The Year of the Reckoning – 2019!
By Stephanie Butler | Shekhinah International
I always take a 30 day sabbatical between December and the first few weeks of January. I find being intentional to rest from ministry work is important. This past December 2018, was no different. Unfortunately I did have more ministry interruptions than I had hoped resulting in less quiet time than normal. I felt a bit perturbed about it and quite frankly little guilty that I was so agitated until Holy Spirit reminded me “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me!” I had to laugh. A quick moment of repentance and my peace had returned.
This sabbatical experience was unique. After 10 years of working WITH God to build a unity movement in our region, God had finally brought us a new Executive Director and I was feeling such relief at the idea of having another laboring partner. The quiet was so enjoyable. I would spend hours in His presence but not really saying a much. I simply enjoyed being WITH God. It was comforting just knowing He was there and listening incase He wanted to share His heart. It was so refreshing. There was no pressure, no striving only an expectation of experiencing His goodness and His renewing grace.
I often talk to the Lord in the bathtub LOL. I can relax there. The door is locked so no kids, dogs or untimely interruptions. As I sat quietly listening one afternoon. I asked the Lord, is there anything you would like to say to me about what you are doing in America this coming year. I immediately heard, “This will be a year of The Reckoning.” Initially I was thinking, ‘wow, that does not sound good.’ I immediately knew it was a word of warning to those Christians who were partnering with the world and other non-christian leaders who were perpetuating evil, but as I prayed about it God continued to speak. I have preached on this at Shekhinah International but feel compelled to share more in depth with the broader body of Christ here today.
After hearing that word I had to do some research. I had to know what exactly does the term reckoning mean? I learned that reckoning is actually an accounting term. It literally means: A settling of accounts, a summing up, a persons opinion or judgement, the avenging or punishment of past mistakes or misdeeds, contention for ones place on a team or an appointment, when one is called to account for one’s actions, to pay one’s debts or to fulfill one’s promises or obligations. After reading this definition my heart was flooded with a plethora of insights from Holy Spirit. Including a flash vision of the moment when the finger of God wrote on the wall of the Babylonian King “Mene Mene Tekel Peres” in the book of Daniel chapter 5. The meaning of which Daniel, by the grace of Holy Spirit, interprets as being:
Mene Mene – “God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.”
Tekel – “You have been weighed in the scales and found wanting.”
Peres – “Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
Immediately, I knew there were shifts taking place both in the world-wide church and also in the governmental seats across the nations. Holy Spirit highlighted that “Mene” was mentioned twice in Daniel 5 and indicated God was going to decide many things with finality in 2019. As I am typing this I am hearing, “and once decided they will not be changed.” Now let me clarify this does not mean that His grace is not available through repentance nor that restoration is not available in time, but for this season, there will be consequences for compromise, hidden sin, stubbornness and rebellion.
This is a bit of a sobering thought, in light of the political tension, competitiveness and corruption we are seeing in our nation and world-wide. Many national prophets are saying we are going to see darkness and the light clash. In the natural this seems impossible, but in the spirit it is possible only because people have free will. As I pondered this a bit with Holy Spirit He began to show me that the only way the darkness and the light can clash is if those carrying the light keep their lights under a bowl.
“You are the light of the world. A town build on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way let your light shine before others, that they may see your GOOD deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16
The clashing will cease if we Christians, who are the carriers of the Light, begin to let our lights shine before others. Frankly, the light of Christ in us always dispels the darkness. That means in this hour God is asking us to not be silent but instead to stand up for what’s true, righteous and biblical in a way that honors God and is spoken in love. It is almost as if He was saying that our sin and compromise is not going to fly in this season. It is time for the reckoning. Historically if we look at the Israelites, when they were in disobedience to God’s ways, He always graciously gave them a season to shift back to obedience, often times the season consisted of years or decades. Father God allowed this giving time for them to repent. However, when the sin and compromise persisted and resulted in multiplied negative effects on the people God stepped in to stop it. (ex. Jeremiah chapter 44)
Back to Daniel, remember that in that story he was elevated with the new King Darius the Mede and the satraps [I keep seeing “sad – traps”] said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of His God.” Many leaders right now are surrounded by sad-traps who are sad and trying to set traps for you, so that they do not have to be out shined by God’s grace on you. Sometimes when we let our lights shine the sad-traps surrounding us begin to prepare their lions den plotting and scheming. I wonder at times if Daniel had built relationships with these guys and prayed for them if the outcome would have been the same. I cannot say, but they were so jealous, so angry, so unkind. The word never mentions any attempts on Daniel’s part to love them or reach out or to connect. Perhaps we can avoid the lion’s Den with a little bit of love.
