I believe that we can all agree that 2020 is one for the record books. Many are exhausted, frustrated, overwhelmed, and simply confused within all the chaos that surrounded this unique year. Going into the year many had high expectations and if we are honest with ourselves, no one recognized the magnitude of the challenges that we would endure. From social distancing, lockdowns, washing our hands, face mask, virtual meetings, virtual school, loss of employment, no indoor dining, no holiday gatherings, no parties, no hospital visitations, no funeral services, and sadly…having to say goodbye to the ones who crossed over into eternity. Without a doubt it has been a very troubling year. However, the year wasn’t a complete waste. Babies were born, families were reunited, marriages took place, homes were sold and bought, students graduated high school and college, people started new jobs, supernatural healings occurred, salvations took place, the baptism of Holy Spirit was received, many were baptized in water, books were published, podcast were launched, birthday’s were celebrated, and much more. All of 2020 wasn’t the nightmare that our minds will convince us that it was. Nevertheless, like any year before, all years must come to its end and roll over into a new one.
There is no magic that suddenly takes place between 11:59 (12/31) and 12:00 (1/1). You won’t ring in the new year and no longer endure the hardships that were within 2020. Many of the trials we have dealt with will still cross over into the new year. They may fade away with time, but they will not simply stop because of a date on a calendar. As we begin the new year, sadly we will still be facing the sphere of COVID-19. We will still have to deal with face mask, social distancing, lockdowns (specific locations), the possibility of virtual school and meetings, vaccines, and much more. Contrary to what one would hope, this isn’t going away as quickly as we all would desire it to.
Currently there has been a growing divide taking place within the Body of Christ. From the pandemic to the election, this division is gaining more and more momentum. Personally I am heartbroken by the lack of spine that many professing Christians have demonstrated lately. There is an ever growing call to be a peacekeeper, rather than a peacemaker. The peacekeepers are willing to give in and give up whatever the mob mentality demands. They do so in order to keep a popular opinion of peace. Peacekeepers want to remain neutral at all cost, never appearing to be controversial. Whereas, we all need to understand that peacemaking is not the absence of conflict. Peace (according to the Bible) should never be confused with pacifism, and/or the avoiding of strife. As Christians, we are never instructed to run from conflict (even in turning the other cheek). Peacemakers don’t put their head in the sand, hoping that the conflict will end because of their silence. This modern idea of peace at any price is no where near any biblical command. Any leader in the Church today, who is willing to skim over problems, in order to act like everything is alright, when it is not, is not a peacemaker. So, what are we to do?
Recently I did a podcast interview for a good friend of mine who asked me what I was hearing the Lord say concerning the new year. My response, “I genuinely believe that 2021 is a year to trim the wick.”
Matthew 25:7 says it this way, “Then all those virgins got up and put their own lamps in order [trimmed the wicks and added oil and lit them].”
When we look at every event that is taking place, we are very quick to point out that it is ripe for a spiritual harvest. Many are talking about how these events are truly shaping up to a great end time harvest and/or a third great awakening. Honestly, I tend to agree. However, I genuinely believe that it will get a lot more darker before we see the outpouring. Please hear me out and don’t be so quick to label me as doom and gloom. There is a greater purpose. We know that the Lord will separate the wheat from the chaff. We know that the Lord will protect the lambs from the wolves. We also know that the darkness can never consume the Light, whereas light always overcomes the darkness. I look back at the recent few years and see a steady and rising trend of wickedness, darkness, manipulation, greed, lust, envy, jealousy, and demonic strongholds. You now can’t watch a tv program and/or movie without the agenda of the LGBTQ being implemented into our culture. Abortion is at an all time high. Sexual promiscuity is a welcomed way of life. I could go on and on with different examples, but I do believe you understand that sin is abounding across the world.
All of these things are pointing to a potential and sincere move of God across the Nations of the earth. However, God will not simply move because sin is abounding. God will move because of those who are in covenant with him, and their willingness to make preparations for His Glory. With that said, I do believe that we will continue to see the increase of darkness. It will get a lot more worse before it gets better. Don’t give up and don’t give in. God isn’t shaking on His throne because darkness is increasing. There will be a remnant who trim their wicks and add oil to their lamps. 2021 is going to be a year in which your wick must be trimmed. In order for your lamp to shine at its brightest (spiritual speaking) it must consist of oil, and a clean (pure) wick. The wick is what makes light possible to be seen, yet it is useless without oil. A key to remember, for a wick to burn effectively, it must be thoroughly soaked in oil. Why is this important to remember? It’s actually the oil that burns, not the wick. Nevertheless, without a wick the oil would ignite and be consumed quickly. Think of lighting a dry wick. You will get a burn that produces smoke with very little to no flame. The wick without the oil never achieves its full potential.
As a wick burns, it collects debris along the top, which is the charred dead edge. When your wick has debris, it can be a type and shadow to familiarity that produces complacency in your life. You know enough of the Word to get by. You quote Scripture for common situations, and spiritually you begin to take His Word for granted. There’s no new growth, your knowledge becomes stale and you’re not growing up spiritually. Your flame burns smoke, but because it has the appearance of things, the reality is that no one but you recognize it. Discernment is now compromised to a point where deception is welcomed in. There are many in the Body of Christ who must learn to trim their wicks in order to burn brighter than before. We have settled for a tiny flame while complaining about the invasive darkness. We have been waiting on the invitation for influence, while missing our opportunity to invade and overthrow the darkness. 2021 will be a year for you to trim your wick that the Light of Christ within you will shine greater than before. It will take discipline. It will take the willingness to be sanctified more than before. It will also take some forms of separation. If the world cannot detect your covenant relationship with The Father, why would the world want to be transformed into the image of Christ? After all the world is doing a better job of transformation.
Often we fail to shine His Light in the everyday moments simply because we fail to burn. When we determine to be purposeful in shining His Light, it is the acknowledgment of the illuminating of Christ, that comes from the kindled wick. However, it is impossible to shine unless it (you) first burns. We must never forget that. If you are willing to shine, it’s only because you are first committed to burn. Too many of us want to shine, but are unwilling to be dedicated to the work in preparing to pay the cost that must be faced with in order to illuminate. The wick wastes away inch by inch as it gives light to the darkness, but never without the burning from the oil within the lamp. Lastly, when a wick is trimmed to a sharp central point, it will burn at its best potential. The shape seems to create the best flame, giving the purest light. Think on this for a moment. Now think of how the Word of God is sharper than a two-edged sword. The Ekklesia must continually keep the Word honed in at all times. We have to continually keep the edges clean, ensuring that we haven’t collected things that are incorrect, that don’t belong, that compromise the flame. The darkness isn’t our doom and gloom, rather it’s our invitation to trim the wick that we may shine the Light brighter than before. Though the world is in turmoil, the Kingdom is being equipped and advanced. The harvest is indeed ready, but the laborers are few. God is willing to prune you. Are you ready to trim the wick and add the oil? Prepare the lamps!