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God Encircles the Year

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

God Encircles the Year - Samuels Bridge Devotional

Happy New Year!

I am typically always ready to step into the new year. You would imagine this year, I would be even more enthusiastic to leave 2020. Yet, I wasn’t in a hurry and was careful not to rush into a “new vision”. I am actually marveling at what God accomplished in this most unusual year. It has been a year of intense spiritual growth for which I am grateful.

I spent New Year’s Eve perusing through my journals from 2020. When the year began, I asked God to give me a “20/20” spiritual vision and I am intensely grateful that He answered my prayer. Although much of what I have seen in 2020 has been difficult to look at, I have been “open” to see the truth with clarity. God is using 2020 as a launching pad for His people. He has set in motion a people ready to battle wickedness with the truth. Our power will come from purity! That’s right, He is using the battle to purify us for the launching of His truth!! I am soaring in anticipation to see the body of Christ blast into the new year!

There are two verses I want to marinate in the first week of our new year. The first is:

“You have set up a banner for those who fear you, that they may flee to it from the bow (or that it may be displayed because of truth)Selah”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭60:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“You have set up a banner to those who fear You”:

David felt that God had cast off and broken Israel, yet he would not stop flying the banner of allegiance and trust in God.

That it may be displayed because of truth:

the truth about God – who He is and what He has done demanded that this banner be displayed. God is good, He is for you. He never changes. The truth can “feel like” it is working against us because it comes in different forms (justice, battles, sorrow, or trials). The key is in discerning what justice, sorrow, and trials are doing to produce faith in the heart of the believer. Good AND evil both “work together” for good in believers. We pursue the Holy Spirit for personal clarity that produces hope.

“He gave them an ensign, which would be both a rallying point for their hosts, a proof that he had sent them to fight, and a guarantee of victory.” (Spurgeon)

The concept of the banner was connected to Israel’s reliance upon God and His victory for them. “When Amalek fought against Israel in Rephidim, victory came to the people of God as Moses, supported by Aaron and Hur, prayed on the mount and Joshua went forth to battle. After the victory, Moses built an altar, and called the name of it ‘Jehovah Nissi,’ that is, Jehovah our Banner.” (Morgan)


“Note the ‘Selah’ at this point, suggesting special attention to this fact. For the sake of that banner the cry for deliverance is raised.” (Morgan)

The second verse is:

“You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭65:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The Hebrew word for crown is atar, which means to encircle. God encircles the year... wow.

Let’s press into these verses as we seek God’s heart for 2021. If God has given you a personal verse, word, or phrase for 2021, please share it so we can watch it come alive in your life.

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