength and courage for the body of Christ. Persecution will increase, but our God is able to deliver. He will deliver, but if He does not, we will give Him the glory, and He will be glorified in us. (Dan. 3:17, 18; 2 Thes. 1:11, 12)

2. Pray for wisdom for the saints and for a renewed commitment to righteousness. There will be those in the last days “who are wise [and] shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness [will be] like the stars forever and ever.” (Dan. 12:3)

3. Pray for His kingdom to come to earth, and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matt. 6:8-13)

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