Like a turnstile, 2021 marks a year of turning. That was the image the Lord impressed on me right after midnight on New Year’s Eve. Here are watchwords and scriptures for us to consider so we’re prepared and in sync with Him as this season, this hour, these last-day moments unfold.
“I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what He will say to me.” —Habakkuk 2:1
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READING WATCHWORD TIME: 2 MINUTES.
READING TIME FOR WATCHWORD’S SCRIPTURES: 4 MINUTES.
WATCHWORD GIVEN: January 1, 2021, 12:01 am through 2:59 am.
Pivotal. That was the key word God showed me—which came with an image shared in this post—when I went to prayer during my regularly scheduled New Year’s Eve midnight-rendezvous with Him. To hear what my Father in heaven and my Messiah Jesus (Yeshua, His Hebrew name) had to say about the coming year.
Judaically speaking, midnight is said to have a duality at play, a push-pull of one force (gevurah) with another force (chesed). Gevurah means strength—interestingly, the watchword God had given me for 2020. The word gevurah is often aligned with “justice,” another watchword He’d given me last year, three times on Rosh Hashanah 5781 (morning of September 19, 2020).
On the other hand, chesed is unmeasurable/abundant lovingkindness, referring to God’s unflinching faithfulness/devotion, as in His character traits listed in Exodus 34:6-7.
So midnight is the convergence of both forces, yet with one giving way to the other—chesed leading to the light of day where God’s mercies are fresh every morning. More on that intriguing gevurah-chesed subplot in a future post.
GRACE & ACCESS
As the gates opened in prayer, repentance and the hour we stand in weighed on my thoughts and soul. Then the year’s numbers—2021—loomed large (larger than my height) and moved toward me, nearly embracing me.
This year will be big, meaning in importance. In fact, He drove home that point by showing me the word IMPORTANT three times during that first hour of prayer.
Along with that, I saw the word FAITH with the word TRUST coming out of the word faith, yet hinged within it.
Then a windowed turnstile appeared, similar to a department store or library doorway.
The word PIVOTAL was large before me.
I understood pivotal to be critical.
A pivotal—important, critical—year.
I asked, “But pivoting to what, Lord?”
And He said, “To Me.”
My prayer is that believers won’t become complacent or swept into whatever delusions—slick, confusing, strong, or otherwise—that are coming, but that they will turn, pivot, toward the Lord. And may we co-labor with Him, doing the work in the harvest fields so others may turn, pivot, to Him and be saved.
I sensed Isaiah 26 being impressed on me and that I was to write it down. Below are excerpts, verses (Judaic numbering) that pricked my soul as I copied them into my journal.
I’ve also included an insightful quote from the preacher of preachers Charles Spurgeon about vs. 20. Plus other scripture given to me in prep for that midnight rendezvous are mentioned below—they underscore the hour we are in and how we are to move from here.
[excerpts given, so please read/study the Isaiah chapter on your own]
(vs.1) We have a strong city—with walls and ramparts set by God for salvation, security. Open the gates so the righteous may enter, the one who remains faithful.
(vs. 3) The mind stayed on You, You’ll keep in perfect peace . . . peace, because he trusts in You.
(vs. 4) Trust in the Lord forever for the Lord is God, an everlasting Rock.
(vs. 5) He brought down those who dwell on high—the lofty city [the proud]—laying it low, even to the ground, even to the dust.
(vs. 7) The way of the just is straight, righteous, make plain the path of the just.
(vs. 8) In the way of Your judgments, Lord, we waited for You, for Your Name, even Your memory, is the desire of our soul.
(vs.9) With my soul have I desired You in the night—my spirit has sought You earnestly, for when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
(vs.10) The wicked person is shown compassion, but he doesn’t learn righteousness—he deals unjustly in the land of the upright and doesn’t perceive the majesty of the Lord.
(vs.13) O Lord, our God, other lords have ruled over us, but by You alone will we mention Your Name.
(vs.16-17) Adonai, in trouble, they’ve visited You; they poured out a prayer [when] Your chastening was upon them. Like a woman with child who draws near her delivery time and is in pain cries out in her pangs, so we have been in Your sight, O Adonai.
(vs.20-21) Come, my people, enter into your chambers, and shut your doors—hide for a little moment until the indignation crosses over [runs its course, passes], for behold, Adonai is about to come out of His place . . . to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity.
COMMENTARY: CHARLES SPURGEON, vs. 20
The highly-regarded pastor-teacher from the 1800s said:
“Enter into the secret chambers of communion with your Lord
where you’ll be shut out from the world.
Enter the chambers of defense where God will guard you.
Enter the chambers of devotion where God shall meet you.”
WATCHWORD SCRIPTURES: PREP FOR MIDNIGHT RENDEZVOUS
[excerpts given, so please read these chapters/verses on your own: Joshua 1:7-8. Matthew chapters 6-10. Proverbs 18:10. Psalm 143:5-8, 10-12.]
Be strong, very courageous . . . do and observe all the Torah that Moses my servant has commanded you. Don’t stray from right or left so that you succeed wherever you go.
[key takeaway points listed, not the five chapters]
(a) when you pray—ask but spend time listening too . . . no need to babble on because your Father knows what you need before you ask. Glorify Him, humble yourself: “When you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father who is in secret” (Matthew 6:6) and pray to Him “Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
(b) don’t worry or focus on stuff . . . let Him consume your soul so everything else is eclipsed—”Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be provided to you” (Matthew 6:33).
(c) watch how you treat others—“The way you judge, you will be judged and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:2).
(d) as believers, we’re sheep among wolves—so so be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent (harmless) as doves (Matthew 10:16)—and trust that God will guide you—”don’t worry about what to say or how to say it; at that time, you will be given what to say . . . the Spirit of your Father will be speaking through you” (Matthew: 10-19=20).
(e) preach that the Word for the Lord is at hand—and confess Him among others: “What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light and what you hear in the ear, proclaim on the housetops” (Matthew 10:27).
(f) we’ll be hated because of His Name—but we need to “endure until the end” (Matthew 10:22).
The Name of the Lord is a strong tower—the righteous quickly runs into it and is safe [per the Hebrew, to be inaccessibly high, too high to be captured].
PSALM 143: 5-6, 7-8, 10-12
I remember the days of old,
reflecting on all your deeds,
thinking about the work of your hands.
I spread out my hands to you,
I long for you like a thirsty land. (Selah)
Answer me quickly, Adonai,
because my spirit is fainting.
Don’t hide your face from me,
or I’ll be like those who drop down into a pit.
Make me hear of your love in the morning,
because I rely on you.
Make me know the way I should walk,
because I entrust myself to you.
Teach me to do your will,
because you are my God;
Let your good Spirit guide me
on ground that is level.
For your name’s sake,, Adonai, preserve my life;
in your righteousness, bring me out of distress.
In your grace, cut off my enemies;
destroy all those harassing me;
because I am your servant.
CREDITS: Lighthouse photo by Michael Krahn on Unsplash.com.
CREDITS: Turnstile photo by McGill Library on Unsplash.com.