As the people of God assemble today, may they see plainer than ever the road that they are purposed to run in the new year. May one be an encouragement to another to steadily get on down the path this year that leads to success for our Lord’s plan.
“…I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.” Eph.4:1b-3, Msg)
If you spend any time around little children, you will realize that they are champions at excuses for not obeying or completing tasks. If allowed to carry that fall-back into their future without being expected to fulfill requirements put upon them it will result in their failure in tasks and in the proper development of their character.
It is good to realize our utter dependence upon God as long as we don’t shift it from humble recognition to excuse. (1Ki 3:7) “Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of David my father, and I am but a lad [in wisdom and experience]; I know not how to go out (begin) or come in (finish).” (Amp) Proclaiming not knowing how to begin or end a thing shouldn’t be an excuse but rather an acknowledgement of Who does. Then, if we know Who does know how to begin and end a thing ((Isa.46:10), we can yield to Him and His principles of enablement for and completing mandates and making necessary adjustments in preferences, appetites and emotions.
Finishing up one level of mandate before going to another level of mandate is prudent, saves time, saves energy and money. Finishing the necessary portions of the first floor before beginning the second floor typically prevents the second floor from collapsing the whole house. Finishing one battle before taking on another one carries obvious advantages.
Marty Gabler will be giving the 2018 Declarations at Grace International Church on Sunday 12-31-17 at 10:00am.
More information and map: www.graceic.org
A huge, muscular draft horse was pulling a weighted sled in a competition. The horse was obviously straining forward with every ounce of strength he could muster and was making some progress. But he was, with every step, getting closer and closer to a definite stopping point. It didn’t matter that he had dragged the heavy steel sled farther than any of the other horses in the competition, he still came to a sudden halt. It just happened to be a halt that was a bit farther down the track than the other horses’ halts. The “Year End Wrap Up” theme seems to speak to the need to not drag old stuff from the previous year (or even previous years) into the new year. Even though it is a burden, we tend to wrestle with old issues that seem to never get settled or worked out and we just continue to take them along with us into the future.
Lethargy, wavering commitment, fear and neglect are some of the weights that make for burdensome sleds that we drag with us from one season to the next. There are issues to resolve before the end of this year that would be easier dealt with and resolved more readily without adding the laborious task of not having ended things well. It is time for a season in our lives where we “wrap up” what has been left at tattered ends.
Going into the new year or new season or new opportunities requires adjustments, decisions and determination on our part. When Israel left old Egypt for the new promised land, they increased the difficulty of the transition by taking old issues, and resultant attitudes, with them. It is OK to take a wilderness experience into promise. We all have some kind of wilderness experience at some point in life, if not several of them. Having gone through the not-so-fun wilderness events, we tend to come out on the other end with negative residue on us. Not “washing off” the residue of the past will taint the tomorrow of promise. It is OK to go into promise with a wilderness experience. But is destructive to go into promise with a wilderness heart. What we don’t leave in the wilderness, trips us up in the promised land. Achan’s family, as well as himself, suffered the consequences of a wilderness heart in the promised land (Josh. 7). What we don’t get over today, overcomes us tomorrow.
Emmanuel, “God is with us”, is the God-Man who was born of a virgin that God might dwell among men. Not only did Jesus, Emmanuel, live among men but He lived redemptively among men. He didn’t come to bring merely a message or a creed but He lived out redemptive acts through His life on earth. His disciples, those whom He has redeemed by His redemptive act of His shed blood on the cross must, in turn, live redemptively among men. There are too many and too much to redeem to simply live to go to heaven.
Miracles are begun in grace and perfected in glory. They start with God’s supernatural enabling and come to complete manifestation through His intent and purpose and timing. As I wait on God, I shall continue to pray for miracles this Christmas season because the coming of the Christ is still in effect as well as God’s goodwill toward men. May His presence and power and purpose and timing change your life as His goodwill touches the earth again.—Kathy Gabler