And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:17-21)
The Year of the Favor of the LORD
After Jesus read from the prophet Isaiah, He sat down to make commentary on it, according to the custom of the synagogue. That is why all eyes were fixed on Him. What He said was astonishing: “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” The promise for which so many of them had watched and waited was now coming to pass in their midst. Jesus was proclaiming that the acceptable year of the LORD, the year of His favor, was now here — and He is the fulfillment!
Ever since then, every year has been the year of the LORD’s favor for all who look to Jesus and claim it by faith. It is just as true of the year 2012 as it was when Jesus first proclaimed it.
This is the year for the Holy Spirit of God to come upon you.
Jesus promised His disciples, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me” (Acts 1:8). This witness is the testimony of God’s great power and love in the work of Jesus Christ.
This is the year of anointing.
The anointing removes burdens and destroys yokes (Isaiah 10:27). Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, God’s Anointed. All authority in heaven and earth belongs to Him, and He has commissioned His followers to minister with this same anointing (Matthew 28:18-20).
This is the year for good news to be preached to the poor.
Poverty is not good news, lack is no blessing. But the overflowing provision of God’s grace and power is wonderful news for all those who are poor in spirit, that is, those who trust in Him. “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, so that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
This is the year of healing for the brokenhearted.
Last year you may have felt defeated and crushed by the circumstances of life. You might be emotionally distraught or deeply depressed. But this year is your year. The LORD builds up His people; He gathers together the outcasts; He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:2). This is the year for restoration and wholeness.
This is the year to proclaim freedom for the captives.
“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Strongholds are broken, chains are loosed, addictions have no power over those who look to the Lord Jesus Christ and are born again by the Spirit of God.
This is the year for recovery of sight to the blind.
“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them …” But, “It is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4, 6).
This is the year of liberty for those who are oppressed — the bruised and broken in body and spirit.
“God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38). Sickness and disease come from the devil, not from God. God’s desire is to heal and restore — that is why Jesus came.
Today — even this year — this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. It is the year of the favor of the LORD.
The Year of Breakthrough and Enlargement
“Sing, O barren,
You who have not borne!
Break forth into singing, and cry aloud,
You who have not labored with child!
For more are the children of the desolate
Than the children of the married woman,” says the LORD.
“Enlarge the place of your tent,
And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings;
Do not spare;
Lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.
For you shall expand to the right and to the left,
And your descendants will inherit the nations,
And make the desolate cities inhabited.”
LAST year you may have felt barren, desolate, unproductive, useless, insignificant. But now is the time to get the revelation and understand that this year is the year of the favor of the LORD. It is the year of breaking forth, breaking through and breaking out. It is the time of your expansion, the enlargement of your territory, the increase of your resources and of your influence. It is the season of fruitfulness, fulfillment and the habitation of God’s glory in your life. Notice that it begins as a song of joy, even in the middle of adversity.
“Sing, O barren! Break forth into singing and cry aloud!”
It is the cry of elation, the creaking of joy, the breakthrough of loud, clamorous rejoicing. It is unmindful of present barrenness, but instead lays hold of God’s declaration with an active faith. Present circumstances do not dictate future conditions, for God has spoken His Word (God always gets the last word, and it is a good word!) and this is the year of the LORD’s favor.
“Enlarge the place of your tent.”
God has a breakthrough for you, and the way to get ready it is to enlarge your tent. Begin by enlarging your thinking with a repentance that lines your thoughts up with God’s. Start thinking His thoughts, revealed in His Word. “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2). “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). Jabez enlarged the tent of his heart and prayed to the LORD, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory” (1 Chronicles 4:10), and God answered his prayer.
“Let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings.”
As you enlarge your vision and start thinking God’s thoughts, you are going to be stretched. New wine must go into new wineskins because the fermenting action causes it to expand. Old wineskins cannot bear the strain, so let God burst your old wineskin and take you out of your comfort zone. Let Him give you a new wineskin, washed with the water of His Word and conditioned with a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit. Then you will be ready to be stretched by the new wine of His powerful, prosperous love.
“Do not spare.”
In 2 Kings 4, the widow of one of the sons of the prophets came to the prophet Elisha in dire need. She was deep in debt and her sons were about to be sold into slavery. “What do you have in the house?” he asked. “Nothing,” she said, “except a jar of oil.” Then Elisha said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors — empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.” The woman went out and gathered as many empty vessels as she could find, came home, and kept pouring out her little jar of oil into them until they were all miraculously filled. When she filled the last jar, the original oil finally gave out. But the miraculous supply of oil was sold, the debts were all paid, and the sons were freed, for the woman did not spare in her preparation. “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,” Paul said. “And he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
“Lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.”
There are walls to demolish, rooms to enlarge. There are paradigms that must to be shifted. Give up your small ambitions; your life was meant to be so much larger than you have ever known. Start believing, start imagining, start speaking of the prosperity of God that is coming to overflow into your life. God is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or imagine, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20). Dream bigger, expect more, for His power is in all those who trust Him. The power of God for every breakthrough you and I will ever need is already at work in us.
“For you shall expand to the right and to the left.”
The Hebrew word for “expand” is pawrats. It is the word for breakthrough. It means to break out, burst forth, come broadly, spread out and increase. In the year of the LORD’s favor, you will breakthrough to a larger place. Former boundaries no longer apply, for God is bringing increase and abundance. “The LORD give you increase more and more, you and your children” (Psalm 115:14).
“Your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited.”
This is not just about you and me — it is about our children as well. There is an inheritance at work. “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD” (Psalm 127:3). “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (Proverbs 13:22). God has a powerful inheritance in us that will affect all nations: “Ask of Me, and I will give the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession” (Psalm 2:8). In this inheritance, the desolation for the nations will come to an end, for in the year of the LORD‘s favor, they shall become a habitation of His glory.
If you know the Lord Jesus Christ, this is your year to experience the favor of God, to walk in His freedom and wholeness, even to experience His anointing and power to minister that same freedom and wholeness to others. If you have not yet received the Lord Jesus Christ, this is the year of invitation. “Behold, now is the accepted time [the time of favor]; behold now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
Now is the time to enlarge your thinking, your imagination, and your heart to the promises of God, for He is breaking you out to enlarge your territory. He who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all you can ask or imagine will bring His power to bear in your life. In fact, if you know the Lord Jesus Christ, it is already at work in you. Therefore, regardless of the outward circumstances of your present situation, you’re your praise to the LORD. Don’t hold back. Break loose with loud shouts of joy, for God is bringing His breakthrough into your life.