At the close of each year, I will earnestly seek the Lord for His word for the new year, for our church and those who follow my ministry. If you’ve been listening to me for a while now, you will know that we call it the “theme of the year.” This year is no different. I have heard from the Lord, and I can’t wait to share with you His theme for us for 2019!
Zechariah 10:1 says that in the time of the latter rain, “the Lord will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone.” This is the year you are going to experience, not a drizzle, not just mercy drops, but showers of His blessings. It is the year you will see your harvest—tangible manifestations of the breakthroughs you have been believing God for!
In Israel, rain is always a blessing much needed for the successful growing and harvesting of crops. There are generally two rainy seasons mentioned in Scripture: the early or former autumn rain (October to November) and the latter spring rain (March to April). With the former rain, farmers begin ploughing and planting seeds. Then, the latter rain, which is even more important, matures the crops for harvesting.
Have you been planting seeds of faith for some time? Then get excited because this year you will see your harvest! If you have been believing God for the healing of a medical condition, expect to see it happen this year. Expect to walk in greater health. Perhaps what you have been asking God for is the restoration of a relationship, or a breakthrough in your career. Well, believe it is coming to pass this year!
Zechariah 10:1 says, “Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain” (boldface mine). It may be the season, but God still wants you to ask Him for the rain. Don’t have this attitude that whatever will be will be. No, come in line with God’s word for you this year by asking Him. Prayer positions you to receive what He already wants to give you. Prayer allows Him to intervene, and make possible every impossible situation (see Luke 18:27)!
God loves it when you ask Him, because you are looking up to Him and not to man. The first time the term “latter rain” appears in the Bible is here:
God says, “I will give you the rain for your land.” He is the one who gives His people the rain. Back then in the promised land, after the Israelite farmers planted their seeds, they would pray to God for rain, and God would send it from above in due season. Contrast this with how the Israelites had to water their seeds “by foot” when they were slaves in Egypt (Deut. 11:10–11). In Egypt (a picture of the world), water also had to be drawn from the Nile. All this involved backbreaking labor!
God has a better way for you. He wants you to look up and ask Him for the latter rain. This year, when you read scriptures like Isaiah 58:8, “Your healing shall spring forth speedily,” tell the Lord, “Yes, Lord, do it for me. Do it for . . . (put the name of your loved one here)!” Look to Him rather than your own human efforts. And without strife and stress, freely receive His showers of blessings!
Spiritually speaking, the early rain can represent the blessings and miracles the early church experienced. Acts 5:14–16 tells us that the sick who were brought to church “were all healed.” Every sick person who came got healed! If that could happen with the early rain, how much more the latter rain? Believe God this year that you will experience supernatural healing!
Deuteronomy 11:14 also talks about gathering in “your grain, your new wine, and your oil.” The grain (bread) and wine speak of the Holy Communion. The oil speaks of the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Maybe you are suffering from a chronic condition, and for months or even years you have been partaking of the Holy Communion regularly, believing God for a breakthrough. My friend, I believe you will see the manifestation of your healing this year.
This year, as you continue to partake of the bread and the cup, ask God for a fresh revelation of Jesus. Don’t just partake of the Communion as a ritual. Don’t rush through it. Take time to meditate on how the Lord suffered for you to be healed. Meditate on how much He wants you healed, and your healing WILL manifest—thirty-fold, sixty-fold, and then a hundredfold in this season of the latter rain!
What about the oil, which represents the anointing of the Spirit?
Oil lubricates creaking hinges and tight gears so they work smoothly and efficiently. Spiritually speaking, when God’s anointing is on you, things go smoothly for you.
There is a refreshing and an ease to do what you need to do. When you pray, there are amazing results and yokes are destroyed (see Isa. 10:27). When you speak, people listen—divine wisdom flows and problems get solved. In your relationships, the oil of the Lord prevents friction and strife. Wherever you go, things work with ease in your favor because God’s anointing is on you!
His anointing is not just on you but also in you to lead you. First John 2:20 says, “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.” This anointing within you will lead you in your daily affairs. It is a knowing on the inside that leads you in what to do, what to say, and whom to trust. This anointing will show you whether to go ahead with a decision or hold back. And God is going to increase this anointing in you this year!
The latter rain also brings about a blessed family life. If you read Deuteronomy 11:21 (a few verses after God talks about the latter rain), it says, “That your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth.”
Has the enemy stolen from you in the area of your family? Are there broken relationships within your family? Do you have a child who is suffering from a chronic condition? Beloved, God’s heart for you is to enjoy your marriage, your children, and every aspect of family life.
This year, expect many good days for you and your family. See Him restoring every strained relationship and giving you quality time with your spouse and children. And as your days and those of your children are multiplied, expect that all of you will live long, healthy lives; none of your lives will be cut short this year. Jesus died young at the age of thirty-three so that we can live long, abundant lives and enjoy days of heaven on earth with our loved ones!
You may be familiar with the verse, “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten” (Joel 2:25). But do you know that in the Bible, this blessing is in the context of God’s giving of the former and latter rains (see verse 23)? That means this year, you can expect God’s blessing of restoration regardless of the scale of destruction caused by the swarming locust.
Perhaps you have wasted many years because of bad decisions or a destructive lifestyle. Maybe you’ve lost much to a sickness or physical condition. Friend, God can restore to you the years and the health you’ve lost. He is more powerful than all the principalities and powers that tried to rob you. It’s not over. It’s not hopeless. I believe the best days and years of your life are right before you!
Maybe you are thinking, With all the mistakes I’ve made, I’ll never be righteous enough to deserve God’s restoration or any of His blessings.
Beloved, you are righteous before God today not by your good behavior, but by believing in Jesus and receiving His righteousness as a gift (see Rom. 5:17, 2 Cor. 5:21). And this revelation is key to releasing the latter rain in your life.
Joel 2:23–26 tells us that before God causes your harvest of wheat, wine, and oil to overflow, before He restores all the years you have lost, before you “eat in plenty and be satisfied,” God first gives you “the former rain faithfully.”
Now, the Hebrew word used for “the former rain” here is “moreh,” which means “teacher” or “teaching.” And the word “faithfully” is “tzedakah,” which means “righteousness.”
Simply put, the latter rain will fall on you when you believe that your righteousness is not based on your works but is yours as a gift. The more you receive and believe this teaching of righteousness, the more you will have faith to ask Him for every need. Sin will lose its hold on you. And you will experience God’s amazing restoration, robust health, and family blessings in an unprecedented way this year!
I believe 2019 is going to be your greatest year yet. It may get darker and darker for those in the world, but for us, it will be a time of harvest, a time of being inundated with His overflowing, manifested blessings (see Joel 2:24)!
Where will all this happen?
God’s “showers of blessing” are best experienced when His people gather together. Ezekiel 34:26 says, “I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing.”
Here, "My hill" refers to Mount Zion, where God has established His church (see Heb. 12:22–23). If you are not yet planted in a local church, I would like to strongly encourage you to find a good grace-based church, where you can find love, support, and wise counsel, to call home.
The more you come to God's house, and hear about His goodness toward you, and His righteousness given to you as a gift, the more you will experience not mercy drops but showers of His blessings. You will be so drenched your friends, colleagues, and relatives will notice that you are different—strong, stable, joyful, wise, highly favored, and lacking nothing!
Blessed new year,
We also encourage you to listen to the message, Release the Blessings of the Latter Rain, in full.