Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Next Step


This is the last Sunday of the year. Friday we will all take the next step into the future together as we celebrate the New Year, 2016. In respect to this next step allow me to share 3 Truths that affect us all.
1.   There is a time for every purpose under heaven.
2.   God wants to move you up the ladder of His will.
3.   Your success can begin with the next step.

Believe me when I say that: “You are completely unprepared for anything other than your next step with God.” However, you are fully prepared for the purpose of this season in your life. Anything less than pursuing God’s will for your life can only add to the problems, cause unnecessary or even critical delays and ultimately take you farther from the answers and the help you will need. You are only one decision away from the best decision.

Ecclesiastes 3  NKJV
1  To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
2  A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
3  A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up;
4  A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
5  A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
6  A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
7  A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
8  A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.
9  What profit has the worker from that in which he labors?
10  I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied.
11  He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
12  I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives,
13  and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor — it is the gift of God.

Life is filled with times and seasons … some we enjoy and some we don’t.

Every time we arrive at one destination we find ourselves standing on the platform of our next departure. Each season and every circumstance of life finds us busily preparing for the next. Every decision we make, whether right or wrong, supplies critical information and adds valuable experience we will need to take advantage of our next opportunity.

No one is perfect or without fault in this life. We have all made decisions we regret but not one of us can turn back the hands of time and wipe away our worst mistakes. God understands that there is nothing we can do about our yesterdays except turn them over to Him and leave them in His hands. He is the only one who can manage our past.

The most important thing on our plate today is not what we did or didn’t do in 2015 but rather what we will do in 2016 by the grace of God. God is not focused on our past but rather He is focused on our future.

Our future will not be determined by our past but rather by our response to a now God with a now word for the next step of which - we are prepared to take. Believe it … you are fully prepared for the next step!

1.   There is a time for every purpose under heaven.
2.   God wants to move you up the ladder of His will.
3.   Your success may depend on your next step.

There is an Old Testament account of a man named Abraham who was in a covenant with God. One day God told Abraham to take his promised young son to a specific place and sacrifice him on an altar. When Abraham knew he had clearly heard the Word of Jehovah God he took the next step … he prepared and immediately began the journey. Abraham knew the next step and he simply trusted God enough to take it.  

After a 3 day walk Abraham and his son Isaac arrived at the place God chose. While Abraham was obediently preparing his son as a sacrifice, God saw his trust and his faithfulness and spoke a second time to Abraham.

Genesis 22
10  And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
11  But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am."
12  And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."

Abraham faithfully followed the Word of the Lord knowing he could trust God even with his greatest possessions. What must have seemed like new orders from God weren’t really all that new to God … they were just new to Abraham. God was always in control and had actually already provided another sacrifice for Abraham that day.

Abraham didn’t know the end from the beginning but God did and sometimes God leads us like He led Abraham. God could see all the steps while Abraham could only see the next step. If we are going to make the most out of life we must always be ready for a fresh word from God …

There is a time for every season to change and for new things to take root where old things once grew. Just because seasons change does not mean the last season was bad or that it was not the best God had to offer us in that season. However, without regard as to the last step we took in faith trusting God … the most important step we face is the next step.

In closing I offer three things to remember when considering your next step:
1.   Don’t limit God
a.   Trust in the miraculous and realize that God always moves His children up the ladder of His will
2.   Be flexible and resolute
a.   Resolve to obey God
b.   Everything else is subject to change
3.   Don’t burn your bridges
a.   Abraham may not have understood but he nonetheless trusted … Don’t be anxious or fearful - Trust God with the next step!

The best decision you can make right now is to offer yourself completely to God. Pray and let Him know that you are committed to His plan for your life. God will not forget your trust in Him and He will open every door of favor and multiply His grace in your life so that you will not stray or be drawn off course. God will make His will clear to you even if He has to send angels from heaven to direct your path.

Psalms 37:23 says the steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord …

If you will but commit yourself to His purpose and take the next step in this season, to which I might add you are fully prepared, He will direct your way and give you a lamp for your feet and a light for your path.

This coming year is a time of great change such as we living in the world have not seen in our generations. Although many of us were born long before the technology revolution and some even before television, and although we have witnessed such great changes take place in the political and social landscapes of our nation and the world, yet we have never seen the likes of those things which will suddenly upon us.

Knowledge will increase and craft will prosper and the very powers of this world will be shaken and will yield their secrets to those destined to usher in the coming of the Lord. Many will face temptations they never imagined and fall prey to the pursuit of selfish gain and fleshly advance but those who wait upon the Lord shall be supernaturally strengthened and will see through the darkness and discern the enemy’s plan.

Look up and lift up your heads saints, your redemption draws near and the Lord is standing to ready His return. There is a purpose in this season … God is calling us to higher ground … make sure your next step … you are well prepared and for such a time as this. Resolve to obey God and take your next step with Him.

Let’s let God know we are ready for the call … and … lest I forget …

Happy New Year!!!