2008: YEAR OF REFINEMENT, ASCENSION AND NEW BEGINNINGS
(week 01/08)
Olubi Johnson

We wish all of our readers a Christ filled destiny fulfilling New Year in which the Lord will be your shield, your glory and the lifter up of your head!

Psalms 3:3-8(KJV): But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. 4 I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. 5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me. 6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people that have set themselves against me round about. 7 Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. 8 Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

The year 2008 is to be a year of refinement, ascension and new beginnings in the church.

It will be a year in which the fire of God’s glory will continue to refine us until we experience the glory of God.

This experience of the glory of God will, as it were, cause us to “ascend” to the throne of God and experientially rule, seated with Christ in the heavenlies. It is vital to understand that all Christians are potentially seated with Christ in the heavenlies (Ephesians 2.6) however it is as we grow to operate as Kings in Christ, or under the covering of those who are operating as Kings, that we experientially begin to operate from the throne of Christ in the heavens.

This experience of ascending to the throne will be a new beginning: like the beginning of miracles in Christ’s ministry at Cana in Galilee (John 2.11) at which he manifested forth His glory!

In the years 2006 and 2007 we have experienced the fires of God’s glory in purging and refining us and in 2008 this will bring us to the experience of God’s glory to fulfil the fullness of:

Malachi 3:1-4(KJV): Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to this temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. 2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifer of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. 4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

How then are we to experience this refinement, ascension and new beginnings?

By following the examples of those who through faith and patience inherited the promises of God:

Hebrews 6:12(KJV): That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

In particular we are to follow the examples of 7 people who inherited and experienced the fullness of God’s purposes for their lives:

Enoch, Joseph, Ruth, Daniel, Esther, Paul and John.

We see that spirit or attitude that characterized these 7 (God’s number for completion (Genesis 2.2)) was one of desiring God’s very highest and best and committing to achieving it even at the risk of their personal ambitions and physical lives and safety.

It is this attitude that we must copy and follow after in 2008 to experience the refining, ascending and new beginnings God has in store for us.

We will begin to look at these characters in more detail.

Enoch:

Genesis 5:21-24(KJV): And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: 22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

We see that in the first 65 years of Enoch’s life he did not really walk with God. However after he begat Methuselah he walked with God and pleased God (Hebrews 11.5).

What we learn from this is that even if you have not really walked with God and pleased him hitherto at this high level of excellence, you can have a new beginning in 2008. You can decide to walk with God like Enoch did, to watch and pray always to be accounted worthy to be a partaker of the glory of God that is coming to the church. Enoch typifies the Christian who will be translated in the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4.16-17) to escape the great tribulation by watching and praying (Luke 21.36) and so please God!

Next week we will examine following Joseph.

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