How quickly time passes! Once more Christmas has come and gone, and we have stepped into yet another new year.
As you face 2020, maybe you are discouraged that you didn’t see the full harvest of what you were believing God for last year. Maybe you are filled with uncertainty and anxiety because of certain things that have happened.
Take heart, my friend. Our Lord Jesus wants you to know you are not facing this year alone. He is with you and even now wants to strengthen you with a fresh word for the year ahead.
Why does He have a special emphasis at the start of every year that He wants us to press into? It is because He wants us prepared for how He wants to move in our lives that year and to flow with Him. And beloved, I am here to tell you 2020 is going to be an amazing year for God’s people!
Beloved, the Lord doesn’t want you bound by regrets of the past or fears of the future as you live life this year. The first thing He wants you to know is that while we may be bound by time—Ecclesiastes 9:11 tells us time and chance happen to all—He is not.
He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. He is neither limited by the unchangeability of your past nor the unpredictability of your future.
If you will press in to His word, you will find Him healing you of the pains and regrets of your past. You will find Him bringing forward the harvest, the breakthrough, or the promotion you want to see. You will see the great I AM being your very present help in times of trouble (Ps. 46:1) and orchestrating timing and chance to put you at the right place at the right time to deliver you from the snares of the enemy and to prosper you in all your ways!
Where in the Scriptures do we see Jesus as the Lord of time and space? The gospel of John records for us how in Jesus’ first miracle, He accelerated or compressed time to produce the finest wine at a wedding in Cana, Galilee, saving the newlyweds from certain embarrassment. It takes man decades to produce top-quality wine, but our Lord did it in a matter of seconds (John 2:1–11).
Then in His second miracle, also performed in Cana, He healed a nobleman’s son from afar. The child was at the point of death in his home in Capernaum some 25 miles away. Yet distance or space was no obstacle for the Lord. He only had to speak the word—“Go your way; your son lives”—and the boy was healed in the same hour (John 4:46–54).
These 2 miracles or signs point to Jesus as the Lord of time and space. He can transcend and manipulate time and space to bring you to a higher and broader place in a shorter time.
Perhaps you have to go through several rounds of chemotherapy or are recovering from a serious accident. My friend, He can accelerate your treatment or recovery time. The doctors may have said it will take many months, but the Lord can compress the whole process. And you don’t need the Lord to come down personally to touch and heal you. He can do it from a distance. Believe His word as the nobleman did (John 4:50) and receive your miracle this year!
When Jessica, my firstborn, started college, I told the Lord, “I wish I had married earlier. I would love to have a child running around the house again.” I really missed that. Jessica, had grown so quickly into a beautiful teenager. Most couples usually don’t think about having another baby later on in life. But my wife, Wendy, was amazing. She had faith. She said, “God can do it. Let’s trust God.”
So we prayed for a child. I asked for a boy. The word the Lord gave me was, “I will restore to you the years” (Joel 2:25). Long story short, we had Justin and what a great blessing this little boy has been to us. The Lord has renewed our youth, given us strength, and blessed us with another precious opportunity to experience the joys of parenting a young child.
Perhaps your desire today is to have another child, but your “biological clock” says your time has passed. Maybe it’s that degree you have always wanted to pursue, but you think you are too old now to do it. Or perhaps you weren’t around much for a child of yours, and now that he or she is all grown up, you wish you could go back in time and do things differently. For some of you, a prolonged illness may have robbed you of your prime years.
My friend, Jesus is the Lord of time and space. He can renew your youth like the eagle’s so that you will run and not be weary, walk and not faint, overtaking even the youths (Isa. 40:29–31). He can “restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten” (Joel 2:25) and bring restoration and glory to any broken relationship or frail body. He can give you long life and length of days that are full, rich, and satisfying (Ps. 21:4). Believe the Lord this year to restore, reverse, accelerate, or suspend time in your favor and to return you to the days of your youth (Job 33:25)!
In this message of the year, I want to show you practically how you can let God be the Lord of time and space in your life. As I mentioned, you can rise higher to the bigger and better things the Lord has for you in a shorter time than you expect. And I am going to show you how through powerful truths gleaned from what the Bible tells us about the temple of Solomon.
Why the temple of Solomon? Because you and I are living stones that make up the temple of God (1 Cor. 3:16; 1 Pet. 2:5).
The tabernacle of Moses speaks of the Lord’s grace, love, and finished work, and I have taught much on that. The temple of Solomon, which was built later with stones, speaks of the Lord’s glory upon and within us because of the finished work of the cross. Psalm 29:9 says, “In His temple everyone says, ‘Glory!’” In the Bible, glory always comes after grace. Grace leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4), to gloriously transformed lives. Grace causes us to reign in life for His glory (Rom. 5:17)!
As believers in Christ, we have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:9), just as how the stones of Solomon’s temple were hewn out of a dark quarry for a great purpose—to build a glorious house for God. So what better way to learn about our divine destinies and the bigger spaces and treasures God has for us than to examine the temple of Solomon. The new is in the old concealed, ready to be revealed to those who hunger for more of His Word (Prov. 25:2)!
