The Next Day

The Next Day

Mark 4:26-30 (NLT) Jesus also said, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.”

 

Impatience is the harvest killer of life. I am an impatient person. Looking back over my life, the Lord has used many situations that were clearly the deception or attack of the enemy to refine my faith through learning to have patience. The seed of faith is already within us. Romans 12:3 indicates a measure of faith that we are born with. This makes sense since our very existence was created by the Word of God. We are infused with the Breath of God. It would only seem right that the potential of God is somewhere within in us. God loves every single person ever created because He created them to be His Children. Sin ruined that but faith overcomes it. Faith in Jesus Christ allows grace to begin productivity in our natural life. Spiritual productivity is unlike natural production. We have learned to clone sheep and even initial life in a test tube. However, God created each of us on a cellular level so finite that as human beings it is impossible to completely duplicate the creativity of God even though we have tried. In that vast reproducing, we have also somehow thought it a good idea to make everything immediate. Our need to increase supply and demand makes convenience an option that must be included or risk losing the sale. While this causes the earth to flourish in things, it does not nothing to increase the Kingdom of God within us.

 

Romans 5:1-5 (NLT) Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

 

The hope of God never ever leads to disappointment. So why do I get disappointed sometimes? I trust the Lord, live by faith and strive to follow Jesus, so why isn’t my life perfect? Because I am not perfect even in my pursuit of perfection. I come to these verses over and over again. On the days that I think that I am good and have it all together, they remind me that I have a long way to go. On those other days when nothing is going my way, there is a plan and purpose still being enacted. Faith is the process of acquisition of all that the Lord has promised us even those things we are too human to see, want or desire. He does more than we can ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20)

 

This morning I started a new journal. I love the fresh pages of a crisp, clean journal. They represent a new set of days with the Lord. As each page turns, a new day begins. Some days fill many pages all by themselves and there are other days that barely a sentence makes its way to the page. Why a journal? Each new day represents the promise that there is more to the plan and purpose of God for our lives. The seeds planted in our life are being given time to grow. The faith born in us from the beginning is taking root day after day. The new seeds shoved in our heart from God’s Word are growing into the blessings of God for our life. New seedlings are being given an opportunity to become the oaks of righteousness eluded to. It all takes time. (Isaiah 61:3) It all comes down to faith. Faith in God. Faith in His Word and yes, faith in His Timing.

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT) For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.

 

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT) Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

 

In Genesis 17, Abraham asks the Lord to compromise. God says, “No!” He wants God to essentially make Ishmael the substitution for Isaac. He asks, “May Ishmael live under your special blessing?” Oh the Ishmael’s in our life. Those times that we compromise rather than enduring. The many substitutions settled for because the current wait time is too long. If given the option, our flesh would give in every single time rather than waiting on the Lord’s Promises to propagate in our lifetime. However, we are told from the beginning that God does not lie or change His Mind. (Numbers 23:19) When experiencing pressure, we press back rather than resting in God’s Love. As endurance stretches us to hang on a little longer each time, our flesh cries out to just let go. Endurance develops our character. The more we wait and see that the Lord really is good, the longer we are willing to wait the next time a test comes along. We must endure to the end. Immediate gratification just to satisfy the crying flesh would not yield the promises of God but just more compromises and substitutions.

 

God’s Special Blessing was for Isaac. Although the Lord told him “no”, it is followed by a giant “yes”! God told Abraham Sarah will give birth to a son for you. He even called Isaac by name. “I will confirm my covenant with him and his descendants as an everlasting covenant.” Why was Isaac important to the future generation and the everlasting hope? Because Jesus would come through the lineage of Abraham and Isaac. No Isaac. No Savior. No everlasting covenant. Worth the wait, I would say so. Everything has a season because everything is according to God’s Plan. God makes everything beautiful in His Time. Ishmael was a substitute son who was born out of the Will of God. Though God did bless him, it was clear that Ismael was not the promised son. If we look at our life, there will be many times that it is evident that we stepped out of God’s Timing. Maybe it has produced some Ishmaels along the way. I know this one thing. Romans 8:28 promises to make good out of every detail of our life including the Ishmael experiences when we did not wait for the day to come when God’s Promise came to pass. But the Lord will bless those who keep trying to wait and see that He is good.

 

Genesis 18:10-14 (NLT) Then one of them said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!” Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children. So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?” Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

 

The measure of faith that each person is born with comes full of potential. It will take every bit of that faith to see it come to pass in our life. Faith is a process not a finished product. It must grow, develop and mature over time. God’s Promise for your life is bigger and better than you can even imagine. Our expectation must be for the impossible because that is what He is doing in us and through us according to His Plan. It’s called future and hope. The future of faithfulness is fulfillment of hope. Hope never disappointments. If you can see it in the natural, you can obtain it in the physical. Supernatural is not naturally occurring. Faith and hope are not provisions of it. Therefore it is important that we do not put our faith and trust in the seen but the unseen just as the Word of God says. We want God’s Plan, His Will and His Way because it will exceed our expectation and lead to unlimited potential.

