2022 Firstfruits Year > Breakthrough (Spring)
Dear brothers & sisters, friends & teammates, fellow pilgrims & companions,
I’ve had a mysterious beginning to my new year.
For the first time in my career, I have begun to enjoy my dream salary. After twelve years of exploring different ministry careers and five years of fundraising for my dream job, I finally achieved my goals by God’s grace and because of your prayers and generosity.
I wrote to you in December about God’s special word for me in 2022: Firstfruits. He said that all year, I will personally experience and witness in the lives of others the firstfruits blessing of his heavenly kingdom. And I have. Already, over and over again, I’ve seen whispers and glimpses of firstfruits in my own life and in the lives of my friends. I’ve also seen a lot of my friends and companions deeply longing to receive a firstfruits blessing.
Because I have been so focused on fundraising to achieve my financial goals, I was shocked when I realized that we had the funds at Blazing Trees for me to begin paying myself the full salary I’ve desired for many years, starting in the new year. And when it happened, I was confused and unprepared for what it would feel like to experience the fullness of God’s provision for me. It felt foreign, and I was detached from it for the first few months. It felt like it was happening to someone else, and I was just watching.
What has God been teaching me about Firstfruits? I have a friend named Jake who also receives a “word for the year” every December from the Holy Spirit. God spoke the words Seek First to Jake, and that’s his prayer focus for the year. We share the word “first” in our revelations from God. Our Heavenly Father has confirmed over and over, every moment and every day, that his heart for all of his sons and daughters is for us to seek him first and always: to abide, rest, listen, hear, receive, believe, enjoy, and trust.
What I’ve enjoyed more than anything else this year is the freedom to be with our Lord Jesus: resting in his presence, listening to his Word, discerning his plans for our mission team, filling up with his power and wisdom, and serving many broken and hurting leaders around the world who need compassion and trustworthy advice from a faithful friend.
For me to be a vessel of God’s heavenly fruit here on earth, I must seek him first and abide in him always. As you know, there’s so many distractions and temptations to slowly seduce us away from the Holy Spirit and live as hypocrites in a self-idolizing society.
I can summarize what I’ve learned so far this year in this way: every day of our lives will be a constant battle to abide with the Holy Spirit and trust in our Father’s will. We dwell in an environment of incessant spiritual warfare; however, the Holy Spirit within us is greater than our enemies. We will overcome. I’m blessed to fight at your side in this great battle.
Spring Season: Breakthrough
Last year, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that Firstfruits would take three forms this year: 1) break through, 2) rise up, and 3) open wide. The vision God gave me was a seed planted in good soil. As the rains come, the seed breaks open and the roots dig down. Next, the stalk rises up through the soil into the air. Finally, the flower opens wide preparing to reproduce. He told me that I would witness this firstfruits pattern all year long.
I want you to think for a moment about areas of your life and the lives of those around you that need breakthrough. Here’s my personal definition of breakthrough: the extraordinary joy of watching God do something miraculous and unexpected in a situation where I’ve prayed and waited for an answer for a long time, but grown weary with the waiting and almost given up hope that anything will ever happen.
That old rugged cross we carry seems to be heavier and more of a burden at various times throughout our lifelong pilgrimage to Zion City. Consider the persistent widow who never gave up asking for justice from someone unlikely to ever grant her request:
The Lord Jesus said, “Listen to what the unfair judge said. God will always give what is right to his people who cry to him night and day, and he will not be slow to answer them. I tell you, God will help his people quickly. But when the Son of Man comes again, will he find those on earth who believe in him?” (Luke 18:6-8 NCV)
If this judge who despised God and withheld justice from everyone in his community finally relented and gave the widow what she asked for, how much more will our Heavenly Father who loves justice and cares deeply for his people give us what we ask for in his perfect timing? God is not unjust or slow to act; he will move when he is ready.
If you’re like me, the greatest struggle of following Jesus is in the waiting and trusting: waiting on God in a situation where you desire breakthrough right now, and trusting him when his answer is different than what you requested. Sometimes we labor hard in prayer for something specific only to discover that we were praying for our will to be done rather than desiring for his will to be done. Sometimes we want God to do something right now, but he waits, and we are left wondering if he still cares about us.
My prayer for our Blazing Trees tribe is that our Heavenly Father will unleash breakthrough in each of our lives during this Spring season. I pray that we will continually rest in the glory and beauty of who God is, and surrender fully to his plans for our future.
In the end, let’s trust our Abba Father, knowing his will is best. Let’s keep presenting our petitions to God; then, release any burdens we carry, so we may receive and embrace his peace that surpasses all understanding as he guards our hearts in Christ Jesus. Amen.
+> Article by James Harvey, Blazing Trees CEO/Founder.
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