Thursday, January 21, 2016

Delayed, But Still Destined!

  Last night I heard one our pastors, Pastor Chu teach our Wed. night bible study that confirmed some things in my life. After the Bible Study when I got home I was led to watch the War Room movie again on DVD.  I think I need to watch it several more times before I get it like Ms. Clara!  Last year in Feb. the Lord led me on a new journey to follow Him more than I ever have in my 30+ years as a Christian.
     Yes, I was living for the Lord & loving Him but I wasn’t fighting spiritually like I once did. For 2 years I let the “stuff” of life distract me as I encountered several personal trials. I would find myself fighting the wrong battles or not fighting at all. It took everything in me to hold onto the vision, dream & calling that the Holy Spirit planted in me years ago. But since last Feb. the Lord has kept challenging me to press on and not give up. So I made a decision to no longer give in to man’s ideas & follow the Lord.
     As I continued on this journey it wasn’t easy as tough decisions had to be made, yet at the same time ministry opportunities were opening up and restoring the hope of the original calling. Then in Oct. the journey took a twist I never imagined. I had been praying and fasting and the Lord had really been stirring some things up inside of me. My husband was gone on a men’s retreat from a Thursday to Sunday. That Thursday I drove past a church sign that would have a great impact on my life. I was so drawn to this sign! I couldn’t get away from seeing it. The next day I drove to the sign & wrote the website address down and continued on with my errands.
     When I got home I sat down to look at the web site. I began to read about the vision of people being inspired to draw closer to God and see their bondages broken, encouragement to find freedom from the struggles of life, and salvation for all. As I read this web site I wept as the Holy Spirit overcame showing me the very vision within me was at this place.  The sign I saw was for IChurch.
     Two days later I visited IChurch.  By the end of the service I knew I was stepping into something supernatural that the Lord was setting up. There’s not enough space here to tell all the details but the bottom line is they were praying for God to send me to them at the same time I was praying for God to take me where-ever and do with me whatever He wanted. Oh my, I never dreamed of the whirlwind that was about to happen. Friends were even sending me e-mails saying; “God is about to bring a suddenly in your life”.  I wish I could share all the details in this blog but let me just say that after more prayer and fasting God moved us to commit to sharing in the vision at IChurch. God confirmed this with 2 Corinthians 16:9 (NLT) There is a wide-open door for a great work here, although many oppose me.”
     Now let’s get back to where I started and share some more scripture. In the beginning of this blog I mentioned about Pastor Chu teaching our bible study. I am not going to give you the whole thing, but just highlight some scripture he shared. First he shared from Judges 11 about a man named Jephthah whom the Lord had called to be a warrior but he never fulfilled what the Lord had for him because he let people and trials take him away.
     The next scripture was Psalm 73:1-28.  In verses 1-20 David was bemoaning the blessing of the wicked around him and questioning God about his own trials, even questioning whether it was worth going on with God. Then in verses 21-28 David turns his trust back to the Lord having his vision and hope renewed. The Psalms are the most read book in the bible because so many of us relate to David. He was a man after God’s heart but like us he often struggled with who God called him to be but he wouldn’t give up and would always find the grace and mercy of the Lord available to him giving him victory after victory.
     The last scripture was a familiar one but stronger than ever as I heard it read. Phil. 3:12-14  12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
     In closing let me break this down for you a little since I feel this is right where I’m at in my life right now and a place we all need to find ourselves at some time.
I’m not perfect: I have made mistakes along the way & I still miss it at times. But I keep getting up. (v12)
I haven’t arrived (apprehended), but I am forgetting the past and pressing on. (v13)
Most importantly, I am pressing toward the call of God so that in the end I can hear “well done.” (v14)
      Friends, I challenge you. Do not give up on the calling, dream or vision God has planted in you. Yes there will be hurdles to jump along the way but it will be worth it to follow the Lord and know that we have been obedient to His calling. We will be able to say as the Apostle Paul said: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.”  2 Tim, 4:7 (NLT) 

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