Was 2020 the strangest year ever? Take a tour of this year’s highs and lows from a prophetic perspective and decide for yourself.
Strangest Year Ever: Wars And Rumours Of Wars
OK, so maybe I'm stooping a little into “click bait” with the title, but IMO 2020 was indeed the strangest year ever.
Whatever way you cut it, 2020 has certainly been unusual, odd or just plain weird!
It’s been a difficult thing to describe. Words like “lockdown” and “unprecedented” featured in thousands of everyday conversations, let alone the news media. And don’t get me started on the other non-Covid events that affected us all, in one way or another.
As I have reflected on my personal circumstances and how my own country has reacted to the virus, I’ve been put in mind of just two things:
- 1Lockdown is the closest this generation has come to experiencing what it must be like under martial law and curfew. Except this isn’t a time of war and is (mostly) with the consent of the people.
- 2Every time I hear a “hands, face, space” radio broadcast reminding us to wash our hands, wear a mask and keep to social distancing, I’m reminded of science fiction stories. I lose count of the number of books, movies - and even games I’ve played - where you hear continual government announcements telling good citizens to comply or face the consequences (1984 anyone?).
But the strangest thing of all? This is real life.
An Overriding Theme
Looking back over my writing in 2020, I can see that some of it reflected on events very well, while one series of posts now seems oddly out of place.
The main themes I covered this year were:
Yep, I actually wrote several articles on how to allow more space for prophecy in your church service. And I even published them at a time when none of us could actually meet!
Perhaps they can be a prophetic statement for 2021? But don’t let me bias your opinion up front, I’ll let you be the judge as we look back over the year together.
2020 Will Be The Year Of The Prophet (A Prophecy For The Strangest Year Ever!)
2020 began innocently enough.
When I asked God about his purposes for the year ahead I, like many others in the church, saw the words “2020 Vision” burned across my retina.
And, also like many others, I proclaimed boldly that 2020 would be the year of the prophet.
Little did we know what was to come!
Overcoming Your Fear And What To Do If Your Gift Is Rejected
I believe that God did fulfil his “2020 Vision” word to us, just not in the way that most of us were expecting.
But at the beginning of the year, I had no idea of that, so I took a look at a couple of thorny subjects:
The latter message, in particular, seemed to resonate with my readers. And I received a number of comments and emails from Christians struggling in this area.
If you’ve been in the same situation (or you’re worried it might happen to you), then be reassured that there are ways of coping with it. You can check out the article here.
How Do I Know If I’m Called To Be A Prophet?
A lot of people ask questions around the prophetic calling, specifically whether they might be called to be a prophet.
Browsing the internet, I saw that there were many short posts on the subject. However, I noticed that few of them had any real detail and most left a lot of key information out.
So, I set out to write a comprehensive resource on the subject.
This turned into one of my longest articles to date, listing 17 different signs that you may be called to be a prophet. (I even set up a free online course to go with it!)
It obviously spoke to a lot of people because it has become the most visited post on the website! It goes without saying that I’m proud of this one.
Strangest Year Ever: Rumblings On The Horizon
By mid-February/beginning of March, there were rumblings on the horizon about the fast-approaching health crisis.
At the same time, I was invited to speak at our local branch of the Filling Station (AKA “Refuel”). My wife and I had already been attending these informal monthly meetings, so it was a pleasure to share my heart with them.
I talked about how Jesus used prophecy and how it should impact the leadership of the modern church.
The evening went very well and I also used it to advertise the prophecy school I was planning to run as a face-to-face event in September.
I went home tired, but pleased with the response.
…and then a few days later, lockdown hit!
Strangest Year Ever: Changing Plans
As I’m sure you’re very much aware, Coronavirus changed everyone’s plans.
Since Churches were no longer allowed to meet, I ended up being the last speaker to appear in person at the Godalming Filling Station.
The national Filling Station moved to conduct meetings online, but sadly, our local branch was eventually forced to close completely. I hope they can open their doors again at some point in the future.
Of course, my plans for the September prophecy school also had to change.
Originally, I felt the Lord challenge me to open up the local event to a much larger group of people than I had previously. However, I contented myself with running it online with just 2 attendees.
Strangest Year Ever: God’s Response
During this time, the Lord spoke to me about his response to the virus.
Like many a parent, I made a mad dash to pick my son up from university. And just in time too: the day after we arrived home, the national lockdown was made official.
Hearing the Prime Minister tell us to “stay in your homes” helped me understand something of what it must have been like for previous generations at the outbreak of World War 2.
However, in the midst of conflicting emotions, God was reassuring us that he is still at work.
His response to the situation was to show us how some things would be diverted and other things would be delayed. But he would use this “reset” period to work in the background in many people’s lives and bring about a release of power, later on.
You can find the full prophecy here.
Strangest Year Ever: Making Space For Prophecy
Then came a sequence of posts about the best ways to make space for prophecy in your church services.
We looked at how to use prophecy as a tool to release freedom and healing, by:
This was the series I mentioned earlier, that looking back, felt out of place when we weren’t able to meet.
However, I hope that it will become another resource for the church. As we pray about the new world we now live in, we must decide how to best incorporate spiritual gifts in worship.
Strangest Year Ever: Evil Of Racism Raises Its Ugly Head
In May, the world was rocked once more by the murder of George Floyd. The eye of the media was momentarily diverted away from the health crisis and to the subject of racism.
The reality, of course, is that racism isn’t a new thing and this terrible crime was not the first. It’s part of a long line of such crimes, perpetrated in many nations, not just the United States.
However, God was using it to bring the world’s attention to the plight of black Americans and other ethnic groups. He was using it as a wake-up call to the church too.
My personal response was to denounce racism for what it is: evil.
I didn’t fully realise how strongly I felt about the subject, until I started writing about it. But I also threw in a note of caution on how to avoid mistakes in the present and educate the next generation, so we can safeguard the future for all.
Strangest Year Ever: Troubles Abound
So many people have had their personal world rocked in 2020, either through the virus itself or the mental and economic consequences of it.
Several of our friends experienced bereavement during this time. Some were not even allowed the dignity of attending the funeral of their loved ones, due to the restrictions.
We too experienced bereavement when my mother-in-law died unexpectedly in July. We were allowed to go to her funeral, but were restricted in numbers.
There followed a period of frequent travelling and correspondence to sort out the empty house and related matters.
It wasn’t an easy time for our family, but we’ve been able to see God’s hand and his grace in it all.
Strangest Year Ever: Lighter Notes Too
It was perhaps a good thing that I had planned a lighter schedule of shorter posts in the third quarter of the year.
We looked at how to stay motivated to keep writing with God’s help, and asked, is Moses the greatest prophet of all time?
Then we discussed why there are so many translations of the bible, followed by some thoughts on the true nature of prophecy.
I finally rounded out the year with articles on:
We will all have a different take on the events of 2020, depending on our personal circumstances. But I believe that Christmas and the New Year are as good a time as any to remind ourselves that God is still in control.
No matter what has happened to us, good or bad, God is still good. He is able to bring goodness and light out of every situation, no matter how dire things seem on the surface.
He is the One who sent his only son into the world to be born as a baby, a human being, just like us.
Not only that, but he grew up, performed miracles to prove who he was. And ultimately, died a terrible death on the cross to show us his love.
But the story didn’t end there. He rose again from the dead and is now seated at the Father’s right hand. And he intercedes for us, for you and me, whatever our personal circumstances, right here, right now.
Let’s go forth into 2021 with all that he has done for us in mind!
How have you experienced God’s love and grace during the difficult times of 2020?
Let Us Know Your Answer In The Comments Area, Below.