Genesis 1:5 (FBV) - God called the light “day,” and He called the darkness “night.” So there was evening, and then the morning, making day one.
Coming in to a new year is always an exciting time. People make fresh starts and commit to making their lives better. As a church we will often fast and pray in order to focus our attention on what God is speaking to us and hear His voice for the new year. This year was no different.
What was different, was the year that we were coming out of. Last year seemed like problems were coming at us day and night. When you hear someone use the expression, “day and night”, it means whatever they are talking about is ongoing. Was that your experience in 2020? For many it was health problems came, social and political tensions caused division in our nation but also in families and friendships, and grief, sadness and despair set in for many. Depression, alcoholism and even suicide were on the rise.
Things may seem hopeless but God has given us a word for 2021 from Genesis 1:5. Notice that in the verse it says there was evening and then the morning. When we use the term, “night and day”, we are referring to there being a significant difference. Let’s believe that 2021 will be significantly different than the previous year. We are coming in to a new day. It is essentially Day One for us. We are coming out of the darkness of last year into the light of a new day.
In order to fully experience what God desires for the year ahead we have to participate and practice our faith in the word God has spoken over us this year. Thankfully, God has given us His word and the power of His Holy Spirit to move us into the light He has for us in the year ahead.
There are two areas in which God would have us to participate:
Declare in Prayer.
Notice that in Genesis 1:5 God called the light ‘day’ and He called the darkness ‘night’. He is a God who speaks those things that are not as if they were. (Romans 4:17b) We share in the divine nature according to 2 Peter. Therefore if we are going to see the change we have to declare it in prayer.
Jesus gives us this principle when He curses the fig tree and His disciples point out to Him that it has withered. In response He tells them to have faith in God. He goes on to say:
Mark 11:23-24 (NKJV) - For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
What you declare must be from faith and not presumption. That means it must be found in God’s Word, because “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17). We must speak from faith in God’s Word, the change we want to see. In doing so we are bringing light into darkness. Where we couldn’t see or where there was a situation contrary to God we can declare the light of God’s Word.
Practically speaking, if you can identify the challenge or problems you are facing, then you can find a scripture to declare over that area of your life. For sickness, declare healing scriptures. For growth in business or struggles with finances, declare the scriptures about prosperity. For challenges with your spouse, declare the scriptures about marriage. You can do this for any area of your life. A good concordance in the back of your Bible or a simple word search on a Bible app or website, (www.biblegateway.com; www.youverse.com) or a topical Bible such as Nave’s, can lead you to the scriptures that address your problem. A little help from a faith-filled friend or an e-mail to us at your church can help too.
The second area for us to practice is:
Live in the Light.
Genesis says it was Day One, a starting place. Let’s start from here. Let’s live from here.
Many people have referred to last year as the great reset. In many ways I think they’re right. People had a revelation of their priorities and reset them accordingly. For some they pressed in to God. For others they realized how busy they were and relaxed their tight schedule. For some it wasn’t a good reset and they went back to their fleshly appetites and sin. Wherever you’re at, let this year be a fresh start, a Day One.
This new year should not just be a reset but also a restart. There is a difference between a reset and a restart. Resetting something gets it back to its original set up. If you were resetting a game of chess then all the pieces would be in their proper place on the board. That could have been the reset of last year for you that God, the church, your family, business and relationships all were put in their proper place and priority. Now that everything is set, it is time to start again. With these things in place let’s live out the purpose and plan God has for us—this is the start.
The scriptures have a lot to say about living in the light. You can find them throughout the Bible but for our purposes take a look at the following passage with the thought in mind of a fresh start and living in the light.
Ephesians 5:8-17 (NKJV) - For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” 15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Let’s live lighter than we ever have before. Lighter by removing sin and hindrances, and living lighter and brighter. Cast off the weight of things that are holding you back. Get sin out of your life. Shine the goodness of God everywhere you go. Show forth His praise.
It is a new day and God is doing new things all around us. We often say “It dawned on me…” when we get a realization. What is dawning on you in the new year? As you go into the year ahead consider the following questions:
Where is God shining His light on your path? What scriptures is He giving you for the year ahead? What will you declare in prayer for the coming year? How will you live lighter?
It may take some time, study, and prayer to answer all of these questions; it is worth the investment. Listen for God’s direction, declare it in prayer and live in the light. As you do, the year ahead will be fresh and vibrant with God’s goodness shining bright through it!