Things Are Not Yet Done

Isaiah 46:10
“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure”

In a time when things are moving rather quickly, changing in ways we never imagined, it becomes a constant battle to stay focused. Thoughts, questions, concerns, they can all crowd our mind, derailing us from God’s intended purpose.

No matter what happens around us, God is still in control. His work is still moving forward just as He planned. Things are in motion toward the end that He established, but things are not yet done. He has a continued work for us to do, instructions that He has given us to complete.

Hebrews 11:7
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”

Through faith we continue forward even when we cannot see the events that are ahead. We simply trust the one who sees and knows all, the one who ordained it from the beginning of time.

Matthew 24:6
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”

Things are not yet done, the work to be done has not been completed. Our task is to remain focused forward toward that which God has given us to do. We know the one who created and established it all, in Him we have assurance that we need not be troubled by that which is going on around us.

1 John 2:28
“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.”

Things are not yet done, but one day soon they will be complete. In that moment we need to be found ready looking toward Him by which it all came to be.

Lost in the Abundance

In the search for the abundance of things, the abundance of peace is lost. One more thing gives way to the loss of everything, until what was sought is wanted no more.

Deuteronomy 28:47-48
“Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things ; Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things : and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.”

For their failure to seek the abundance of all things in God, they became in want of all things. They turned their eyes from the abundance that God had given them toward the things of this earth and in so doing lost it all.

Our lives can become so full of the search for the abundance of the things of this Earth that we lose all that God has promised us. We lose the joy of the moment, because we are always looking toward the next. We lose the faith we once held to in the accumulation of earthly wealth, as we seek to climb the corporate ladder within the power of our own ability. We lose the hope of looking toward Heaven, because our focus is on this Earth. And so it continues, until one day we realize that in the search for the abundance of things we lost so much more. We lost our joy, we lost our hope, we lost our faith . . . and we lost our peace.

Isaiah 48:18
“O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:”

Peace can only be found in Him, the one who created us for an intended purpose. We were not made to be of this Earth. We were created to be in fellowship with God, to one day rule and reign with Him in Heaven. Until our hearts are in line with Him there is no peace to be found.

God made a way where by we can be reconciled to Him, through the death of His Son. He established His Word to provide the guidance we need to remain in close fellowship with Him. Outside of this alignment there will be no abundance. There will be no peace . . .

“But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” Psalm 37:11

Lost in the abundance of this Earth we will one day come to realize the bitter reality of all that we really lose.

Isaiah 32:17-18
“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;”

Following the Leader

“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1

As a child “Following the Leader” was such a fun thing to do, mimicking the leaders actions, following their every step. Even when the leader took crazy twists and unexpected turns it simply added to the joy of the experience. I can still hear the song in my head and the squeals of laughter as I watched my own children following along one behind the other in a moment of happy sibling fun. (Rare as those might have been.)

Yet, as adults the call to “Follow the Leader” often seems to take on a negative tone. We take on an attitude of boredom, viewing the way ahead as one of drudgery. There seems to be no sense of excitement or joy from being able to “Follow the Leader”. We gripe at every twist and turn, we doubt the intended purpose for every change of course; but all the while our Lord and Savior calls us to follow knowing the unexpected joy that lies ahead. He sees what we can not see and He knows what we do not yet understand.

John 8:12 KJV
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

He lovingly guides us, longing for us to look up and smile knowing that though the path may be uncertain and the way ahead is unclear He is directing our every step toward a good and fruitful end. If only we look beyond ourselves and focus on the leader, “Following the Leader” becomes so much more, the joy and the laughter return. Life takes on a whole new meaning when we look to our leader with the faith of a small child, trusting Him with all that comes from “Following the Leader”.

John 10:27-28
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

Proverbs 21:21
“He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

John 13:36
Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.

Launching Out With Expectation

It’s so much calmer, so much safer sitting by the shoreline watching those that venture out. We can feel the ground below us, no need to feel uncertain or unsure. In our own ability we maintain our distance from the unknown beyond what we can clearly see. Yet, God is calling us to launch out, to go out with expectation of what He can do and plans to do through our willingness to trust Him.

Luke 5:4
Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

Jesus was instructing him to go out and let down his nets with faithful expectation for what Jesus was about to do. Simon on the other hand responded in much the same manner as we do.

Luke 5:5
And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

It was as if Simon was saying, “Lord we’ve been doing this all night and there are no fish. I’ll obey and do what you are asking, but I’m not expecting anything to happen.” Just as we do, we go through the motion of obeying without expectation. We do not have faith that anything will occur as a result. We have taken our eyes off of the one who saved us, the one who created the universe by simply speaking it into existence.

The same God is calling us to launch out in expectation of what He will do.

Luke 17:6 KJV
And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.”

