Dear King’s Park Family,
Happy New Year to you! We love and appreciate you and want to share a word that God has put on our hearts for our King’s Park Family for 2021. Take a few moments to watch the video or read the transcript below.
Let’s start with a reflection on 2020. I think one of the things we saw God doing was exposing cracks in our world and our foundation. We saw these cracks in many areas–our healthcare systems, our historical wounds as a country and maybe even related to our own personal faith and engagement with God (whether it be participating in reading the Word or gathering in community virtually or in-person). Whatever it may be, I think that God wants to give us something different and He’s exposing these particular cracks so that something can emerge from them.
As I was praying for our church, related to 2021, God gave me a vision. In this vision, I saw the man described in Psalm 84 as he was walking through the valley of weeping and the valley of pain and affliction. As he walks, something unique happens to him. He gets stronger, and as he gets stronger, he makes the place where he is into a wellspring of life. I believe the word for us this year is stronger. I want you to meditate on and think about that for a moment. This year, God wants to bring you strength that takes you to another level. And I like the word stronger because it means that there was strength there already. If you believe in the Lord, you have strength, but God wants to see a greater manifestation of that strength in 2021. I’m totally convinced that this is not only for us personally but for us as a church.
Psalm 84:5-8 says, “How enriched are they who find their strength in the Lord.” I believe this is the starting point of us getting stronger. This psalmist is speaking of finding our strength, first and foremost, in the presence of God. That means our times of worship, our times of prayer, our times of connecting with each other are going to be vital and critical as God brings us to a greater level of strength.
The passage goes on to say, “…within their hearts are the highways of holiness!” This is imagery of the ways of God and it’s speaking of purity of heart. As we get stronger, one of the ways that God brings us to a place of strength is through refining our motives, refining our behavior–allowing us to walk in a greater level of purity in the way we think, the way we act and the way we treat others. We see this as this man walks through this particular pathway. He finds the presence of God and purity of heart.
The passage continues with, “Even when their paths wind through the dark valley of tears, they dig deep to find a pleasant pool where others find only pain.” We can see that this is a painful path, but it’s a painful path that has a purpose. It is not wasted pain. It’s purposeful pain. I believe that we’re going to go through some particular things this year and we’re going to be able to find that pleasant pool in places where others will find only pain. I want you to hear this: there may be challenges in 2021, but there’s a pool that comes from heaven, from the very throne room of God. I’m reminded of the scripture that says, “there is a river that makes glad the city of God” (the people of God). We will be able to find this wellspring of life from heaven. As we go through this purposeful pain and experience the pathways of God, this passage says, He will give us “a brook of blessing filled from the rain of an outpouring.” AN OUTPOURING! An outpouring is going to happen. A spring of life is going to come into your family, into your work, into your soul.
Verse seven says, “they grow stronger and stronger with every step forward.” Ponder that for a moment. We are going to move forward as a people and in our families and our individual lives. We are moving forward! The pandemic cannot stop the work of God in our lives. It cannot stop the journey that God has us on. He’s bringing us to a particular destination and it cannot be stopped. We’re going to move forward and as we do it, we’re getting stronger and stronger.
The passage then says this, “…and the God of all gods will appear before them in Zion.” Our destination and our beginning are with God, His presence and with everything that He has for us. This verse ends with, “Hear My Cry, oh God of Heaven’s armies. God of Jacob, listen to my loving prayer.” Prayer is going to be critical as we go into this year because God is doing something, not just defensively (defending us against sickness, harm, disease, death and destruction–keeping us in His loving arms), but He is also going to do something offensively. He is going to cause an outbreak of his Spirit, reviving the hearts of people, saving people, bringing them back to Himself, restoring marriages.
I see God doing something remarkable with our young professionals and young adults where they’re going to experience having family, being at home, being plugged in and connected, while serving and using their gifts, abilities and talents. I see things happening with our staff where God’s going to strengthen our staff and cause it to grow. I see God strengthening our marriages–at moments during the pandemic it’s been tough, but God says “stronger, stronger, stronger” over marriages. He says “stronger” over your ability to produce and your work environment and to even see jobs come. I see strength coming to you spiritually, wisdom and insight, knowledge and understanding. You’re going to get stronger in your ability to love well and to see others experience God through you. I see strength coming. I’m so excited!
