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2020: The Old Becomes New and the Desert Is Renewed

photo of a desert

During our staff prayer time last week, I had a strong sense that God has plans for the year 2020. We know that God is always at work, but as Issachar in 1 Chronicles understood that there are times and seasons in how God builds His Kingdom, so we still today see God working inside of time to advance His purposes.

God showed me a mental picture (also known as a vision) of a field of dry, cracked soil. It was a lifeless desert I saw in my mind’s eye, abandoned and left for dead. Then I saw God come with a plow, push it into the soil, and He began to turn the soil over. To my surprise, I saw rich dark soil underneath, and as He tilled the earth, this rich dark soil was turned to the top, and eventually the desert looked more like a well-tended garden, ready for seed to be planted.

This is what I hear the Lord saying over the year 2020:

Behold, I make all things new. Even the old things, the dead things, I make them new.

In this coming year, I will be turning soil over in the neglected, abandonded places to make way for future growth. The desert will become a garden, even the desert seasons of life — these are destined to become your most fruitful places. Look to the places in your past and present where no fruit has been borne; look to the places of death and decay where you have lost hope. These are the places to which I am coming with a plow to turn the soil over.

I am coming to broken relationships, to nations that have been fallow, to marriages that have been fallow and lifeless. Watch as I, the sovereign Gardener come to the lifeless things, both literal and metaphorical, to turn the soil over. To bring churning which may seem confusing or upsetting, but which will reveal hidden soil which is rich, full of life, and ready to begin growing new life.

The old molds will be shattered, for this is a new thing. Bitterness will keep you from seeing my work. Are you ready? Forgiveness is key in this coming season. Those who hold onto unforgiveness will miss out on what I’m doing in 2020. Do not be distracted by the noise of culture, nor by the falling-away of many because I am at work. I call you to take a fresh look at nations that are closed, cities that seem barren, internal heart places of pain, loss, disappointment, misunderstanding. Take a fresh look and welcome Me into those places. Release words of forgiveness. Sanctify your heart and allow me to till the soil. My promise is this: in every place, I am at work. I will turn all things around for your good, and I will sovereignly reveal life and health.

The soil needed to rest in the past, and many have looked at places lying fallow and labeled it “desert”, but I am coming to churn, to till the soil. Your part is to see it and embrace it.

I get a clear picture from God that 2020 will not be the year of reaping the fruit from these fields. 2020 is the year of preparation. I see Him planting new seeds in 2021 which will then grown and bear fruit in the future. This is not a word saying that all your dreams will come true in 2020. Rather, this is a word saying that 2020 will be messy. It will be confusing at times, but what’s happening is God reframing the dead/dry/forgotten places (literal and metaphorical) into places where life will appear. Think of how a farmer will come with a tiller and turn soil over in a field. That’s 2020. After that comes planting, then growth (that will seem unexpected), then fruitfulness, then harvest. Trust the Great Gardener!

But wait, there’s more!

I also get a sense that there will be an increase in prophetic activity in 2020. Look for more words to come forth, and take time to pay attention. Don’t immediately write-off a word that you see someone speak, but rather take time to test the spirit behind it. If you’ve never seen yourself as prophetically gifted, now is the time to ask the Holy Spirit to give you the gift of prophecy, and remember that Paul said, “You can all prophesy…”

The Spirit will be in the business of peacemaking in 2020 in a way which will be more visible than it’s been in the past. We all know that Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers…” but I sense that there will be new and creative ways in which God pushes for peace on His earth in the coming year. Be prepared for this, as it will come as a surprise to many. Examine your heart for any place in which empire-building or an allegiance to any other kingdom has crept in (remember we serve one King who has an invisible/non-earthly Kingdom!). I see situations arising which will seem negative and harmful at the outset, but which are in fact creative solutions dreamt-up by God which will bring forth peace down the road. Don’t let your heart be hardened in 2020. Look for the “Kingdom middle” of issues. Cooperate with the Spirit in being a peacemaker and in praying for peace to come on earth as it is in Heaven.

God is raising up a people of indomitable hope. This past season of waiting, of frustration, of longing…God will turn it around for our good. He has been at work in it, raising up a people of unstoppable hope. Hope is like fuel for the fire of faith, and is one of the three enduring things (faith, hope, and love). Now is the time to ask the Holy Spirit for a fresh influx of hope in your heart to prepare you for a fresh perspective. Allow God to reframe your past and present disappointments. He is making you into a person of hope, even unreasonable hope!

Lastly, I keep having this sense in my heart that the old things are becoming the new things. There’s something about 2020 that will see old things renewed so that they are now the new thing upon which God is breathing. I believe there’s something stirring in the worship movement that will see God putting a fresh anointing on the old things. I’m not sure about the details of this, but I am confident that it’s a phrase we’ll all find ourselves saying in 2020.

