I wasn’t really sure if I would have one for this new year. It has not been a subject of much prayer or meditation. As a matter of fact, this has not been the pattern of most of my adult life.
Still though, for the last few years, I have had a word or words that appeared to be given from above as the recurring focus of my inner man for the next twelve months. And it now seems that this year will be no different.
How did it happen? Well, it was somewhat routine and heavenly at the same time. Yesterday morning, on the final Sunday of the year, I was sitting (mostly standing) in the front pew. The worship service was in full swing with the choir fully involved. Since I was seated at the front, I could only assume that everyone behind me was just as engaged in praise as those in my frontal view.
What happened next really shouldn’t have surprised me. The Bible proves that the Spirit often manifests Himself in greater measure when God is genuinely praised by His people. And then it happened. A member of the choir stepped off the platform and came around. She approached the senior pastor, and they convened in the altar area. Prayer with and for her and members of her family was given by the pastor and other elders that he beckoned for them. This scene caused my heart to rejoice.
The music never stopped playing, but the choir was dismissed before this group was through with their prayer time. And then it happened. One that had been in the choir but had returned to his seat was broken and in need of prayer. He and another gentleman that came to pray with and for him hurriedly knelt in the altar area in front of me.
Before the first person had gone for prayer, it was evident to me that the Holy Spirit was present in a greater-than-usual manner. Call it discernment if you will, but I knew that we were not having a routine service. We were experiencing a divine visitation.
As I continued to rejoice in my heart at what God was doing for His people, my word came. It was not a word that I had been previously thinking about nor was it the subject that I was soon to preach about. Supernaturally, it was pinned upon the billboard of my mind, and I knew it was my word for the year.
VICTORY! As simple as that sounds, I’m convinced that the Spirit wants me to stay focused on victory for the following year. I will write more about it as a means of holding myself accountable. For now, I will describe this as the victory that comes by faith, through worship, as the Spirit makes it a reality. This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. I look forward to meditating and writing more on this subject.
What happened next? As the scheduled guest preacher, I would have been okay if the senior pastor had waved me off for another time. However, with the appropriate non-verbal communication, I was ushered into the pulpit.
It is always nice to step into the pulpit on such a high note in a healthy atmosphere of worship. The name of Jesus Christ had already been glorified, and that made it somewhat easy to preach His Gospel. I didn’t teach on victory, but I did preach as one who was victorious.
Do you have a word or words that you’ll be focusing on for the next year? Please share it in the comments section.
Have you recently been in such a Spirit-filled worship service as the one I’ve described? Tell me about it.