Revelation 21:5-7 (NIV) He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
It is time for a new beginning. The Lord has presented a new opportunity and I have accepted. Now as I stand on the verge of starting, I look over the edge of the water to perceive the depth of that which I am called. Suddenly, my feet are frozen to the shore. I asked to go deeper than I have ever gone before but when Jesus said, “Come!” I wonder is it too late to change my mind? As believers cry out for more, it is hard to comprehend the change that such a request may bring because all we know for sure is that we want more of Him. So when He answers, it can be startling. His Ways are not like our ways. His Thoughts so much higher and wide range than our simple need for immediate gratification. The Lord is full of grace giving me a year to ponder this calling. It did not come as a surprise. However, the vision projected in my mind calls into question my ability to fulfill that which I am called to. Yet, I must go.
I will not share this calling specifically because I want you to consider the thing that the Lord has challenged you with today. Comparison is a faith killer as it shifts our expectation from the Lord and dependency on His Strength to considering our ability against that of our brothers and sisters in Christ. The power to succeed is the Jesus Christ within us. It is never a “me” thing or a “you” thing but will I allow His Grace to be enough for me. It was…until I looked down. Now I keep approaching the edge berating myself for having such little faith. Trust me it’s a tough crowd surrounding me right now as the enemy taunts me with my weaknesses, past, failures and faults. He threatens me with every heartbreak and humiliation that I have experienced on such ventures. Yet, I stay right here trying to muster up the courage to begin. This is not my first rodeo. I have felt the hard, cold ground against my seat many times. Lord, help me step out on the water. I want the new beginning. I want to make you proud. The finish line seems far but you are oh so close.
Daniel 2:19-22 (NIV) During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.
Our pastor shared a story yesterday that is significant in our ventures after God in this lifetime. He shared a modern parable about a father who had four sons. He sent each one out to the same pear tree to observe its condition during each season. Obviously each son had a different perception of the tree according to the seasonal cycle it was in. He called them all together to remind them that life is full of seasons. One cannot judge the outcome by the season but must allow time to finish its work throughout each season. God instituted seedtime and harvest after the Great Flood and the rainbow signifies God’s Promise to never destroy the earth again and continue this cycle of reproduction. Your current condition or circumstances do not necessarily dictate the outcome and productivity of your life. If it is fall or winter your “tree” may appear barren as it waits for “spring” which will make way into summer bearing first fruits.
What challenges face you today? Has the Lord moved you into a new season planting seeds of change in your heart? What are you doing to cultivate the new beginning of growth in your life? God changes times and seasons because He will not leave you in your current state. Your Father is good and wants to bless your life with a hearty inheritance. We often do not want to be uncomfortable and reject change. Just because the Lord gave you a vision long ago, or some mystery as a child that has not yet come to pass doesn’t mean that He didn’t mean it, you missed it or it is forgotten. It is most likely a timing issue as the Lord grows, develops and matures you equipping you for the harvest that is to come from your life as you live to the glory of God that brings fulfillment.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV) He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
This life is temporary and it would be foolish to live for numbered days when just on the other side is eternity. By calling on the Name of Jesus Christ and turning to follow Him, you and I are headed for forever which makes this life the foundation of our future. We must walk in a way to enter the door that leads to the everlasting. It is not a life of perfection. In fact, I will be plagued with imperfection until I meet Jesus face to face. This does not need to be a source of discouragement but an open invitation to accept His Amazing Grace (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) that is enough for me and to lay my burden of weakness at His Feet to be yoked with Jesus who makes our load light. (Matthew 11:28-29)
If I am awaiting an empowerment that makes me feel completely equipped to venture out on my own, it will not happen. I am challenged because my faith needs to be strengthened. I must endure to the end. God makes everything beautiful in its time. So this thing I am beginning is a mess. The closer I get the less enabled I feel to take on this task. Yet I feel this softening in my heart, and gentle whisper in my ear reminding me that God is with me. I will not fail if I will just take the first step of faith – the rest will rise to meet me.
I John 1:1-3 (NIV) That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
Seeking the Lord’s Encouragement today – I will share with you the things that He has shared with me. First and foremost in any endeavor in our life, it is all about Jesus. We are proclaiming the Word of Life who is Jesus. The Word came to us wrapped in flesh to demonstrate the Way back to God. Now we must follow His Example. As we strive to walk by faith and not by sight, it will always require just a little more trust and dependence on Christ. If what the Lord has shown you or challenged you to undertake does not completely overwhelm you, it may not be God at all. The Call of God on my life requires all of Christ in me to accomplish. If it doesn’t take my breath away, make my heart beat wildly and force me to fight doubt and fear every step of the way, it means I can do it in my natural ability. God does not get the Glory when I can overcome on my own. It is when “greater is He who is in me” is required that success can only be attributed to the Lord and His Power.
