Future Focus 2024 - Five things the Lord has sent us towards...
Future Focus 2024: Five Things the Lord is Moving Us to in the New Year
As we move into 2024, there is nothing more sure than His presence!
The turn of a new year is always a checkpoint in our culture. New year's resolutions, goal setting, and a fresh start is on most people's minds. The Lord acts and speaks through our cultures, taking advantage of things we adhere to as a people. So with that as a background, I was speaking to the Lord this last month and He impressed on me five things we will be moving towards in this next year.
1) Lead with Prayer
2) Saturate in the Word
3) Secure Your Base - Identity
4) Arm for Battle
5) Release the Kingdom
Here are some backgrounds and scriptures for these points as we begin to move forward together.
1) Lead with Prayer:
Luke 18:1-8 - "Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: "There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, 'Get justice for me from my adversary.' And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, 'Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.'"
Then the Lord said, "Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"
Prayer is not a magic incantation, or made better for its flowery words. It is intimate communication.
This year, I believe the Lord wants us as a people to make prayer the court of first resort, rather than the court of last resort. We will work it out in practical ways: special prayer times, an emphasis on it in personal and public meetings, creating habits of prayer before during and after the need!
At Fusion, we already have the highest priority of our life together to minister to the Lord in intimate worship, praise and thanksgiving...this one will be fun to add to that!
Look for a brand new weekly worship & intercession time, "Harp and Bowl" during the day in early 2024.
2) Saturate in the Word:
Psalm 119:11 - "Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You." There has been a famine in the land, not of bread, but of engaging with and applying the word of God to our lives. If you only ate on Sundays once a week, or once a month, you would be in sad shape indeed!
Our teachings on Sunday are designed to give you insight into what the Lord is saying to us as a people first, but they will never replace your time in the word! Our classes are designed to bring you into both an encounter with the word and His Spirit, equipping you to do the works of Jesus, but a daily habit of being in the word will sustain you in ways classes can't.
When you get to the end of this article we have links to help you do a daily time in the word. As, well, if you are in the Greeley area, I will be hosting a Life Journal time at our building on Tuesday's at 6:30am starting February 6th! All you need to bring is some coffee (we will have tea), a pen, a journal, your Bible, a reading plan (LIFE JOURNAL!) and your capture device for the little things that will come up so you can record them.
3) Secure Your Base:
As I have been interacting with different leaders in the body of Christ over the last month or so, what the Lord showed me is a key to us moving forward. You will begin to hear a lot about our identity with Jesus and union with Christ. We are no longer to live with the enemy stealing our identity, but we are to apprehend our identity
Identity begins with understand the love and commitment of our Father. Romans 8:14-17, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together."
Identity continues with the understanding of being in Christ and Christ being in us. UNION with GOD. Bill Johnson has remarked, “What if we used faith to recognize the One that we live in and the One who lives in us?” This had been a practice of mine for a few years. If there was a title for this practice, it would be called “recognizing union with God” or “practicing the presence.”
When we apprehend our identity it is impossible to be apprehended for anything else! Believe it or not, the upcoming class which we are sponsoring, "Deliverance: Training for Freedom" will have as much or more to say about identity as it will about battling the schemes of the enemy. You can sign up for that class here.
4) Arm for battle:
This is a word the LORD spoke to my heart last year as I was seeking Him. ”Get ready for I want to bring deliverance to Fusion. I will begin to send those who need freedom and I want you to be ready.”
Needless to say, that got my attention. It reminded me that Jesus told the original apostles to “teach them (that’s us as well) to do everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19). If you look at His commands to the disciples, it includes, “cast out demons” (Matthew 10;1, 7-8). My response to what the Lord spoke to myself and others is, as always, “Yes, Lord!”
To that end, we are hosting an eight week, 2 hour training class that would begins January through part of March, right after our annual Vanguard conference, which takes place January 12-14 (you can sign up for Vanguard here). The training will be on Tuesday evenings at the Gallery and it will have some of the highest quality material available for beginners and those with experience in this area. I encourage you to, sign up here. The cost of $25 includes materials.
Now, understand that this will not be the only thing we do regarding deliverance. My goal is to have every believer that comes to Fusion equipped to do all the works of Jesus, but it is the first thing in response to what the Lord said. There will other opportunities to be a part of this vital work of Jesus.
5) Release the kingdom:
The commission of Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20, "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen" is more than a call to street evangelism, but a call to change the world through the kingdom of God being demonstrated and proclaimed.
What would that look like at work, school, in the grocery store, the gas station, etc. It is simple and less weird than you think. God is calling us to impact our world and to see real, practical changes in our communities!
We can do this together in Him! Real change can come to our neighborhoods, to our communities and our world. This year we will be talking about and experimenting with real practical ways to bring this about.
As I sit with the Lord and look at all the things in front of us, I realize why He started with, "lead with prayer". Apart from Him, we can do nothing! So join me in praying into this year, now and each day, and come on, let's change the world together!
With love and affection,
Pastors Doug and Janice Burroughs