Action Points

Any time you hear a prophetic word, it must be judged. Methods for judgement include the full testimony of Scripture (does the word align with God, as revealed in the Bible?), the testimony of the Holy Spirit within you (do I feel faith about this word? Even if it’s bad news, do I have an inner sense of “yes” from God?), and of course as said in Revelation, the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Therefore, does the word sound like Jesus? Like a husband with his bride, like a shepherd with his sheep, like the head of the Church universal speaking to His people?

After judging if you think the word is from God, spend time asking the Holy Spirit what you’re supposed to do with it. All prophetic words are conditional, or at least have conditional elements to them. Your response to God’s prompting will in part determine what role you play in the word’s fulfillment (or lack thereof). Perhaps you’re simply supposed to pray, “Lord, have your way.” and put the word on a metaphorical shelf. Perhaps you’re supposed to print it out and make declarations every day. Perhaps you should take it to your pastor(s) or leader(s) and have them judge it. For sure, if you feel a witness that this word is for you, you should take action. Print it out, pray into it, remind yourself of how it applies to you and pray in faith that God is at work. The Holy Spirit will show you what to do; remember, it’s the Spirit who leads us into all truth. The Spirit grows us and shows us how to live, so trust in God’s guideance in this.

Look back at your own past: what prophetic words have been spoken over you which are unfulfilled? What dreams have you had which have died? What places or people have you written-off? Watch out for those places, people, dreams, and words becoming the sudden source of life in 2020 and beyond.

Comment below and let everyone know what you hear God saying over 2020.

joseph cotten signature

P.S. Do you want some more? Because there is more to hear! We’ve got a whole conference about prophecy coming up in April. It’s called, rather fittingly, Voice of the Prophets 2020 → We’ll have Graham Cooke, Patricia King, Mahesh Chavda, Kim Maas, Justin Allen, Sean Smith, Bob Hazlett, and more seasoned prophets on stage to speak about what they see God saying & doing. Check it out!

P.P.S. A few weeks ago, our own Justin Allen gave a strong prophetic word for 2020 as well. Click here to read his word →

Joseph Cotten photographJoseph Cotten is Global’s Digital Marketing Manager, which means that he leads our efforts to accurately communicate our vision & values to you, our community. He is married to Jessica, who has also been a part of Global over the years. Together they have a 15 year old Golden Retriever/Australian Shepherd named Pippin and two fish named Galadriel and Gimli. Joe has been playing guitar for almost 30 years, is a sci-fi geek, and roasts his own coffee.
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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Norma thomas · 18 days ago
    Thank you for this word Joseph. It bares witness in my own heart. There are things I have ‘shelved’ that the Spirit is resurrecting and saying “Now.”

    Some are awesome and surprising. ?
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    Judith · 20 days ago
    Amen & PTL!
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    Donna · 20 days ago
    This is more confirmation. Messengers at Paula Polo of Cranford, NJ, delivered words about the growth in the desert. AWESOME SAUCE!!!!
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    Jovencio3D@verizon.n · 21 days ago
    Thank you keeping me in your e mail,I am digesting this 2020 prophetic plan of God it’s is so exiting to see how God will unveil this
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    Dan McAnney · 21 days ago
    Thanks for sharing this prophetic word, Joseph. I will be saving it and praying into it to understand how I can cooperate with what I believe God is saying.
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      Joseph Cotten · 21 days ago
      You’re welcome, Dan! I’m glad it’s resonating with you.

      P.S. Jess and I are continuing to pray for full healing for you!
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    Trish Epperson · 22 days ago
    I had a dream a week ago that I awoke from knowing it was something I needed to remember. It had moments of pulling up weeds from dry dirt and changing to pulling up leafy greens and root like vegetables in dark rich dirt. There were many other aspects, some odd, but it was the stark contrast of the dream that seemed to catch me.
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      Joseph Cotten · 21 days ago
      Interesting! It sounds like God was speaking similar things to both of us. I love that contrast of going from dry dirt and weeds to leafy greens and dark soil.
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    Amanda Fisher · 22 days ago
    This is awesome Joseph!
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    Adriana Scolastrici · 23 days ago
    God talks with me across this words. I trust! I receive! I have a desert on my body, but I have God’s promise! I choose the promise and the garden beyond!
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    Bonnie · 23 days ago
    Yes Joseph. These words speak
    promises of life and hope to me. I had a dream a few nights ago that something VERY BIG was just in front of us. Something very good.
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    keith m · 23 days ago
    one thing really concerned me, that is taking "you can all prophesy" out of context, that is 1 cor 14:31 which fully says,

    "For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged."

