I Am Not Coming Out Empty Handed
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scripture: Psalm 65:11; Exodus 3:21
Sunday 15th December 2013
I begin a new series today titled ‘Prepare To Have A Prosperous Year’. It is important that you prepare for what God has in store for you. Today’s message I have titled ‘I Am Not Coming Out Empty Handed’. It is certain that you will finish this year; however it is vital that you conclude the year with all the blessings that Heaven has released to you.
Our foundation scriptures Psalm 65:11 reads: ‘You crown the year with your goodness, and your paths drip with abundance’; and Exodus 3:21 reads: ‘And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed’. These two passages, I believe is God’s counsel for this house as we prepare for next year. Next year is already crowned with the goodness of the Lord; God’s plan for you in the New Year is full of goodness. Crowning the year could be likened to placing a crown on my head, for instance. That crown according to our foundation scriptures is goodness. It simply means next year is loaded with God’s goodness - every second, minute, hour, day, week and month of next year. God has a plan for you in this New Year – It’s going to be a successful year.
Let’s take the illustration a bit further, imagine a king about to be coronated. Usually his office and position is elevated above his subjects, and he is coronated in the presence of his subjects, in a palace. God has concluded a coronation service for you, and without a doubt, you are being prepared for the palace – Get ready. I pray that in the coming year, you will be distinguished and singled out for surprises in Jesus name. Once a king is seated, a coronation crown is brought forward and placed on his head – so will it be for you. Every aspect of your crown is laced with something precious – victory, acceleration, breakthrough, abundance, exceeding joy and much more.
Next year has been concluded in the agenda of God. In case you are wondering what the year has in store for you. You should never define your tomorrow, or the year ahead based on the pain you went through yesterday, because if you do, you will be short-changing yourself. So look forward with anticipation. God’s word says ‘The expectation of the righteous shall not be cut off’ (Proverbs 23:18). Whatever you expect will become your reality; ensure that this message becomes a part of your thoughts by reading these notes and listening on CD over again, till it becomes the visible expression of your life (Proverbs 23:7).
Your words must include: ‘I expect to prosper, to be fulfilled and for all my dreams to come through in this coming year. Yes!’. Knowing what lays ahead gives you hope and peace of mind. It’s like watching a re-run of a movie you’ve seen before. Usually you are not agitated about the outcome of the movie because you already know how it concludes. This is exactly what God is revealing to us; He knows how next year is going to pan out. His word says ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope’ (Jeremiah 29:11). I declare that your future is glorious!
Knowing what lies ahead, helps you to position yourself appropriately, giving you an advantage. For lack of knowledge, people do whatever they please, casting off restraint (Hosea 4:6). God doesn’t want you to be ignorant of His purpose for you.
The word ‘goodness’ in Hebrew could be translated beautiful, best, bountiful, cheerful, favour, fine, glad, graciously, joyfully, kindness, loving, merry, most, pleasant, pleased, pleasure, precious, prosperity, ready, sweet, wealthy, welfare and wellbeing. Everything you will ever need is in God’s goodness. In God’s agenda, the New Year is a successful year. So you have no reason to fret or panic. This year you are about to begin is going to be a different year.
Isaiah 46:10 says: ‘Only I can tell you the future, before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish’ (NLT). Desist from listening to your past experiences, full of your pain and frustrations, as only God can tell you the future, and every plan of God for you will come to pass in Jesus name.
Friend, God has already pre-programmed the entire year of 2014 for you; there is no reason to fret. All you need to do is to walk into what He has already prepared for you. Here is how Psalm 139:15-16 puts it: You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; you know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day (Message).So, relax and chill out, God has it all covered. When you are able to take hold of those ideas on the mind of God for you and translate it into yours, then you are able to walk in the fullness of His will.
In order to experience all that God has for you in the coming year, two things must take place:
(a) Your Egyptians must not go with you: Each of us have issues in our lives that we need to confront - these are experiences that must not go with you into the New Year; they must all be left behind. Exodus 14:13 reads: ‘But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again (NLT). Egyptians represent your pain, disappointments, struggles and challenges. God demonstrated His power in wiping out the Egyptian army to illustrate how important this concept is. It is imperative that we pay attention to those issues that have confronted us so far and deal with them, to ensure that the New Year is not in any way compromised. God fulfilled His promise in Exodus 14:24 – The officers of the Egyptian army were troubled by God and He twisted the wheels of the chariots, making it difficult to drive. Eventually, the Red sea swept the Egyptian army till they all drowned. The Egyptians had no right chasing after the Israelites. I declare that every Egyptian that has followed you up till now, from today you see them no more in Jesus.
(b) You must not go empty-handed: Another strategy of the devil is to ensure that you enter the New Year disadvantaged. You need to realise that, contrary to popular opinion, the Israelites did not leave Egypt as slaves, even though they had been slaves for 430 years. God instructed them to plunder the Egyptians, as champions. A slave could not take hold of the Promised Land, and lay hold of the blessings of the land. At that point of leaving Egypt, they had to think differently and change their mind-set (Exodus 3:21; 12:35). This same principle applies to us, if we will leave this old year, with all the blessings that God intends for us to take into the New Year. This simply means that there are hidden treasures in your previous experiences – those pain, frustrations and disappointment are blessings in disguise being used by God to prepare you for your future. Remember this: The strength for tomorrow is embedded in the pains of yesterday. It is wise then, not to throw your disappointment aside until you’ve learnt all that God intends for you to acquire from that experience. This is how Apostle Paul describes this concept: ‘All things work together for good, to them that love God and are called according to His purpose’ (Romans 8:28). David spent a good part of his teenage years, tending sheep, fighting off the ferocious lions and bears that attacked the flock. It was this experience that prepared him to confront Goliath: Moreover David said, “The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:36-37).
I declare that the coming year is already a glorious year, it is your year of victory, testimony, promotion and elevation. It is the year of making it into your palace, to be enthroned and crowned with all the blessings that God has prepared for you (Amen).
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