I recently went to the Natal south coast (in South Africa) for a quick break, the intent was to reflect on 2020, and to seek and align my mind with God’s vision for 2021. I have huge excitement and expectations for the year to come, there are new ventures on the horizon, this after a year that had me taking a forced “gap” year, actually a bit more than a year…
I entered 2020 within the starting phases of a divorce, somewhat of a “distant” relationship with my daughter, sitting in unemployment and the financial restraints that comes with it, hustling to get a business up and running, a few in fact and all met with closed doors… I exited 2019 with quite a bit of battles to contend with. Stepping up in one area made me lose focus on another; trying to balance a life that once was familiar, but then thrown into the unknown in all aspects of life; what was normal and familiar to me had to be broken down and rewritten. I had absolutely no stability in any areas of my life. Fortunately for me, the Holy Spirit started rooting my feet in the Rock of all ages since mid 2019. Restoration was one of God’s promises (in actual fact, that is God’s intent for all of creation, restoration to completeness and wholeness) taking into consideration that the foundation of “me” was never really built on the Rock, so the renovation work had to deep delft to break down the foundation and my way of thinking. (Just a foot note for those waiting for restoration… ask the Holy Spirit to help you define restoration in line with God’s vision, do not rely on your own understanding, do not put expectations on something totally miss interpreted; you are most likely under estimating the magnitude of it, God doesn’t work in half measures. Also keep in mind that it is a process, it is not merely a breakthrough that happens overnight, but rather a step into and occupancy of the favor found in the promised land; stay close to the Holy Spirit at all times so that He can you guide you through the process, the sooner you get content with the process the sooner you will experience change).
While at the coast we went to visit friends. They have the most beautiful home, a typical beach style condo, with breathtaking views. I asked about the up keeping of such a beautiful place and the owner told me it was very hard work, explaining what they have done and still want to do to their place. He also spoke about beautiful creeper plants running up the one deck, saying “I just really hope these creepers will cover the whole wall, otherwise we will have to repair the cracks.”
I then met a new friend on New Year’s eve at this same friend’s house. He is a building contractor, and amazingly the Holy Spirit led the conversation to cracked walls, clearly the Holy Spirit wanted me to listen and learn, it is just too random to have 2 conversations about cracks in walls for entertainment’s sake. Thus, I made mental notes as the friend explained how he managed to master the art of crack and gap filling. A point taken from this conversation is that you need to know what caused the crack; Is it just the plaster or paint cracking, is it settling cracks, is it a weak foundations, or maybe damp…? By knowing the root cause you will be able to deal with the cause prior to repairing the cracks. The gent showed me photos of cracks he previously fixed; some of these cracks eventually became gaps wider than 5cm and running through the length of entire walls. After dealing with the root cause, he could chop open the cracks, fill it, plaster the wall and paint it again, with a very low likelihood that the wall will crack again.
These conversations triggered thoughts of our composition of spirit, soul and flesh, as explained in “Look at Me“. Let me explain my train of thought… The wall is our soul, thoughts and heart. The cracks are the brokenness, incompleteness, and pain in the “wall” caused by years of unmaintained and unaddressed hurt or unresolved issues. The creepers are the fleshly, carnal, animal instincts that naturally want to cover the cracks, unrepaired. Most of us have incompleteness (cracks) in our souls (walls), these areas of incompleteness need attention.
Similar to the process of crack filling, the Holy Spirit will reveal the cracks to us, He will then start leading us to the root cause of the cracks. It may be revealed in various forms such as trials and tribulations, to name a few. We now have a few options; ignore God’s calling and knocking to His vision of restoration and let the creepers cover the cracks with short lived earthly pleasures; or acknowledge the call, but only gently patch up the cracks with our own understanding of the vision of restoration, just to tend to it again at a later stage; or we can open the door, get content with the process and go through the full process of renovation which will possibly cause short lived pain, things will be revealed to us that will need to be chopped open or removed to be dealt with to ensure it doesn’t crack open again, walking healed out of it.
In my experience, 2019 (which was also a tough year) was the year of revealing cracks, hurt and incompleteness. I became aware of incompleteness and lack in my heart and soul. Areas of emotions that I allowed my heart to be fed with carnal and the animal instincts, areas that I did not allow the Holy Spirit to have an influence on to work towards restoration. Looking back now, I weren’t attentively aware of it as it took place, I now understand how certain things came about and why it happened the way it did. Keep in mind that we live forward and understand backwards.
Then 2020 happened… early in the year I attended a Men’s retreat, which mainly focused on “God the Father’s heart”, here God started working on and preparing my thinking process, He revealed areas in my past that needed attention, areas of rejection, areas where I was seeking human validation, areas of unforgiveness, areas of pain that I carried around for many years (the root causes of the same cracks revealed to me in 2019). The Covid19 lockdown then started at the end of March 2020 in South Africa, strict regulations kept us homebound for more than 3 months, this was enough time for the Holy Spirit to start influencing and renewing my thought process. I personally chose to practice social distancing from the news, social media and any external influences; and just kept on searching God’s presence. It was amazing, I loved it. Fast forward to a few months later, and the anxiety turned into peace, mourning turned into joy, pain turned into victory. All glory to God, I cannot pinpoint an exact time or event that transition took place, but I am now stronger than I have ever been, and at a state of peace that words can’t express. The Holy Spirit has taught me so much over the past 12 months. A year ago I was pleading daily with God to take the pain away, to remove me from the storm, but the Holy Spirit comforted me every step of the way, refusing to give up on me, “Chin up bro, this will not last forever, it is part of the restoration process, removing veils to open the heart’s understanding of the true vision of God and personally experiencing the Father’s love and peace.”
So, what’s the 2021 vision now that the main renovations are basically complete? Thinking about it, the answer is in the question; open my heart’s understanding with wisdom and knowledge to see God’s true VISION, aligning myself to it, and then take occupancy of it.
In Ephesians 1:15-20 Paul prays a prayer of wisdom and knowledge, that the Holy Spirit will enlighten our hearts with the true knowledge and vision of God, removing the veil so we can have clear understanding. In Genesis 13:8-18 Lot and Abram were separated (Lot means veil or covering in Hebrew), God gave Abram His vision as soon as this “veil” was removed from Abram. And that is exactly the vision for this year, “UNOBSTRUCTED GODLY VISION.”
Hallelujah!!! 2020 did us a favor by preparing us for FAVOR.