Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Embrace & Endure

Embrace & Endure


Success is more than a one step process.

Success is often determined by our ability to endure the process.

I have wondered if it is because of God’s strategy or if it is simply that God sees the end from the beginning that causes Him to give us such an optimistic picture of each adventure of life He leads us to embrace. When Moses was sent to speak to the children of Israel he had but one message to Pharaoh and but one message for the Children of Israel.

To Pharaoh the message was “Let My people go!”

To the Children of Israel the message was:

“God will deliver you from bondage and take you to a land flowing with milk and honey.”

Both of these messages are pictures of a sure destiny but without any mention of what it may take to get there.

God strategically left out the journey and it’s demands on life.

The prophecy was sure and secure but many of those who heard the word would embrace the destiny without enduring the journey and therefore would die without inheriting the promises.

Some died from natural causes and the process of life while others found opportunity to go astray and abandoned their journey. Circumstances and situations of life through time led many to disbelieve and disregard the word of the Lord.

We see the same reality played out in the days of Noah.

All of the animals who were summoned by the Spirit to present themselves to Noah for the voyage to a new world were obedient to follow. (Genesis 7 & 8) Each one of the seven pair of clean animals and fowls and the two pair of unclean animals were obedient to God in following His will on this adventure of a lifetime.

Every one of the birds and beasts spent the same amount of time on the ark … one year! Cramped, no doubt rationed and daily rocked by the wind and waves of the seas. All following the promise of a new world, the prophetic word of Noah saying that God would destroy the earth by water and begin a new world with those saved through the ark.

The story continues as we see Noah and his shipmates, along with all the bird and animal cargo arriving at the destined dry ground of the new world. Each had been obedient and now one would think that all would have the chance to enjoy the reward of their obedience by being fruitful and re-filling the earth. Not so fast!

Genesis 8:20 says that one of the first things Noah did was to build an altar to God and then he took one of every clean animal and bird and sacrificed it on the altar to God.

Hold on … you mean that some of these animals, quite a few in fact, made the whole obedient journey of hardship just to get to their greatest potential and die before enjoying the Promised Land? Yep, that’s exactly what happened!

Why? Well maybe we don’t see the whole picture yet! Perhaps our view of death as well as our view of the prophetic is limited to what we see as life. God sees life and eternal life. I think we may be a bit shortsighted when it comes to how God views destiny.

Perhaps our duty is to embrace and endure.

Luke 1 NKJV

67 ¶ Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:

68 "Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people,

69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David,

70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, Who have been since the world began,

71 That we should be saved from our enemies And from the hand of all who hate us,

72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers And to remember His holy covenant,

73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:

74 To grant us that we, Being delivered from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear,

75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.

76 "And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,

77 To give knowledge of salvation to His people By the remission of their sins,

78 Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;

79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace."

80 So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.

This prophecy about what was happening would not actually be manifested for another 30 plus years.

Many people who heard this prophesy died before it was fulfilled.

You see, God inspires us with a destiny message however, it is the journey which takes us there.

Four eternal truths which should inspire us to embrace and endure.

1. God’s Word Is True

2. God Calls Greatness Out of Obscurity

3. Death Does Not Stop The Promise of God

4. The Journey Is Our Friend