2014- Unfinished Kingdom Business
Standing on the threshold of this New Year most of us have what we can refer to as "Unfinished Kingdom Business that we would like to see resolved in short order.
We have met the "basic requirement of God by giving our hearts over to His Son Jesus Christ. Doing that we positioned ourselves for eternal life with God and while we live in this earth we have what Second Peter 1:4 refer to as "Exceedingly great and precious promises.
With these promises given to us, we also have an affirmation that as long as we're in the earth God will be working on our behalf.
Philippians 1 says:
6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
The Message Bible translates verse 6 as:
There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.
Just as we are supposed to have eternal life settled in our hearts when our time in the earth runs its course, while living in the earth we are also to have the things that God promised us settled as well.
We all have dreams and visions for our lives that we hold onto for months and years, expecting that one day what we envision in our hearts would become a reality.
Some of these dreams have a Biblical basis that the Scriptures reveal as a promise from God. These we believed and confessed as God's will for us and we would not let go of the fact that God does want us to prosper, be in health even as our soul prospers. We would not let go of the fact that God wants our family members saved and our minds to be free from the mental distress often associated with living in the earth.
Other dreams are birthed out of the principles the Scriptures reveal. We turned those examples of what God allows into a firm reality as we pursued those things with Kingdom purpose and viewing them as being life-altering. With them we began a new career, a new relationship or purchased something that would allow us to achieve our purpose easier.
Yet, there are still other dreams we have that we want to see accomplished that may have been instilled by our parents, families or friends. We diligently pursue careers or become community advocates so we can see our friends, neighbors and families relieved of some of the distress and blight that often come because of a lack of attention paid to it and the lack of a voice that will stand up for those that don't know how to stand up for themselves.
No matter where these dreams and visions find their root in our lives, they are real to us nonetheless and seeing them become a reality would make either our lives or the lives of those we love better.
I've learned over the years that the only promises that God is obligated to bring to pass are those that He gives us in His Word. If some of the dreams, visions and desires we have are birthed out of our own passion, God can and may allow you to experience it because He loves us so much. But having a great desire to see something happen is no guarantee that it will.
We need to understand that God wants us to walk in His wisdom and stretch ourselves past our oftentimes "self-imposed limitations and begin positioning ourselves for the things He desires for us.
We must allow our hearts and minds to become so captivated with God and His Word that these become the very reason for our existence.
We must consciously look for and find what He promised us in the Scriptures and focus the thoughts and intents of our hearts on these things. The other things we would like to see become a reality becomes a "perk or bonus for serving Christ even though we really don't need one.
To ask many Christians "What are some of God's promises most would begin stating that they are supposed to have material, financial or physical increase that will make their lives better while they go through the earth.
There's another group of Believers that will state that they are blessed to bless someone else. This is the perspective that God wants each of us to live our lives from as we embrace the concept that God gave our forefather Abraham.
However many fall short of applying the principles necessary to be blessed in the manner that God intended. Having ulterior motives in being blessed they never apply the principles of daily obedience and at times sacrificial giving so they can increase in this manner.
Because they put their focus on what they can get and not what they "do to please God they live frustrated lives that are below God's intent for them.
Does this mean that God does not want to bless them or that it's wrong to think about having material blessings? No, it does not. I'm trying to get our hearts and minds right so we don't become frustrated in the process.
There's the principle of faith and patience that God initiated for us that many times He will not allow us to get around. With faith and patience there's the reality of experience that we simply cannot discount as it's our experience in a certain matter that allows us the opportunity to help someone else.
God gave us promises and then said if you want them, you will have to believe Him for the fulfillment of them and at the same time learn how to "Wait and war for them.
Hebrews 6 states:
10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
God has a long-term memory and the things we have done for Him and His Kingdom is going to be rewarded. I often say that if you do anything for God, that He will be a debtor to no man.
This is especially true if our motives are right and we are not deceived into thinking that "We can have the promises of the Kingdom without fully submitting to the King of the Kingdom.
However we must be Kingdom minded and know that what God promised us will take having a "confident, favorable expectation that something good is going to come out of every situation you face¦ even if it's impossible to see it at the time. This is where God places hope in our hearts.
With all of this said, many of us entered 2013 with expectations that things were going to change for the better. We made resolutions and started the year off with great passion and faith.
Our hearts and minds were convinced that things were going to change and we would not look at the same things when 2014 rolled around. But looking at things with the natural eye it seems that you are still in the same predicament and it may even appear that things got worse.