    This is not saying you can all prophesy, it is saying that those who prophesy, can all prophesy, just taking turns. The way it is quoted is purposely misleading. we cannot all prophesy, but we can all certainly desire that greater gift and then the giver of spiritual gifts, the Holy Spirit, will give gifts as He see fit.

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      Joseph Cotten · 22 days ago
      Hi Keith! I get what you’re saying, but I would disagree. The more context given to the passage, the greater I see the point being that all Christians can, in the power of the Spirit, prophesy. However, it’s important to note that not all believers have the Spiritual Gift of Prophecy, nor are all believers prophets in the Ephesians 4:11 sense. The analogy I have used in the past when teaching this is of a plumber. Bear with me…I can do very basic plumbing work when I need to. I’ve installed a faucet here and there, and I’ve replaced parts in my toilet, but I have to be reminded how to do when the need arises. If I get some basic training, I could probably become a solid DIY handyman when it came to plumbing repairs, but I certainly would not be a Master Plumber. In this analogy, my current level of skill in plumbing is like all believers in Jesus (possibly might need to add Spirit-filled believers here): I can do it from time to time, but it’s not my main gifting. All believers CAN prophesy, but not all the time, and probably not with tons of detail and forth-telling. The skilled DIY handyman is like someone with a Spiritual gift of prophecy. They’re going to prophesy more often and with greater detail. Then comes the person whose primary gift is plumbing. They train other plumbers, they live and breathe the stuff. That’s like an Ephesians 4:11 prophet, where no longer to they HAVE a gift, they actually ARE the gift.

      Here’s more of the scriptural context around the passage:
      “I would be delighted for all of you to speak in tongues, but I would be even more delighted to have you all prophesying. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in a tongue, unless they also give an interpretation so that the church may be built up.…If anyone speaks in a tongue, there should be two or at most three, each taking their turn, and one of them should put it into plain speech. But if none of them can do that, let them be silent in the assembly, and speak to themselves and to God. As for prophets, let two or three speak, and the others evaluate what is said. If fresh revelation comes to someone sitting there, the first person should be silent. You can all prophesy one by one, so that everyone can learn, and everyone can be encouraged. The spirits of prophets are under the control of prophets, since God is the God, not of chaos, but of peace.”

      The historical context is that Paul is bringing correction to the church in Corinth. They were super spiritual but were neglecting larger issues of loving each other. Some see this passage as correcting a situation where only the prophets were prophesying, essentially “hogging the mic” in today’s terminology. So Paul is saying, “Hey, great, but you prophets really need to step aside and let everyone else prophesy.”

      So, again, I wasn’t taking the scripture out of context. I was actually communicating the historical and scripture context in how I used it. Of course, you may disagree with my interpretation of the passage; many parts of the body of Christ would disagree with me, and I’m ok with that! :-)
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    Wind · 23 days ago
    A big changed will take place in 2020

    God said to me like we never have seen it yet
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    Mary Beth Underwood · 23 days ago
    Please pray for my family and I. Please pray that God will provide a way, the funds, for me and a few of my family members to be able to attend the Encounter Ministries Conference in January in OH where Randy C will be one of the presenters. I’ve been waiting for SSDI and work comp disability benefits incomes for the past five years due to being up against literal corruption in my cases. I’ve been off work due to incurring six brain injuries 2005-2016. The fourth one was the one that was enough to take me off work. We are struggling. I’ve been waiting on healing after receiving much prayer and prophecy over my life and my family. I was the primary caregiver and breadwinner for three generations as a single mom. I have other injuries as well from the various accidents. We need God’s provision now. We’ve received many of God’s graces and blessings but not yet breakthroughs that we need now. Our financial situation has worsened. We need others to contend with and for us mightily. Thank you for your ministry.
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    Kimberly Myers · 23 days ago
    When I came to the paragraph saying, "... God is putting a fresh anointing on old things..." My spirit leaped, because that is how wine skins are made new! They are soaked in water, then rubbed, anointed with fresh oil until they are made new.
    Specifically regarding worship, I believe we are beginning to see a return to true worship that magnifies the Lord, rather than self. I expect to begin to hear more about Him and less about 'give me and do for me' in our worship. I also expect to hear praise again - worship magnifies the person of God. Praise acknowledges what He does, with exuberant joy.
    This word is very timely. I'm excited about the days ahead, and I am encouraged on the front end to know this is a season of plowing to prepare for the planting, so that He can bring the harvest. So often we want that to be a fast process. I'll be curious to see what the seasons of the Lord look like for each life. Will some plow, plant and reap a harvest, all in 2020, like in the natural? It seems odd to plan for multiple years until the harvest. How many times would we need to prepare the soil to receive the seed? But, if we are slack in plowing (plowing one row today and another next week) it could take a long time... I think it will be wise to keep this word in front of us and deal with the bitterness and other areas mentioned. The more steady we plow, removing every hindering thing, the more likely we are to come into planting season on time. If we again plant diligently in that season, we will certainly reap a harvest in the proper season.
    Thank you for "a word in for season" it truly is an encouragement to me.
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      Joseph Cotten · 23 days ago
      This is great, Kimberly. Really great insight about wineskins. What a wonderful picture, that God is renewing our wineskins, and even renewing us in our inner man. I think you’re right about worship too: there’s a transition coming for sure.