The first thing I want you to see about Solomon’s temple is that Solomon made “windows of narrow lights” (1 Kings 6:4 KJV). In the Hebrew, this describes windows that were broad within and narrow without. The Complete Jewish Bible says the windows were “wide on the inside and narrow on the outside.” Such a design allows the light that entered to spread out and illuminate the temple.
But what does this mean for you today? My friend, “narrow without” means God wants you to guard what light you allow into your soul. This year be mindful of what you are giving your time to and guard your peace. Don’t keep listening to worldly knowledge and wisdom—natural light—that will bring confusion and steal your peace. Don’t allow social media and what you read on the internet to tell you what decisions to make and what to pursue.
Instead, let the pure light of God’s true, reliable, peaceable, and unchanging Word in, and it will spread out and light up your entire being. The very first thing we need to have this year is His Word. The psalmist says, “The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple” (Ps. 119:130).
Having windows that are also “broad within” means you frequently open up God’s Word. Feed on His Word daily and watch how it will edify you and impart to you true wisdom. His Word and wisdom will lift you out of the pit to higher and broader places, cause you to prosper in all your ways and to expand your tents, and propel you toward your God-given destiny.
I pray this year these windows will become so broad for you that the light of God’s Word will be dispersed in every part of your being and in every situation you face. May you shine for His glory in 2020 even as the world gets darker. May there be such a radiance upon you that even your worldly colleagues and bosses will notice it (Isa. 60:2–3)!
Let’s zoom in on the chambers that were built around the south, west, and north sides of the temple:
Each chamber gets progressively larger as you go higher—from 5 to 6 to 7 cubits wide. This is what God has for us in 2020: He wants to bring us higher to bigger, wider places.
Spiritually speaking, we are already seated high above with Christ in the heavenly places (Eph. 1:20; 2:6). But experientially, we are all growing in our walk with the Lord. We can all go higher to possess more of our inheritance in Christ and to experience more of the breakthroughs we need.
First Chronicles 9:26–33 tells us the chambers were where the priests lived while they served in the house of God. Today, as believers in Christ, we are God’s royal priesthood (1 Pet. 2:9). Hence it behooves us as priests of God and priests of our homes to study what the chambers mean for us.
The chambers were also where the grain, wine, and oil were stored (Neh. 10:39 KJV). Doesn’t this remind you of our theme and message for 2019—The Year of the Latter Rain?
In that message, I showed how the latter rain brings the blessings of the grain, wine, and oil. The grain (bread) and wine speak of the holy Communion and how we should often partake of the bread and cup to experience healing. The oil speaks of the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which brings a refreshing and an ease to do what we need to do, as well as destroys yokes, smoothens relationships, and leads us from within. You can read more about this at JosephPrince.org/blog/articles/the-year-of-the-latter-rain.
This year don’t compromise on the grain, wine, and oil. Continue to partake of the holy Communion and press in to the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is as you do, as you keep beholding our Lord Jesus and His finished work—what the grain, wine, and oil speak of—that you will ascend higher supernaturally to true prosperity that includes a deeper walk with Him, blessed family relationships, and divine health in every part of your body.
Because the chambers also housed the priests’ quarters, they speak of rest. This year God wants to bring you to a place of deeper rest and greater health.
The building of Solomon’s temple actually speaks of quietness and rest. The stones were hewn and finished on location at the quarry so no loud hammering or chiseling sounds were heard in the temple:
Solomon was a “man of peace and rest” and the Lord gave him “rest from all his enemies on every side” (1 Chron. 22:9 NIV). Do you want rest from all your enemies? Then be a man of rest. If you are battling stress-related illnesses, the Lord says, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength” (Isa. 30:15).
Solomon may have built the temple, but its blueprint was drawn up by his father David by the inspiration of God:
All the details were given to David by the Spirit of the Lord. We are not talking about “automatic writing” here where you are controlled by an evil spirit. As David began to actively write down the plans for the construction of the temple, the Lord’s hand was upon him to guide him and give him wisdom and understanding. In other words, David wasn’t being forced and it was a stress-free process.
If you are constantly stressed out by deadlines or worried about the future, I have a word for you: this year, God wants you to really enjoy His rest and experience it on a deeper level.
The key to that is to seek the Lord for wisdom and know that He will give it to you (James 1:5). Don’t try to figure everything out on your own or spend hours on the internet and become more negative and fearful. Let the solutions, the ideas, and the wisdom to walk in greater health come effortlessly from His Word and His Spirit.
And be like David. Write down what the Lord shows you. Writing things down is a great way to see the Lord leading you with one thought or one word at a time. That’s how I prepare for my sermons for a spiritually hungry congregation week upon week without the stress.
As I seek the Lord and He begins to show me things, even if it’s just one verse at first, I just write it down. Once it’s in my notebook, I don’t have to worry that I will forget it. When I refer to it again, the Lord will expand on it and give me more verses, more revelations, and more of the sermon.
