What Did You Do Next Summer?
For several months now, I have been sensing that God was wanting me to release a strategic word concerning 2010. Of course, to write such a thing means that He must first speak to you and you must look to see what He will say to you (Habakkuk 2:1). It’s amazing to find that as much as I want to hear, I still occasionally find myself disregarding what He is saying to me. The phrase that I had been repeatedly hearing and brushing off through the last months of 2009 was, “What did you do next summer?” I am sure you notice the apparent contradiction in that question which implies doing the future in the past.
“… the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.”
God has never intended for us to wander through life without direction and purpose. In John 5:19, Jesus revealed that His direction and purpose were defined by our Father. We can know what we are to do because He created us to imitate Him as His representatives in the earth. We need to see what the Father is doing and do likewise. He is already prepared to act and He is laying out individual plans for us to act on. We simply need to study them and resolve now to act on them. That doesn’t mean passively agreeing to cooperate, but rather it means counting the cost and running the race inwardly before you even begin to move forward in the flesh. You will know what you did next summer because you will have already seen what the Father is doing and you will have already acted in agreement with His plans in your heart. Then all that remains is to carry it out in the flesh.
I saw a scene from an old World War Two movie where strategic plans were being reviewed and studied with great care. There was a sense of the weight of responsibility involved in knowing each one’s individual purpose and carrying it out to the best of their ability. Each would play a critical part in the successful execution of a larger battle. I see the summer of 2010 with the significance of the heat of a great battle. It is critical for you to prepare and position yourself appropriately now, to be located where God directs you and to resolve to imitate what you see Him doing. When you are in the middle of battle it is not the ideal time to discover that you need to make major adjustments. Now is the time to study and resolve so that when it matters most you will show yourself approved (2 Timothy 2:15).
A Time of Testing
2010 will be a time of testing but if you allow God to work in you it will result in a revelation of Christ to the world around you for His praise, glory, and honor (1 Peter 1:6-7). Any trial that God allows into our lives is an opportunity for you to put His life and nature on display. Remember: your life is not your own for you were bought with a price. You were crucified with Christ and buried into the baptism of death with Him. Now you have been raised back to life from the dead as a new creation, alive again for God’s own glory. Facing a trial should be considered a great honor because God has found you mature enough to face it and succeed. God never sets you up for failure but He will never allow you to remain where you are either (Philippians 1:6). If He allowed His firstborn Son, Jesus Christ to encounter trials, then we will surely follow in His footsteps. Jesus embraced that process and succeeded in His purpose only by going through those times of testing. It is not avoiding testing and trials that produces change toward maturity, but in going through it (Romans 12:2). Therefore, every trial is an opportunity for great joy (James 1:2).
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 ESV
A Time of Fiery Opportunity
I saw four men in fire, as in Daniel chapter 3. Fire often speaks of trials (1 Peter 4:12), cleansing (Isaiah 4:4), and purging (Malachi 3:2-3). In Daniel 3, King Nebuchadnezzar had ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual and ordered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to be tied up and to thrown into the fiery furnace. As they were thrown in the fire, the very men who carried out the intended punishment were killed because of the great heat.
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” ” Daniel 3:16-18 ESV
The things that the enemy plans to use to destroy you in this season will be the very things that bring the goodness of God to the forefront in your life. Do not fear what the enemy may do, but be steadfast and rejoice in what the Lord has already done.
“Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” ”
“Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.” Daniel 3:24-30 ESV
Not only will God deliver you through fiery trials, but He will also bring glory to His own name as we lay down our very lives in obedience to him. Those who boldly embrace the testing in this season will give God opportunity to reveal his mighty power through their lives which will open doors of opportunity and prosperity.
A Time for Becoming a Friend of God
“as I was in my prime, when the friendship of God was upon my tent,” Job 29:4 ESV
True friends are going to be extremely important in this season, but friendship with God is going to be of utmost importance. Job said that he was in his prime when his life was one of friendship with God. There has been much emphasis in recent years on becoming the bride of Christ, which I absolutely love and embrace in my own life. But I find the Holy Spirit speaking to me lately about being a friend of God. A primary result of remaining steadfast under trial is that it pulls you in to that deeper place of absolute dependence on Him. Beyond having more of God, fulfilling your purpose, ministering to others, or even doing the Fathers will, your greatest purpose is to be a minister to God. That may just sound like the correct thing to say but it becomes a reality in times of testing. God will allow trials to remove everything you depend on more than Him. He will bring you to the place where you realize that nothing matters more than Him having all of you. This is the place where you begin to understand that every bit of your life is meant to be an act of worship. It will take your entire lifetime to fulfill, but those who have come to the personal understanding of this revelation are the ones that I perceive to be friends of God.
A Time for Increasing in Favor with God and Man
2010 will be a year for increasing in favor with God and man. I have been seeing “6”, which is the number of man (Genesis 1:26-31), and then “1”, which is significant of God, who is the beginning of all things (Genesis 1:1). As I meditated on this, the Holy Spirit led me to Isaiah 61 which speaks of the year that the Lord’s favor brings not only justice, freedom, and effectiveness, but also prosperity and the favor of man.
“Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks; foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers; but you shall be called the priests of the Lord; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their glory you shall boast. Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.” Isaiah 61:5-7 ESV
In the original Hebrew text for Isaiah 61:7 it basically says “therefore possess double”. Doubling is exponential increase, which is multiplication. The Lord is restoring an anointing for multiplication. He has been reminding me of when Elisha asked that a double portion of Elijah’s spirit be upon him. After Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind, the sons of the prophets noticed that the spirit of Elijah did indeed rest on Elisha. As the spirit on Elisha exponentially increased, it quickly became evident that he had grown in favor with both God and man. This is a season for the increasing favor on your life to be made evident as you rise up as priests of the Lord and ministers of our God (1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 1:6; Revelation 5:10).
- It is critical for you to prepare and position yourself appropriately now, to be located where God directs you and to resolve to imitate what you see Him doing.
- 2010 will be a time of testing but if you allow God to work in you it will result in a revelation of Christ to the world around you for His praise, glory, and honor.
- The things that the enemy plans to use to destroy you in this season will be the very things that bring the goodness of God to the forefront in your life.
- Those who boldly embrace the testing in this season will give God opportunity to reveal his mighty power through their lives which will open doors of opportunity and prosperity.
- True friends are going to be extremely important in this season, but friendship with God is going to be of utmost importance.
- 2010 will be a year for increasing in favor with God and man.
- This is a season for the increasing favor on your life to be made evident as you rise up as priests of the Lord and ministers of our God.
Jeremy Caris is the founder and president of Caris Ministries. Since he is called as a prophet and gifted as a teacher, much of his focus involves equipping believers to hear, know, and follow God in their own daily experience. He teaches the foundational truth of the Word with simple clarity, while revealing deep things of the spirit in practical ways. He has the unique ability to demystify the supernatural side of real relationship with a living God and make it an embraceable and accessible reality for all believers. Jeremy has been married to his best friend, Mandy Caris, for eighteen years, and is the proud father of two boys.