2011 Theme: Make GOD Greater!
“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Jeremiah 29: 5-7 NIV
Prospering While in Captivity: If you have ever endured a season of hardship, disappointment, regret, or long-suffering then you not only know how captivity feels but its effects. In some instances we bring captivity upon ourselves, but it appears more difficult to endure when you have been forced into captivity. It is like an innocent person being sentenced to life, having to be robbed of a promised future and denied a purpose driven life. You may currently be in a season of captivity right now and feel as though it is useless to dream or hope until the season ends. Why start preparing for marriage and you have been single for five years? Why start educating yourself now and you can’t start college until next year? Why start working on a debt free plan now and you don’t have the income you desire? Why start exercising today and you have a major upcoming surgery? When the children of Israel were placed into captivity under the rule of the Babylonians, they endured seasons of defeat, hopelessness and no will to live. They knew eventually a generation would be released and they probably just wanted to exist through the exile and not live through it.
“This is what the LORD says; ‘You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you’ says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you…I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” Jeremiah 29: 10-14 NLT
Spiritual Manifestation: If anyone has ever been repeatedly disobedient and sinned against the LORD, it was Israel. GOD allowed them to be placed into captivity and yet He still had their best interest in mind. Regardless of the reason you are in a season of captivity, GOD has allowed it. This season is not meant for you be idle, fruitless or hopeless. You are meant to prosper even in your captivity. GOD did not instruct Israel to just wait until He released them and then they start living. Instead, He instructed them to live amongst those strangers that are ruling over them and to benefit from their land. This was not the time for them to decrease in numbers or in strength. Disaster was not their destination. They were to pray for their enemies. An inmate who was sentenced to life did not go into his cell existing until death arrived. He exercised his mind, body and spirit. He became an even bigger threat to his adversaries while in prison until they had to release him. Nelson Mandela was held captive, but he prospered while in captivity. His refusal to just exist while in exile, allowed a nation to prosper. Mandela had hope for a promised future. The LORD has promised to bring you back to the place He established for you before captivity and to restore your fortunes. And even though you have been sowing in tears you will reap in joy (Psalms 126:5). Do not remain idle during this season. GOD wants to prosper you. Make GOD greater in this SEASON!
With Love in the Spirit,
Evangelist SJ Hastings
Spirit Realm Divine Manifesto