This year of the Reckoning will be one where both those who are in the church or the world who have compromised, connived, schemed, manipulated, lied, cheated, murdered and those who have been humble, faithful, loving, patient, forgiving and kind will experience the following:
- A settling of accounts, a summing up, A persons opinion or judgement, the avenging or punishment of past mistakes or misdeeds, when one is called to account for one’s actions: Very literally in a spiritual sense for some they will have a negative balance because they have blatantly railed against God and His church or they have compromised with the world allowing sin to reign in their spheres of influence or to go unchecked. They will begin to lose their resources: people, finances, favor, jobs, relationships. (the wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteous) Those who have exalted righteousness, not compromised the message and continued to serve in love despite of the response of others – they will be entrusted with this provision. (all the wealth and prosperity that God gives, which is so much more than money as mentioned above.) The first fruits of which have already started to pour-in. If you are seeing them come your way celebrate because this is just the beginning.
- Contention for ones place on a team or an appointment: This will also be a season where leaders are either chosen or rejected for specific assignments to fulfill God’s purposes in this next season. There will be many who have been contending for specific realms of authority in a region, state or nation who will now either be appointed to the role by the Lord or rejected and have to go around the mountain of character tests again. Those who have chosen to advance His kingdom agenda will be positioned. Those who have remained silent, sought promotion for promotions sake, propagated their own selfish agendas or even the agenda of the enemy hoping for promotion, favor or influence will now pay the price. It is the day of the reckoning. I hear exposed, exposed, exposed. All will be told, and the webs of deception are being swept away. The plots that have been launched against God’s people that you thought would take years, to unravel the Lord is going to deal with it in one fell swoop. Like a woman cleaning a house with a broom sweeps the cobwebs from the ceiling so will it be for those who have been weaving these webs and causing chaos, division and hoarding his provisions and revelation. Decree it. It has been decided.
- To pay one’s debts or to fulfill one’s promises or obligations: For this I hear, “I the Lord will repay every debt you are owed, every broken promise that has been withheld, every revelation intentionally not shared, every slanderous word that has been spoken against you. The obligations they would not fulfill, I will fulfill myself. Watch and be amazed. I am the Lord, stop looking to the world, to men for deliverance, protection and reparations. Remember, I am the Lord your God.” Woe, Woe, Woe to those who with-held. I freely gave and you hoarded. I forgave you and like the ungrateful servant you beat your brothers demanding they pay you back. Repent!
While I was a little bit shaken after hearing this word. My heart was heavy and I of course started to intercede for the body of Christ to repent to shift and into more of the fullness of Christ. What I love about God is that He is Love. He always forgives us when we ask Him to and there is still time to repent, so if you need to take care of something – now is the time. Some might suggest that a loving God wouldn’t bring correction towards those He loves, but that simply isn’t true. In Christ we never ever have to worry about suffering judgement. Christ certainly paid the entire price for each of us. However God is a good Father and He always disciplines His children. In fact, the scripture says if we are not disciplined we are illegitimate children. Hebrews 12:8 “If you are not disciplined – and everyone undergoes discipline – then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.”
The enemy tries to condemn us and make us feel like we have messed up to bad or that God is never going to promote us again or that we cannot be used because we have simply missed our one chance. This is the farthest from the truth of who God is and how He loves us as His children. He disciplines us to train us for the very purpose of blessing us! This is the year of THE RECKONING but God is still love. (Hebrews 12:6 God disciplines those he loves…”) When God disciplines us, it is actually a sign that you are truly loved by Him. He cares enough not to promote you beyond the character capacity you possess for your own sake. Hebrews 12:7 ‘ Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. For what children are not disciplined by their Father?”
Because God is love and God is always good, even when He disciplines us or brings consequences to those who are not yet His children it is because He loves them. He does so in hopes that we will turn from those things that are destroying them and run into His loving arms. 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Somewhat like the wayward son in the story of the prodigal. The Father allowed the boy to take His inheritance and squander it, to engage in prostitution, eat pig slop and be deserted by all his friends, because this is what the boy believed would make him happy. If the boy hadn’t experienced those things to the full and finally realized they do not bring joy and fulfillment, he likely would have never returned to the Father, nor would he have so deeply appreciated the love of Abba’s embrace upon His return home. All that to say. If you need to repent this year, do it quickly, so you can remain in the Father’s House and enjoy His presence. For those of us that do so, we will be honored to prepare all the while for the wayward ones of the world to finally see that the sin they so relish right now is merely pig slop. We will be privileged to pray and prepare the house so that they too will return to our Father with us and be embraced, so we can throw the biggest party for them this side of heaven when they return! While this is the year of The Reckoning, you can run into the finish work of Christ and be protected from it all!