2 John 5-6 (NIV) And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
The command of Jesus Christ to us is that we “walk in love”. No matter what we do, if it is not done in love it is meaningless and worthless according to I Corinthians 13. Everything that the Lord leads us to will require more love than the last thing. Love must grow to meet all the requirements outlined in I Corinthians 13:4. It must be patient, kind, not envious or jealous. Love is not arrogant or proud. It honors others. It is not self-seeking. Love doesn’t lose its temper and get angry. It is forgiving keeping no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the Truth. It protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres. Love is a commitment so it cannot fail. I can walk in obedience for the rest of my life and still miss it if my love does not bear the character defined in this passage. Whatever God leads me to must be walked through in love.
I John 2:14 (NIV) I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
It doesn’t matter how many obstacles you see between here and what the Lord is calling you to, you have overcome them all already. You may not have taken a single step of faith yet victory is already declared because Jesus lives inside of you. You have already overcome every hardship along the way. Faith allows you to open those closed doors and swing wide the locked windows that keep His Blessing from being poured out in your life. Jesus has already supplied all your needs not man’s way but according to His Riches in Glory. (Philippians 4:19) In a single word, that means abundance. You have access to abundance today. Not only that, His Divine Power has given us everything we need for a godly life that includes doing exactly what He has called us to do – whatever that looks like – no matter how big it is or small we feel. (2 Peter 1:4)
I John 2:24-25 (NIV) As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us—eternal life.
“Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:2-3) I cannot impress this on you strongly enough. Write down your vision, revelation, or dream whatever it is that you know is from the Lord. This is vital to go back to when the enemy is pummeling you with lies. You must return to the Truth. God always attaches His Word to His Vision for your life. You must remind yourself sometimes to encourage yourself when threatened by isolation and despair – two of the enemy’s greatest tactics to make us give up. If everyone else thinks you are crazy, the Lord will confirm His Vision for your life in the very thing you wrote down and documented.
Jesus instructs us that He is the Vine and we are the branches. Apart from Him, I can do nothing. But when I strive to remain connected to Him than all things become possible even those things labeled impossible. God’s Word is essential to continue be rooted and grounded in His Love. His Spirit inside of me keeps us in relationship as He helps me, guides me, instructs me and facilitates close communication with the Lord each day. I need both of these valuable assets for my life to become a living sacrifice and live a life of worship.
I John 3:7-8 (NIV) Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.
It is easy to look for excuses. The enemy seems like as good as any other. Except for the fact that nothing he does is new. It is all the same old taunts and tactics. Therefore, before you decide that what you are called to cannot be done because of the attacks and advances on your life and dream, know this. Jesus has already overcome them all. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. Success and failure is not hinged on our ability or the enemy’s power but completely on our ability to have faith in God’s Word, Will and Way. To stick it out when all hell is breaking lose around us knowing what God has called us to and His Unstoppable Power at work in us and through us.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NIV) The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.
“I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.”(Isaiah 42:8-9) Congratulations! God is doing new things in your life. It really doesn’t matter if you charge boldly to meet the new challenge or hesitantly tiptoe in. What matters is that you put away former things to fully embrace the new thing the Lord is doing in you and through you today! He is looking closely at your heart for a seed of faith and watching for the first sign of obedience. God is a Good Father intent on blessing every effort of His Children. He does not have unrealistic expectations but offers His Strength and Power to us through His Grace. Everything we do should be for His Glory!
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19) The success or failure of yesterday does not impact today. God is doing a new thing in your life today. Every detail of our life is worked out for our good according to Romans 8:28 so nothing is wasted not even experience. With this in mind, what is that God has laid on your heart for His Glory today? Does it seem to big? Is it overwhelming? Good than it is most definitely of Your Father’s doing. He sees Your Potential. He knows the Plan. He is well aware of what you capable of doing or producing in with what you have. Trust the Lord. Step out of the boat. The water is just right for miracles, signs and wonders. No one can carry you or even push you into the water. You must go willingly, freely and obediently into its flow. He will carry you to the end for it is better than beginning. Patience is required. Perseverance will be worth it. Persistence will pay off when we step out into the new thing that the Lord offers us today.
I Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NIV) May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.