When you rest, God works, and you enjoy restful increase. Deeper rest this year will bring you higher to more of what God has for you. Let’s look at the upper chamber, which was overlaid with gold (2 Chron. 3:7 KJV) and had the largest space.
When I talk about the spaces in the chambers increasing, I am not talking about having a bigger house or car. Of course, the Lord can do that for you, but it goes deeper than that. I am talking about spiritual ascendancy. I am talking about being enlarged from within.
God wants to expand your capacity to receive from Him. He wants you to have largeness of heart, to be secure in His love for you, to have a clear, poised mind that leans on His wisdom and not your own understanding. He wants you to be restful rather than full of stress inwardly, to have faith that is anchored on His grace for you. God can trust you with more when you are enlarged inwardly.
The temple’s gold and treasures represent more than just material wealth and earthly possessions. True prosperity and true treasures are in knowing Jesus because in Him “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3).
Solomon said, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding” (Prov. 4:7). To get wisdom is to get Jesus. To have Jesus is to have wisdom. And when you have Him and His wisdom operating in and through you, you will also receive long life, riches, honor, pleasure, and peace (Prov. 3:16–17).
When Solomon asked God for wisdom, God gave him more than what he asked for. God also gave him riches and honor (1 Kings 3:13). My friend, don’t pursue riches and honor. Pursue the Lord Jesus and His wisdom. Let Him enlarge you from within and riches and honor will follow you.
May you in 2020 ascend higher in your revelation of and intimacy with the Lord. To know Him, His finished work, and His promises for you more and more is to ascend higher and higher and to see grace and peace multiplied in your life (2 Pet. 1:2)!
Let me say it again: God wants to bring us to a higher, broader place, to ascend higher in all areas of our lives this year. And He has promised that as we lean in to what He is telling us, He will compress and accelerate or suspend and expand time in our favor so that we may possess more of our possessions and enjoy true prosperity.
Let me show you to one last unique feature of the temple that will illuminate for us how the Lord wants us to flow with Him in our everyday this year—the winding staircase:
Winding stairs compared to straight stairs allow you to climb the maximum height in the smallest possible space and the shortest amount of time. Again we see how God wants us to gain great spiritual ascendancy this year.
I have shared how we need to let the light of God’s Word in (the windows) and the importance of having the grain, wine, and oil that speak of receiving the Communion regularly and being anointed by the Holy Spirit. I have also talked about how deeper rest leads to more progress. What then is the secret of the winding stairs?
With winding stairs, unlike straight stairs where you can see right to the end of the staircase, you can only see a few steps at a time. From the bottom, you can’t see all the way to the top. You take one step at a time to ascend higher but with less time and energy expended.
What the Lord is telling us is that He leads us one step at a time. He doesn’t show us the entire journey because He wants us to trust Him with each step.
Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” It’s only to your feet and what is right in front. The entire journey is not lit up as God does not reveal everything all at once. But He will still get you where you need to be in a shorter time as you trust Him with each step.
In 2020, let’s trust God as you purpose to hear Him and follow His leading one step at a time. If you are struggling with depression or panic attacks, I want to encourage you to take one step at a time and live one day at a time as you allow the Lord to lead you. Don’t worry about tomorrow or next week today.
Even if the steps look small and insignificant, they are still steps forward and upward. Follow the Spirit’s leading. It could be as simple as get up, eat, get out of your room, or go for a walk.
Jesus’ mother, Mary, said this to the servants at the wedding in Cana: “Whatever He says to you, do it” (John 2:5). Whether you are caught in the depths of depression or facing an insurmountable problem in your physical health, job, or relationship with a loved one, don’t worry about the outcome. Believe the Lord will speak to you about it as you seek Him and whatever He says to you, do it. Matthew 6:34 (the Message or MSG translation) puts it this way:
Beloved, put your hand in His and live the let-go life. Let the Shepherd of your soul lead you one step at a time as you obey His gentle promptings.
There is only enough bread for today. Jesus prayed, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11). It’s not bread for the entire week or month. There is enough grace only for today. When tomorrow comes, there will be fresh grace. That’s His promise (Lam. 3:23 NLT).
So don’t be so caught up with the past or future that you completely miss out on enjoying the present with your loved ones and seeing what He is showing you step by step. As you flow with the Lord one step at a time, you will ascend out of the pit of trouble and deep despair to the broad places He has for you (Ps. 40:2; 6:2; 118:5)!
In 2020, may you be brought higher to the greater treasures and broader spaces the Lord has for you. Not by your own might, but by His grace according to His Word, His wisdom, and His leading. It shall be effortless, restful, and at a pace that is in your favor. I pray this year you will experience what is prophesied in Amos 9:13 (MSG):
Your best year lies ahead as you begin to know and personally experience Jesus as the Lord of time and space. Blessed new year!
We also encourage you to listen to the message The Lord of Time and Space in full.