The calendar has clicked over to 2019 and many of us are wondering and praying about the coming year.
What is in store for our families and the world in the year of our Lord 2019? What personal assignments does God have for you this year?
As usual, in this first blog of 2019, I will attempt to give you a 30,000 foot view of some of today’s issues and what they mean.
Here’s my view of the world in 2019.
This week an amazing “dream” came true when Jerusalem became officially recognized as the Jewish capital via the moving of the U.S. embassy. Other nations “sit on the fence” regarding this bold change, but a few others are following suit.
Yes, there was defiant reaction from the Arab world and over 50 deaths as a result of violence at the border. But the re-location was a right, for many reasons.
President Trump gets the lion’s share of credit by honoring a campaign promise no other U.S. president had the guts to achieve. Credit should also be given to Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security adviser John Bolton, and others behind the scenes who had the courage to work on this epic change.
On the other side of the world, plans are now in place for a summit meeting between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to decide the fate of nuclearization of the hermit kingdom, possibly leading to the eventual unification of the Korean Peninsula.
Heady stuff. Momentous global happenings.
It appears to me that dream releasers are at work.
Are you a dream releaser?
One of the books I use frequently in my classes at Faith International University is Wayne Cordeiro’s Doing Church as a Team. Wayne is the founding pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship, with multiple church extensions throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
New Hope is a great partner to YWAM and I’ve spoken in some of their churches. My students strongly identify with Wayne’s book because it is honest, down-to-earth, practical, easy to read, and loaded with revelation on many subjects.
Cordeiro believes in empowering people–being a dream releaser–to see and realize their potential in God. He wants every believer to use those gifts in the Church and fulfill their purpose in extending God’s Kingdom. Here’s the clarion call:
“There’s nothing more spectacular than seeing people’s dreams released and being used for the glory of God. There’s no greater joy.”
Wayne is a dream releaser.
So is President Trump, regardless of what you don’t like about him. He should win a Nobel Prize for what he’s doing on the world scene.
The nation of Israel miraculously celebrated its 70th birthday this month and the “present” that President gave to them is what every sovereign nation deserves–the right to choose its capital.
Gary Randall described the joyous occasion this way:
“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the US delegation last night in Jerusalem—on the eve of the day America, the most powerful nation in the history of the world, officially moves its embassy to Jerusalem—affirming that Jerusalem is indeed the capital of Israel.”
“Other nations will follow America’s leadership, but not all. Before our eyes, significant history is happening. Promises are being kept.”
“Netanyahu said last night at a reception, ‘Our people will be eternally grateful for [President Trump’s] decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the American Embassy here tomorrow.’”
“Among those in the audience were Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog; Christians United for Israel founder John Hagee, American lawyer Alan Dershowitz; new Republican National Committee finance chairman Todd Ricketts; Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Ted Cruz (R-SC), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Mike Lee (R-UT); Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), American Jewish Committee chair David Harris; Guatemalan Minister of Foreign Affairs Sandra Jovel Polanco, and many others.”
“Netanyahu praised President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem and transfer the embassy there, ‘It’s been the capital of the Jewish people for the last 3000 years,’ he said. ‘It’s been the capital of our state for 70 years. It will be our capital for all time.'”
“He said, ‘It took a President Trump to enunciate a simple basic truth.'”
Yes. Nations can choose their own capitals.
In this case, it looks like God Himself had a multi-millennium plan in selecting the capital city of His chosen people. The U.S. Administration, in 2018, helped to release that dream once again.
“When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed” (Psalm 126:1).
Some followers of Christ don’t believe that the resurrection of the Jewish nation means much to history. They think God has “replaced” the Jews with the Church due to their disobedience over the centuries. This is called replacement theology.
They might be right. It’s the Church that is currently extending God’s Kingdom to the ends of the earth.
But I personally think they’re wrong. Israel’s nationhood and now capital city in Jerusalem is too big a “sign” of God’s reality to overlook or explain away. A dream is being released.
But there’s another.
On the other side of the world another dream appears to be emerging.
On June 12, 2018, President Donald Trump and his team will sit down with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore to begin the process of ending the eighty year Korean War, division of the Korean Peninsula, and denuclearizing of the north.
The first news of this stunning breakthrough came when three political prisoners of North Korean gulags saw their dreams answered–thanks to American leadership.
Who are the Americans freed by North Korea?
Kim Dong Chul is a naturalized U.S. citizen born in South Korea, who was seized in North Korea on October 2, 2015 and accused of spying. Though a resident of Virginia – he became an American citizen in 1987 – Kim had lived with his wife in Yanji, China since 2001. He worked just across the North Korean border in Rason-Sonbong where he ran a hotel services company. He was also a pastor. After a one-day trial in April, he was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor for his supposed espionage.
Kim Hak-song, in his mid 50s, was born in Jilin, China, and educated at a university in California. He had been working for the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), founded by evangelical Christians overseas in 2010, undertaking agricultural work with the school’s farm. He was arrested at a Pyongyang railway station in May 2017 on suspicion of committing “hostile acts” against the government as he was boarding a train headed for Dandong, China.
Kim Sang-duk is a former professor at Yanbian University of Science and Technology in China, close to the Korean border. He was arrested in April 2017 at Pyongyang’s main airport as he tried to leave the country after teaching for several weeks as a guest lecturer. He graduated from the University of California Riverside in 1990 with a master’s degree in business administration and had been involved in relief activities for children in rural parts of North Korea. A source described Kim as a ‘religiously devoted man.’
These three men saw their dreams of freedom realized when they landed at Andrews Air Force base early in the morning of May 10, 2018 and were welcomed home by the Trumps. Tears flowed freely. So did hope for a strategic part of the world.
In you’re an American, ponder this: Imagine that eighty years ago militant thugs took over everything west of the Continental Divide. They killed millions, imprisoned thousands, and cut off all communication with the eastern half of the nation–including families. Over eight decades, everyone in the western U.S. began to starve, while the eastern United States became prosperous.
How would you feel, pray, or dream of change?
That’s what happened to the Korean Peninsula since World War II. A totalitarian “wall” divided a once proud and godly people into slaves and free.
I’m been to South Korea many times, preached in their churches, and prayed for the re-unification of this passionate and vigorous people. As Germany was re-united after the fall of the Iron Curtain, let’s pray that some vestiges of the Bamboo Curtain will be swept away from Korean soil. This remains the dream of the Korean people–and certainly one that comes from the heart of God.
Yes, Jesus is the true Dream Releaser. He died for our sins, longs for our good, and has plans for individual lives and nations (Jeremiah 29:11-14).
As a teacher, during this last third of my life, I find myself being drawn more and more to cheer leading, encouraging, and being a dream releaser of all those who will listen. I want them to know their gifts, find their place in Jesus’ army of love, and help release the dreams of the Trinity upon everyone on Planet Earth.
Are you tracking with that–with Him–to be a dream releaser of others?
Inspire someone today in the cause of world evangelism and the consummation of Christ’s Coming Kingdom.
The New Jerusalem.
It’s interesting how many people divide life into sacred and secular–as if “reality”” can be parceled into two different sectors.
For example, many writers on politics and world affairs rarely mention God, His principles or His purposes. They talk about political parties, issues, national affairs, and “worldly stuff” (secular)–as if God and His Kingdom don’t exist.
Others write about missions, prayer, world evangelism etc. and never seem to mention the things that are happening in the “world” that greatly affect these thrusts.
Here’s my perspective on the world–2018–from both a political and spiritual perspective. You can’t understand one without the other.