As I was praying recently, God suddenly said, “Ask Me for the keys to the next two years.” Toward the end of 2011, He had said to me that hope would need to be a key message for 2012. For that reason, the message of hope has been my primary word over this past year. It is still true today that with God, there is always hope for tomorrow.
Light On The Shoulders
As I began to focus on God’s directive to ask for the keys to the next two years, I immediately saw a bright light on the horizon. Like many of the things God speaks, this has multiple meanings. For me, it speaks of hope. However, as I have sought the Lord, I felt that it also speaks of the window of time before us. He spoke to me concerning the importance of using our time wisely in the next season.
I saw light on the shoulders of the Body of Christ, which speaks of our responsibility; the burden we carry. I specifically felt that light on our shoulders represents carrying the burden of the Lord. Light on the horizon of the earth is the hope that God is setting upon it — hope for tomorrow. God is a God of hope!
Through many of these visions, I’ve noticed that yellow has been the primary color. So much so that I am now associating it with the year 2013 in my own mind. Historically for me, yellow has always related to hope and the gifts of God on our lives. It is symbolic of the light of the Lord flowing out of us to give hope to the world around us. God has given us a responsibility to carry the hope of the good news to the world around us.
I then saw the Church as a white lampstand being set up in a dark place, and I immediately felt like something good was about to happen. The Hebrew word menorah is translated lampstand, and means “light bearer.” God is not only setting the Church up for favor, but He is reminding us that He called us to be His light bearer in every place of darkness. He is setting up the lampstand, pouring out the oil, and lighting the flame. He is intent on making the Church a pure and burning light in the world.
2013 is a time to focus fully on the hope we carry and on the hope to come. It’s time to burn for God; to become fascinated with Him and passionate for His desires. It’s time to shine!
2014 will be a year when God is shifting our hope into the substance of faith, which must climb back into a prominent focus in the Church.
The Macedonian Call
I saw an image of the apostle Paul having the vision known as the Macedonian call (Acts 16:1-11), and I heard the phrase, “Time’s a-wasting.” I don’t talk like that, but that’s exactly what I heard. It reminded me of those who live a slower pace of life with no sense of urgency or purpose. There are good aspects to a slower pace of life. However, in this case it speaks to me of the mentality that avoids our responsibility to carry out the great commission (Mat. 28:18-20). The great commission was a command directly from Jesus, not a great suggestion.
God called us for the purpose of good works, His works; the same works that Jesus demonstrated. It’s time to get into motion. Specifically, to take good news wherever we are directed by God. The Macedonian call also speaks specifically to taking the power of the Gospel to those places where there are open doors and open hearts. It’s time to focus on putting Jesus Christ on display where there people are pleading for good news. It’s time to give people hope.
2013 is a time to pursue people who need hope, realizing you are sent to do the works of God. God will guide those in motion.
2014 will be a time of great harvest for those who will be positioned and working towards it.
He Waits For No Man
I felt strongly that it’s not a time to be self-focused, but to stress the Go of the Gospel. Those who are called by God to be salt and light should not be isolating themselves. There is a temptation today to increase in selfishness under the guise of being able to help others in the future, but today is always the day for the action of the Gospel.
The Church shouldn’t be dramatically affected by the turning tides of circumstances. When I heard the phrase, “He waits for no man,” I also saw Jesus walking on the water as He did in Mark 6:45-52. He walked directly toward the storm, and intended to walk right through it. He had every intention of walking through it because He was wanting His disciples to follow Him in faith with no fear of circumstances. He wanted them to realize that they could do what He did if they would only believe that they could (Mark 6:52; Joh. 6:28-29).
Jesus is unstoppable. He is fearless. He started a Church whose purpose cannot be thwarted by storms, winds, and waves. He birthed a Church that knows that it can accomplish what He intends regardless of any conditions in the world around us. It’s simply not Christ-like to allow a storm to intimidate us and stop us. Every storm holds opportunity to see the miracle-working power of God, which works for them that believe.
2013 is a time to face storms with the intention of walking through them instead of trying to avoid them or just protect yourself from them. No storm can stop you unless you allow it.
2014 will be a time to continue to accelerate forward, locked in on doing the works of God. We must excel in the confidence that if Jesus is unstoppable, the Church is too.
I saw people in a very traditional church holding their child, grieving over its weak and feeble life. At the same time, God has been saying that there will be a renewal of tradition in the Church, and He is behind it. It’s time for tradition to take its proper place — not first place or no place, but its proper place. Many churches have gone to one extreme or the other: either becoming full of powerless tradition or trying to eliminate tradition altogether. Eliminating tradition inevitably equates to simply replacing it with new ones.
It’s okay to grieve over our own weak and feeble efforts to produce something worthwhile, but we must shift into a new season of the raw power of the Gospel. Signs will follow the preaching of the Word (Mark 16:20), so it’s time to re-evaluate what we are doing and saying, and to be honest about what it has produced.
I kept hearing, “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” Every time I heard it, I dismissed it until one evening my oldest son unexpectedly said, “it’s like God is doing something old and something new.” God has often used my boys at key times to confirm what He was saying to me as His son.
2013 is a time to allow God to bring something old and something new together; to merge something of tradition with something fresh and God-breathed. It’s a time to find a fresh revelation from God in things that originated with God and the Church but were “borrowed” by the world or tainted through a lack of Christ-likeness. It’s time to re-align our word to the Word of God.
2014 will be a year for revelatory teaching to begin taking a prominent role throughout the Church, which will allow many to be captivated with the God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. They will be like the “… scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven … like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” (Mat. 13:52)
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 twenty years, and is the proud father of two boys.