But we are not natural beings that place their hope on things that we can control. We are spiritual beings that place faith in the God of the Universe who cares about the smallest detail of our lives.
God gave us the element of faith to uphold us during our times of distress. We're able to still declare that things are going to get better even though we have no physical evidence that it is so. That is the purpose of faith.
Hebrews 11 says:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
The New Living Translations states:
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
When Biblical faith is involved, the element of time is taken out of the equation.
The faith of many Believers is shaken because of unrealistic expectations and by placing a time frame on God who is not bound by the element of time.
God operates though seasons in the lives of His people. He brings to fruition His promises when He knows we are ready to handle the intended increase in our lives. In other words, He manifests the fruit of what we desire when He knows we're ripe or matured enough.
When things do not happen according to our time table we must never give up. Just know that we're not ripe and there's more maturing that we have yet to experience.
We must know what God promised us in His Word and keep our focus by not diminishing our love, obedience and service to Him while we wait for the manifestation to our prayers.
Further if you are really operating in faith, you know that the manifestation of the thing you hope will happen is "the result of what you already settled in your heart; not the other way around where the manifestation is the sign of your faith.
In reality, faith is not strong because you can get something from God¦ It's strong because "You choose to allow God to do what He wants to do in the way He wants to do it.
Faith actually changes us so we can stand during the time of trial until we receive what God promised.
Because many of us still have hopes and dreams that have not become a reality yet, we have "Unfinished Kingdom Business that must be addressed.
This is a season for us to consider whether we are doing everything we can and are supposed to be doing in order to see our lives changed for the better.
Something that is unfinished is "incomplete, partial and in progress. Because it's incomplete it does not mean that it is not going to happen. What it means is that the project has started and the size of the task determines how long it will take to complete it.
Any builder will tell you this as the completed architectural drawings [which can be likened to your faith] takes much less time to draw up than actually completing the building [which is the manifestation].
Therefore, what you have begun in the Spirit must continue to be built so you can see the manifestation of it. God does not do things half way and then say "That's as far as I'm going. He does not give up¦ We do!
Therefore approaching 2014, the questions that must be answered can be the same ones that you asked when 2013 began.
Do you have any goals? You may be content right where you are and being satisfied, are not interested in advancing your life any further.
If you are settled where you are you must realize that your fight is not for you alone. The future of your children and grandchildren are at stake. They may emulate the faith they see in you. If it's a settling faith that has become selfish and cares only about what you can do or get, they may grow up with that same attitude.
Are you trying to accomplish God's vision- God's way?
Especially as you get older, it becomes important to minimize effort while maximizing results. The greatest results will be as you understand how God wants you to do something and then follow His blueprint.
God's way often entails serving Him which is referred to as our worship.
Commit to God's way of doing things so you can realize God's benefits for your obedience. The fact that He has allowed you to gaze upon another year is an indication that your vision is still alive. Therefore as Romans 12 says, we're to
"1 present our bodies a living sacrifice unto God, holy, and acceptable unto Him, which is our reasonable act of worship [service]. 2 And do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
The NLT says:
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice”the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
He gives us more grace and wants each of us to become more diligent in "what we do for Him and "how we do it.
Therefore we must Serve God diligently and enthusiastically¦ Give to God willingly and consistently¦ Love God more passionately.
This attitude of service [worship] sets you apart from the world and takes the focus off what someone is wearing or their level of maturity and places it on what their hearts are actually doing.
Third, Make up your mind to be a person of prayer and fasting.
In today's Church both prayer and fasting have been reduced to a formula, method or technique of something we're supposed to do. The reality is these are supposed to be "Who we are.
We are to be people of prayer and people that fast.
Although there are times when corporate fasts are called, we should mature to the place where we don't have to receive instructions from the "king as they did in the Scriptures before we set our hearts to seek the Lord.
I'm asking that you join us in fasting at the beginning of the year as we set aside 7 days to pray and seek God for His will and the fulfillment of your individual vision.
Ezra 8:22 b.
"The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him. 23 So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.
Jesus said it this way in Matthew 17
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?
20 So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ˜Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.
What Jesus is saying here is that there is the principle of faith where nothing is impossible for you to attain if you will apply your faith. However as verse 21 says, some things will not be resolved except through fasting and prayer.
Let's begin 2014 seeking God and becoming more radical in our prayer life.
Please read the book "Fasting, God's Hidden Power" in the sub menu... Then allow God to lead you to finiish what He started in you!