      I agree with you, that I would love to see God do EVERYthing at once (plowing, planting, growing, reaping). It seems like He is content to work over the course of years and even decades where we want immediate results. I suppose we should be encouraged that we are part of something bigger than ourselves and even bigger than our own lifetimes. There’s this great cosmic thread of the Kingdom advancing, and we are each an important part of it. :-)
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    Michael Ellis · 23 days ago
    The Train, The Lord often speaks to me through song. This happen last week. I was waking up, and I kept hearing this song over and over in my head. The song was “People Get Ready” (there’s a train a comin. Don’t need no ticket just get on board). I ask the Lord, what are you trying to tell me?

    He said the train is not the gospel train as the song is about. It is the American train, and it is full of patriots. Trump is driving the train. It is roaring into Washington. They (the Satanic Deep State Cabal) are throwing everything they can at it. But, the Lord says it can’t be stopped. It will destroy the Deep State. It will deliver our great Nation out of the hands of the most corrupt government in our Nation’s history. Our country was stolen from us many, many decades ago. We the people are slaves of the State. It was no longer the government of the people, for the people, and by the people. It belongs to the crooked politicians. They used us to fund their wars and enrich their pockets. Many went to Washington with good hearts and good ideas but were ether corrupted or isolated to have no effect. No one has been able to stand up to the evil Cabal, until now. God has chosen Donald Trump, and the patriots who stand behind him, to take on this Satanic Deep State. For years they have planned and worked to strip us of our constitution and the bill of rights. They are causing us to fight each other so we don’t focus on them. We have been like the frog in a pan of water as they have slowing turned up the heat.
    They have stolen the voice of the Church. By declaring that we would lose our tax exemption, if we spoke politically from the pulpit. Donald Trump is given our voice back, and it is time for us to stand up for the truth and righteousness. People, we are in a new REVOLUTION that is going on right now. You can see the battle raging every day. Not with guns and tanks but with words. They have spat this country into many factions and got us all to fight each other. They are going to lose. God has said enough, He has come to fulfill the covenant our forefathers made with Him. That is why they are trying to destroy our history, so we will forget what these men and woman paid to set us free from an overbearing and controlling government. They pledged their lives and their fortunes to give us a free republic. Only one man has done the same thing in our current government, Donald Trump. Trump did not need the money. He was adored by the elite, politicians, media, and Hollywood. Now he is hated, and attack by them all. Through corrupt politicians, we have allowed the Satanic Deep State to pry this great Republic out of our hands. But GOD has remembered the covenant. For GOD is a covenant God. He will restore what has been stolen.
    We the people (The Patriots) need to pray, and stand against this Satanic Deep State Government. To take back what our forefathers gave to us. To restore righteousness, truth, and patriotism. You may not like Donald Trump, but the Lord Jesus has chosen him to lead the revolution to deliver us from evil. Please join me and many others in praying the Lord’s prayer.

    Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done
    in America and earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
    Please share and keep it going.
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      Bill · 23 days ago
      If an evil, lying, corrupt Russian puppet like Trump is our savior, then we are all in Really Deep Dog DooDoo. Wake Up and smell the lies.
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        Jeff Ryan · 22 days ago
        You need to read Witch Hunt by Greg Jarett it will open your eyes with facts not what the main stream media is feeding you. Also I would recommend listening to Kim Clement on youtube and the prophecy he gave about Donald Trump years before Trump was president. Also Lance Wallnau believes prophetically that Trump is a Cyrus. I would recommend listening to his teaching also. God sometimes picks those that we don't understand, but He is God. Trump is not our savior, but he is the one God has put in the office. I pray that the Lord will open you eyes and that you will ask God to show you the truth. Lord Bless you

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        Patty Egan · 23 days ago
        Bill, I would humbly advise you to be careful touching God’s anointed. Yes, God even used a donkey. Unless you know Trump’s heart and unless you without sin can cast the first stone.......