Moving By Mission, Not Minutes and Months
"Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure” Isaiah 46:9-10
As the days and years often seem to fly by, in our human mentality we often view days gone by as “done” instead of building, ongoing moments of our expanding and eternal lives. God created the concept of time because our finite human minds needed structure and boundaries to move through and measure out life on earth. Heaven’s timeline is not broken into pieces, it does not end and begin but is a constant always and forever, not one and done days. Scripture tells us that God declared the end from the beginning, there is nothing that He does not already know, and nothing catches Him by surprise. While man tries to explain and understand all of that, in this moment and message, let it suffice to say that is just one of the innumerable aspects of our magnificent God, too awesome for us to fully figure out.
I say all of this as the calendar moves on from our culturally calendared New Year’s Day of January 1st, and statistics report that many Americans have already abandoned their New Year’s resolutions. But remember, His mercies are new every morning … really every moment. In every beat of our heart God works in us and through us to accomplish His purposes that He established for His good pleasure. He is continually conforming us to the character of Christ; sanctification is not set in place or on pace with the ticking of a clock or turn of a calendar page but is a continuous work of the Spirit living in you, Christ interceding for you, and the Father doing what He has declared long before you. We may require discipline, miss opportunities and blessings, require more time, teaching, and testing because we made poor or even rebellious choices, but time and heaven do not pause for us, it is always moving gloriously forward.
As we celebrated Rev. Martin Luther King’s life on Monday the news was filled with portions of Reverend King’s, “I Have a Dream” speech. A portion of his dream was that his children would “one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character…” As I prayed preparing to write this article, I wondered how many New Year’s resolutions involved “character.” So often these are focused on health, wealth, education, relationships, position, and possessions. Of course, God wants us to take care of and steward our bodies, money, and opportunities in godly and healthy ways, but He is far more interested in conforming us in the character of Jesus than any of these. In fact, the condition of our character prepares us for how we steer and steward everything else in life. Knowing who God is, what He has purposed in our lifetime, and who He says we are in Christ should be the foundation and fuel for everything we think, say, feel, and do. If this foundation is not firmly established in us, none of the earthly resolutions we seek will ever fulfill or complete us. Sadly, they actually compete and act as a counterfeit for God’s purposes and pleasure.
This weekend will mark the Chinese New Year observed in January or February each year, the Jewish New Year is marked in early Fall, and there are others observed around the world. God does not move according to man’s time but in His design and the fullness of its time. He moves and marks our lives by the Kingdom mission He established not minutes and months. The accomplishment of His good pleasure is the measure of our earthly timeline, our value is in who we are in Christ, living for and through Him and never anything we could attempt to accomplish apart from Him. Thankfully, we have been made new and can renew our minds and mission at any moment of any day.
Will you please join me in praying these thoughts in this moment to move us forward on mission?
Lord, by the mercies of God, we present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is our spiritual service of worship. We do not desire to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind, so that we may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Our value comes from You alone and You loved us so much that You sent Your Son to pay our sin debt and redeem us from wrath to worship, from the pit of hell to the purposes of our heavenly King. There is nothing greater, nothing we desire more than to live out our days in the destiny You designed for Your glory and good pleasure. Renew us as we rejoice in each day that You have made and the good works You have already prepared in Your time and design. We pray this in the name of Jesus in whom we live and move and have our being, Amen!
Serving Him with gladness,
President, National Day of Prayer Task Force