 

Sarah laughed. Did you laugh at the thought God put in your head today? The vision of the future that is too big to grasp or fully comprehend. Have you been waiting and watching but nothing is happening so you are considering give up as an option? God is working in your wait time. The next day may be the new season that you have longed for. It won’t come until you stop laughing at the ridiculousness of it, and take hold of it for the sake of righteousness refusing to give up until God relents. If you are waiting, watching and praying for the impossible, you are well on your way to fulfillment. God understands how uttering ridiculous it sounds or impossible it seems. He designed it that way so you would put your trust solely and unconditionally in His Word, His Will and His Way. Natural sight leads to doubt and fear. Supernatural vision keeps its focus on Jesus.

 

Romans 4:17-22 (NLT)  Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous.

 

Isaac came just as God had promised Abraham and Sarah. Even though it was impossible, Isaac made his arrival just as God told the couple. However, this would not be the end of the story, the Lord came to Abraham and told him that he was to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. (Genesis 22) The next day Abraham cut the wood for the offering, saddled the donkey and left for the place he was instructed with his son, his only son, Isaac. Would you do it? Would you sacrifice your son? Your only son? God did it for us. Abraham was willing to give his son to the Lord. His only son. Abraham loved his son, but he loved God more. Abraham trusted God with his entire being enough to go to the mountain of sacrifice fully believing and trusting that God would not lie or change His Mind but do just what He promised to do. Because Abraham did not waver in unbelief but was fully convinced that God will do exactly what He promises, Abraham was counted as righteous by God.

 

I want to be like Abraham. I want to believe in the unbelievable and impossible things of God. I want to wait until each and every promise comes to pass. I must be willing to wait for what comes next even when I have no idea what I am waiting on other than God.

 

Luke 13:6-9 (NLT) Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’ “The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’”

 

God’s Way is sowing and reaping. He eludes to it many times throughout the Bible. We are born with a measure of faith that is the fertility of our heart. We plant (or sow) God’s Word into it each day. We allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate it and toil over it removing the weeds that threaten to choke it out, and the rocks that keeps good roots from forming. We must wait for those seeds to grow. Weeds are a quick work without roots. They have no purpose and die quickly. We are to be oaks of righteousness. Immovable trees with wide spreading roots that not only are secure but nourish us so we will produce good fruit. When we are not seeing spiritual productivity, it is an opportunity to spend some time tending our tree.

 

The Lord is hoping that the next day or season will be the one when you choose to remain in right standing, unwavering belief, and steadfast faith. Because this is when our promises come to pass, each season is God’s Way of teaching us patience and perseverance. This is not to punish us or exert any kind of ill will over His People. Those who endure to the end will be saved. Only faith, hope and love credit our life. Everything else is a fruitless endeavor.

 

Isaiah 30:18 (NLT) So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.

 

Jonah had hit a rough patch. He was at an impasse that catapulted him right in the belly of a whale and to be vomited on a beach. What a mess the poor man must have been. God raised up a shade plant to cover him from the scorching sun. God is a compassionate God. He knows endurance is rough and perseverance a pain. However, the Lord is only going to allow our pity party to last so long. It says, “But God also arranged for a worm! The next morning at dawn the worm ate through the stem of the plant so that it withered away!” (Jonah 4) Pity party over. See God has arranged for new mercy to reach us each morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23) He is turning our mourning into dancing the next day. (Psalm 30:11-12) He will not allow us to remain stuck in an unfruitful season but allow us to become uncomfortable so we will move or be moved. He is producing a harvest from all those tears. (Psalm 126:5-6) It is a joyful harvest for those who will get up and swing the sickle again. We are to live on purpose and with purpose in mind. God is not weak or weary but waiting on us. In the meantime…

 

Mark 1:35-39 (NLT) Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him. When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.” So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons.

 

Jesus is our example in all thing. Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Do you spend time with the Lord each day? We make time for every other thing in our life but often forget the most important part – spending time with the Lord. When you set aside time to spend in God’s Word and prayer basking in His Presence, you will not feel abandoned, forgotten or forlorn anymore. It is in His Presence that we discover things really are going according to His Plan. This was not a corporate event for the Bible says that later the others went to find Jesus. We must institute a quiet time with Jesus every single day rearranging our schedule and realigning our priorities so that Jesus is always first. We must be obedient and faithful to the Lord. When we become frustrated with our circumstances or strained by situations, it is human nature to turn on God rather than pressing in and overcoming. We have a mission. It is called the Great Commission. To remain focused and faithful allows us to overcome the temptation to turn our back on the Lord for immediate gratification, conditional compromise, and settling for substitutions. We forfeit our fulfillment by not acknowledging that some days or maybe most days we must wait for the next day to see the harvest we have planted.

 

Genesis 8:21-22 (NLT) And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things. As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”

 

We have the ability to prosper in Jesus Christ today. We are filled with godly potential with a measure of faith in which it can take root and grow. Only those willing to wait will find fulfillment. The fact that you are breathing right now indicates unfulfilled purpose bubbling inside of you. Are you willing to wait for it? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate your heart and make it fertile for God’s Word to grow into a promise? Are you tired of the pity party and ready for a victory celebration? The new journal that I opened today has reminded me that there is so much more to life than meets the eye. If I will just continue to pursue the Lord, He will fill my life with His Goodness and Grace each day I choose to live in His New Mercy. He is turning ever heartache into joy. He is allowing all my tears to water my harvest. God is good. His Love is great. Greater is He who lives in me than He that is in the world. If I could just learn to take one day at a time rather than gauging my whole life by one day, I will see His Blessings and Promises come to pass. What if that next day is actually tomorrow?

 

Matthew 28:1-7 (NLT) Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”

 

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