By Frantz Michel
2012 for many was very shaky. Some thought the end of the world would come, worry sick about it to a point of being transfixed with fear. Others were skeptical but somehow, dealt with the impending “rumor” in their own ways. Besides the end of the world tittle-tattle, the past year was—without a doubt for many, an excruciating experience; some might say the worse ever. Another group might say, “It was not bad for me, I made it to see 2013 so I am satisfied.” Yet another group, “It was the best year ever for me.”
Regardless of what group you fall under, you must reach for higher this year. Whether the past year was best, worse or in between, you can’t stay stagnant—you must continue to grow or start growing. Someone puts it this way: “Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional.” And I totally agree with the aforementioned statement. There are things in life we can’t control or stop; meanwhile there are those we can and have a choice in the matter. We have the choice to grow up in 2013 or not; we can choose to complain and reminisce about the past or let go and let God. The Bible affirms in 1 Corinthians 10: 23 that, “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial.
“Everything is permissible”—but not everything is
At the end of the day, when you can take it no more, you will have to make sacrificial decisions. Nevertheless, you must be wise in making them; under pressure or not… in any case though, always seek God first. Why is that so important? As Christians, God should be our guide. The Bible heartens us to “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Abraham [Abram] implicitly had full assurance in Him who called him; he left the city in which he had hitherto lived to blindly obey to the commands of God (see Genesis 12:1, 2). When we keep the Lord out of the equation, we become our own guide and fall in deep troubles, some we have to face for as long as we live and others, temporary but painful still.
In any case, I believe 2013 is the year of the “expected promise” or “Fruitfulness” and here’s why:
- 20 is the number of expectancy
- And 13 is the number of rebellion but the inverse of rebellion is obedience and the latter will unleash the promises of God; hence 13 could also be the number of promise
The number 13 scares the life out of some people, for many in the US and some other places think that it is an evil number. Yes in some ways! The most dangerous things or spirits are associated with the number 13. Like famine for example. This is a word that is equal to weapon of mass destruction. Any famine that overtakes a land for a great period of time would decimate a whole population. That is why the Lord purposed for Joseph to be in Egypt by way of slavery so that he could save the entire human race from destruction of famine. And in the Bible, there are thirteen famines that are recorded; 11 in the Old Testament and 2 in the New Testament, which make for 13:
- Genesis 12:10
- Genesis 26:1
- Genesis 41:54
- Ruth 1:1
- 2 Samuel 21:1
- 1Kings 18:1
- 2Kings 4:38
- 2Kings 7:4
- 2Kings 25:3
- Nehemiah 5:3
- Jeremiah 14:1
- Luke 15:14
- Acts 11:28
Furthermore, the great adversary of God, Satan, his names in Scripture are generally multiples of 13. He is the Master of rebellion—the one who orchestrated the fall of man. In the US, some buildings do not have a thirteenth floor, they jump from 12 to 14 and some major worldwide Air Lines are the same, passengers won’t find a row 13. They do not want their passengers to feel unlucky especially those who would fly to places where gambling is prominent like Nevada.
Should the people of God be afraid of the number 13? No, not at all! To those who obey the Lord, this number can relate to promise. But one can mess up the promise if not careful though, because as human beings we think we know more than God and that we can help Him making His promises to us come to pass. Take Abraham again for example, he received a promise from the Almighty that he would have a child who would be his heir and would possess the land that the Lord would give to Abraham and all his posterity (see Gen 15) but Sarah, his wife was impatient with every passing year, perceiving that nothing’s happening. So she encouraged Abraham to sleep with her servant so they can produce an heir for the promise. And Abraham thought, “That sounds like the will of God to me!” (Emphasis mine)—and he went on and slept with the Hagar, their handmaid and produced a child, Ishmael at the age of 86 but thirteen (13) years later when he was 99 God made the promise come to pass and blessed him with Isaac, the child of promise, the rightful heir of Abraham’s bosom. But because Abraham tried to help God, he created trouble not only for himself, his wife, the handmaid—but also for the entire Middle East till this day, huge conflict. However, God kept His end of the bargain and did what He had promised to do. Abraham indeed is known as the father of all the faithful, he is the father of a multitude; he has children now he can’t even count…till this day the Lord is still adding unto his bosom.
Dear reader, God is no respecter of person—the same thing He did for one He can/will do for another. Maybe He promised you that your runaway child will come back home. Maybe He told you that your lost loved one will come to Christ and receive the priceless gift of eternal life. It could be that you will be financially stable—debt free or receive divine healing for a terminal disease. Whatever His promise to you is, I admonish you to cling to the hope that He is faithful and just to make it come to pass. And know that despite the rampant immorality, fear and worries in the world today, He is still in control. You just have to trust Him.
Although this is the year of promise, we can reverse it into a curse if we are not chary. I know you don’t want to hear this but I have the unpleasant task of lighting a spiritual fire under complacent people. Here are some things you must remember:
- Trust in Him with all your heart
- Abide in and with Him; wait with expectancy because the problem is not in His giving but our receiving
- Be disciplined
- Put your house and life en règle
- Be a compulsive forgiver (Mark 11:25)
- Repent compulsively
- Don’t just have faith but crown it with action (James 2: 26)
- Don’t try to help God by making the promise come to pass your way
- Do not pilfer His glory
- And above all, love always, especially your enemies
In sum, we live in a society with an open rebellion to the Creator; a rebellion headed by the Master rebel—Satan. Just turn on the news and you’ll see the atrocity of man toward one another. Crime is rampant; chronic moral decay is everywhere and the perverted moral depravity that pushed God to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah is growing in our current society in a shameful trend. But the Bible promised: “Where sin abound grace abounds even more.” Though the evil in this world appears to be like a recurring nightmare from which there is no waking; God is still in control. Those who abide in Him will win because the only way we would lose is if God surrenders His throne to Satan, and that’ll never happen. So let’s go ahead and slay some giants with the promises of God in front of us and not fear from the enemy. In the words of Max Lucado:
“Focus on giants, you stumble
Focus on God—your giants tumble.”
I leave you with these words:
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” – Romans 8: 28, KJV.