So here’s the synopsis of what we’re saying: we’re going to have strength and there are various factors that will take place as we get stronger. We’re going to get stronger in the presence of God and also with purity as we go through purposeful paths that may have pain. As we progress every step forward through prayer, we’re going to see ourselves get stronger.
From Pastor Bomi:
As Pastor Reggie was sharing, the image that came to my mind was that of trying to sell a home or property. Typically, you would have an inspector come and inspect the home to make sure it’s suitable for the next buyer. What an inspector does is expose what needs attention so that you can come in and fix it to make it better or to make it acceptable for the next buyer. In the case that there’s something wrong with the foundation, this can be very expensive. You’d bring in an engineer and people to come look at it with the intention to recognize what’s going on and where the cracks are. The goal is to expose them and then to get the foundation strong and firm so that it can hold up however high or however big or wide this building is.
I think for us, that’s what happened in 2020–there was an exposing and there was a shaking. But what’s happened is, now that we see where there are cracks and now that we see where there is something that needs to be fixed, I believe in the Lord is saying, “Let’s turn this adversity to an advantage. Let Me come in and fix what’s broken so that it’s strong or stronger to do what it is meant to do.” And I believe that is what God wants to do here at King’s Park. He wants to do this in our lives, in our families and in our community. So, while we wait in expectation and hope, we’re trusting that, in that process, wherever we are, God is going to meet us and he’s going to strengthen us because he wants glory and he wants to produce something out of us that will change our world for His name.
Sometimes, strengthening happens when we’re working out and we actually have to lift some things. There’s pressure and, of course, our are muscles tear so they can come back and rebuild in a way that’s stronger. Whether it’s the house or the muscle analogy, I feel like God is doing this with us individually and as a church as well. We’re getting stronger in reaching the community and stronger in our connection with each other.
There are actually two words for strength in this passage. One speaks of battle prowess and the other one speaks of an increase in growth. So, when it speaks of being strengthened in the presence of God, that’s actually power in battle and being able to fight in war. But then, when it speaks of us getting stronger and stronger, it’s speaking of increase, and literally says in groups, wealth and growth and so many different things. We’re going to be more of who God has called us to be in 2021, increasing in strength.
Let’s take a moment to pray for you in this new year:
Lord Jesus, I thank You so much for my brothers and my sisters that are listening and watching. I thank You, God, that Your Word, Your promise to every single one of us is “yes and amen.” I pray right now, Lord Jesus, for dreams and hopes that have been deferred–maybe they’re dealing with grief because of loss or there’s just been so much emotion that they’ve had to process through. Father, we just cry out to You now in the name of Jesus.
I pray for a refreshing from heaven, Lord Jesus. I pray, where there’s been some level of weakness, where there’s been loss, where there’s been discouragement and despair, where there’s been frustration, I pray in that very place, that You will pour out your balm of Gilead, You will pour out Your word of hope, You will fill their hearts, right now, with encouragement that cannot be taken away, in the name of Jesus. Lord, I thank You that as we’ve now stepped into 2021, we step into it looking to You, not looking at some kind of random change that we think will change our lives. No, God, we look to You to change our lives, to change our circumstances, to rewrite stories that we just want to erase away.
God, we ask You in the name of Jesus Christ to cover us now. We pray that we will become stronger, that You would show us how to take what has been a challenge–what has been a stumbling block and by the power of the Holy Spirit, make it a stepping stone. Lord, I pray you will help us, in Jesus’ name, to look at our circumstances and find you in them and find what you’re doing so we can move right along with you.
In Jesus name, I speak peace. I speak comfort. I speak encouragement. Lord, I pray that this year Your joy and Your Love will find expression in everything that we do. God, I ask for you covering and I pray for an outpouring of Your Holy Spirit like never before. We thank you in Jesus’ name for this, amen.
May the Lord bless you and keep you, make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May He turn His face toward you, lift up His countenance and give you peace in 2021.
Bless you. We love you!