Creating a Highway into the New Year
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scripture: Isaiah 55:10-13, Exodus 6:1-8
Sunday 28th December 2014
We conclude this two-part series we began last Sunday, ‘A Triumphant entry into the New Year’ today. Let's start with a brief review of what we learnt last week. We agreed that as we exit this year, God has declared that we go forth with joy and enter the New Year with peace. The word ‘Joy’ synonymous with ‘glad results’ is God’s conclusion concerning this outgoing year and the next, hence ruling out mourning and sorrow. The Hebrew word for peace, ‘Shalom’, means completeness, safety and welfare.
In creating a pathway into the coming year, God’s word must precede us, in order to prepare the way. As God’s word is spoken, power is released for its fulfilment. Also, our preparation for the coming year will determine the outcome of the year, so we must be well prepared, and must avoid labelling the New Year based on the possible disappointing experiences of this year. We rounded up the message with seven positive attitudes that we must take with us into the New Year, namely: (i) Go into the New Year with hope (ii) See possibilities in the New Year (iii) Be confident of God’s promises (iv) Chase after God (v) Don’t define the new based on the old (vi) Let go of any weight and sin (viii) Recognise that a New Year necessitates a new thinking and a new attitude.
Today, as we conclude this series, let’s begin by reading from our foundation scriptures in Isaiah 55:10-11: “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it” (NLT). Verses 12 and 13 in the Young’s Literal Translation reads: ‘For with joy ye go forth, and with peace ye are brought in, the mountains and the hills break forth before you [with] singing, and all trees of the field clap the hand’.
Let’s take a break from Isaiah; we will come back to it. Let me show you a few verses from the second passage in Exodus 6:1-4. “Then the Lord told Moses, ‘Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. When he feels the force of my strong hand, he will let the people go. In fact, he will force them to leave his land!’ And God said to Moses, “I am Yahweh—‘the Lord.’ I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty’—but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them. And I reaffirmed my covenant with them. Under its terms, I promised to give them the land of Canaan, where they were living as foreigners” (NLT). God had a great plan for the Israelites, in bringing them out of the land of slavery into the land of Canaan – a land in which their forefathers had been foreigners for a while. The predicament obstructing their advancement into that Promised Land was an unyielding Egyptian Pharaoh, to which God had the ultimate solution for. Verses 5 to 8 reveal God’s resolution to the problem:
‘You can be sure that I have heard the groans of the people of Israel, who are now slaves to the Egyptians. And I am well aware of my covenant with them. “Therefore, say to the people of Israel: ‘I am the Lord. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment. I will claim you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God who has freed you from your oppression in Egypt. I will bring you into the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as your very own possession. I am the Lord!’”
Just as God delivered the Israelites, He has already concluded His great plan for you in the coming year. He has heard your cries and prayers before Him, just like He heard the Israelites as recorded in the scriptures above, and He is ready to bring you into a bountiful year of blessings. The word ‘heard’ in the scriptures above is the Hebrew word ‘Shamar’, which means ‘I have granted your request’. Verse 5 also talks about God remembering His covenant to the Israelites, better interpreted ‘the set time to focus on my covenant to you is now here’. Conversely, the same is true regarding you; the time God has set to fulfil His covenant promised to you has come – no more delays and struggles in your life in Jesus name!
Verse 6 is the crux of my message today, so let’s study this carefully: “Therefore, say to the people of Israel: ‘I am the Lord. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment”. Firstly, God is still the Lord over every situation you may have gone, or may be going through. It will be wrong to conclude that your situation is hopeless and beyond rescue. God is the Lord – not the situation you have been through, your pain, disappointments, health, marital or financial problems or any other problem you may be facing. You must be deliberate not to lose your focus on God, as this could lead to discouragement and unbelief. Regardless of what you may have gone through this year, be conscious of the fact that God is still in charge.
If God is in charge, then you must draw hope, confidence and victory from Him. All you need to live successfully in the New Year is in God, so focus on Him.
Now, here are 7 truths you must hold on to as you journey into the New Year:
(i) God will bring you out from under every burden: You are not simply coming out of this year, but you are coming out from every pain, burden or problem that you may be facing from the devil. I declare that you are coming out of lack, struggle, poverty, marital problems and every negativity. God declares the end from the beginning and concerning you He has declared your breakthrough.
(ii) God will rescue you from bondage: I declare that whatever has held you in bondage is broken today, in Jesus name! You are rescued from affliction, demonic attacks, lack, poverty and curses.
(iii) God will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgment: You are already redeemed. Through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, your redemption has been purchased. God has redeemed you from sin, sickness, poverty, struggle, failure and oppression.
(iv) God will take you as His child: You are no longer under the influence and control of the devil. You are God’s child, and His possession. You now belong to God, and as such you are no longer an instrument in the hand of Satan. Now you, your children and all that pertains to you will serve God’s purpose henceforth.
(v) God will be your God: All His attributes are now available to you. He will protect, preserve, provide for, watch over, defend and prosper you.
(vi) God will bring you into the Promised Land: You and your household will make it into the New Year, in good health in Jesus name, and lastly;
(vii) God will give you a heritage: The New Year is your heritage and your inheritance. It is your year of fulfilment of dreams, it is your year of fullness, and your year of exceedingly and abundantly.
As I round up today, let’s go back to Isaiah 55 and focus on verse 12, which reads: ‘You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands!’.
To break is the Hebrew word ‘Patsach’ which means to burst forth, to make a loud sound of joy. This means as you go forth into the New Year, there is a loud sound of singing (joy) that goes with you. This scripture is written in the present continuous, meaning every single day is characterized with a loud sound of joy, from January to December.
So I declare that your New Year will be characterized with rejoicing, songs of gratitude and thanksgiving. You are already familiar with the role praise and thanksgiving play in breaking chains and bondages. Now let’s take this a step further by making a loud sound of joy from this moment onwards and throughout the New Year. Loud sounds typify huge accomplishments, achievements, miracles, successes and major breakthroughs – this will be your portion in Jesus name!
I declare that your successes in the New Year will be major, your victory will be exceptional, and your impact will be extraordinary in Jesus name. You will reign, rule and be celebrated in this coming year in Jesus name (Amen).
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