This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (ESV)

Most of us miss the significance of most things. I mean, take for example numbers. There is more to it than merely a numerical value. And yes, there is biblical support. But for us intellectual, rational, logical, scientific thinkers, such thinking is nonsense, or too mystical for us. Nevertheless, 2 Corinthians 4:18 tells us that whatever our eyes can see is but temporal, implying that there is a more real reality behind what we perceive. 

Throughout the Bible you find numerical rhythm and meaning. For example, the number 5 is commonly seen as representing grace. The number 4 represents dominion and government.

Throughout the Bible we see numbers such as 40 popping up. I believe it is significant. Immediately after His baptism Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to fast, pray and be tested by the devil for 40 days (Matthew 4:1-2, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-2). Actually, the test was a declaration of war against the devil! It was 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension (Acts 1:3). It was 40 days that Moses was up on Mount Sinai to receive the Law (Exodus 24:18). It was 40 days and nights that Elijah traveled to the mountain of God (1 Kings 19:8). It was 40 days and nights that the rains came down and the floods came up, as God rescued Noah in the Ark (Genesis 7:4). 

It is believed that Moses lived in Egypt in pharaoh’s house for 40 years before he saw the evil of his people being enslaved and tried to do something about it in his own strength (Acts 7:23-25). It was 40 years that he wandered the back side of the desert before receiving his call to deliver Israel at the burning bush (Acts 7:30). It was then 40 years that the Israelites wandered the desert, before crossing over the Jordan into the Promised Land (Joshua 5:6). Moses was up on Mount Sinai for 40 days and nights encountering God, face to face, and receiving The Law (Exodus 24:18).

Even in the natural 40 is the number of weeks a baby is usually in the womb from conception to birth. 

Forty represents much more than just a numerical symbol. It represents a transition time from one great task to another. It is a time of testing, of preparation, of battle. It is a time of completion. The shift after 40 is significant! Jesus launched into ministry, Elijah was taken to the clef of the rock and received instructions to hand off his ministry to Elisha. The Holy Spirit fell upon Jesus’ 120 who had been waiting in the Upper Room for ten days after the 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. 40 marked the end of wandering the wilderness and becoming warriors who were to take possession of their promised land! 40 is significant!

Well, today is Shellie and my 40th wedding anniversary and 40 years together in ministry! Yeah and praise God! We sense it is significant, that it marks a shift, a new season, a new authority, a new clarity, a taking hold of promises that God has made. Stepping into the new requires stepping out of the old! The crazy thing about it is, we feel it is not just for us, but this is what the Holy Spirit is saying to His people. Get ready, we are about to cross over into the promised land. We are to consecrate ourselves, unite and become possessors, contenders of His promises!

Join us in crying out for this transition in the Church, for God’s people to be willing to cross through their “Jordan,” into a new season. Cry out for God to prepare you, consecrate you and set your feet to move through this transition, this birthing season, into the very thing He has prepared for you. Cry out for your church to be willing to change, to be consecrated, and to rise up and unite with others across the Church in Athens to possess our city for our King! Thank the LORD that He has brought you and His people to this significant moment in history! Thank Him for the greater level of clarity, authority and revelation that He is releasing in this hour to those who are willing to follow Him wherever He leads!