Matthew 17:20 KJV
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

It’s safer sitting by the shore, it’s easier to stand where we’ve always stood, but God is calling us to launch out. He’s instructing us to go beyond where we feel safe and confident to a place where He can be glorified. He’s calling us to launch out in expectation of what He wants to do through our lives.

Luke 5:8-9 KJV
When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:”.

Be not afraid to launch out in expectation . . . God will always deliver !!!

Nothing More is Needed

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Revelations 1:8

It’s hard to grasp the true magnitude of these words living in a society of “more”. Everywhere we turn, there is more; more excitement, more adventure, more work, more stuff . . . more, more, more !!

Psalm 127:1 KJV
“Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”

Regardless of all that we might do or seek to do, it is nothing unless God is the central focus. We labor and work to achieve in a continual viscous cycle that results in no true end. There is a continual driving need for something more, when all we ever need can be found in Him.

Philippians 4:19 KJV
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

In Him we find all we need, nothing more is necessary, nothing more needs to be added. He is God, the Lord of all creation, still in possession of the power by which it was all created.

Colossians 1:16
“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:”

Isaiah 45:6 KJV
“That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.”

Isaiah 45:21-22
“Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord ? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”

Nothing More is Needed !!!

In Him is Understanding

We have all experienced moments when we struggled to understand; the meaning of a concept, the unforeseen circumstance, the life altering news, the hurt of betrayal, or maybe the death of someone we loved. In that moment things did not make sense, our brains struggled to make order of what we were experiencing. It was like being in a heavy fog, unable to see the horizon.

Our ability to understand comes from lessons that we learn, without something to base the new experience upon it simply does not make sense. Students develop skills through each level of learning by which they gain understanding. Each new concept learned develops into a new level of understanding that allows the student to continue to grow in understanding.

So when we simply do not understand, how do we gain perspective? How do we learn what God is trying to teach us in the midst of our uncertainty?

Proverbs 2:3-6
“Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”

Proverbs 3:4-6 KJV
“So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

In Him is understanding . . .

Into the Depths

In the midst of space exploration and all of the advancements that have occurred with manned flights, it still amazes me that our levels of expertise are still limited in our ability to fully know the depths of the ocean at its deepest points. All that lies beneath still remains a mystery in some ways, but in the very essence of what that means I find joy; for it gives me an image of what it truly means when I think of how my Savior went to the depths to rescue me.

Psalm 40:2 KJV
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

Psalm 130:1 KJV
Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.

Psalm 130:4 KJV
But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

There is great joy in the realization that not only has He gone to the depths to rescue me, to forgive me and to save me from the depths of my sin, He has cast my sin into the depths of the sea.

Micah 7:19 KJV
He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

In my mind I picture my sin as it is cast into the abyss, the furtherest depths of the ocean in the blackest absence of light, never to be remembered. In that image I find great humility, knowing someone would love me so much that they would love me in spite of who I am, taking away my deepest darkest sin, dying that I might not perish; giving to me instead, everlasting life.

John 3:16 KJV
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Ephesians 2:6-8
“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”

He went into the depths to raise me up that I might live in Him.

That Which He Hath Purposed

So often I get caught up in the day, doing this, determining that, as if I am in control of my world. I go about throughout the day full steam ahead in the power of my own strength as if what I am purposing to do in myself will come to a good end.

It doesn’t take long for it to all fall apart, leaving me fully aware that it’s not in me to purpose to do this or that; it’s God through which the purpose is made real and only in Him can it be manifest in our lives.

Isaiah 14:26-27 “This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it ? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?”

Who is it to question what His purpose is or that what He has purposed will come truly come to pass ? He created all that exists, He is in control of all that exists, and what He has purposed will be as He hath said it will be.

Ephesians 1:8-9 “Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:”

The fact that He has given us His Word by which we can learn of His intended purpose, allowing us the opportunity to become a part of His purposed plan is beyond my comprehension. He has given us the ability to come before Him to learn of His intended purpose, just as the coach goes over the playbook before the game, God stands ready to give us the purpose and plan for each new day.

Ephesians 3:11-12 “According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.”

Not only do we have the ability to learn of His intended purpose, we can gain access to the confidence we need to fulfill that purpose through our faith in Him. It is in and through our faith that we become part of His intended purpose. Once we have accepted Christ as our Savior we become part of that which He hath purposed to do, so that in and through us He can be glorified.

Ephesians 1:11-12 “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.”

So it is when I begin my day in acknowledgement of who He is that created me, knowing that I was created to live each day of my life for that which He hath purposed . . . then and only then, it is a Good Day for I am living toward that which He hath purposed.

Who We are When No One But God is Near

Sometimes it’s easy to be “that” person when everyone is looking, “that” person that has it all together, “that” person that knows God’s perfect plan and is moving forward in complete surrender to His will. “That” person who never struggles with doubt or fear, “that” person who loves with sincerity and openness of heart never struggling with feelings of jealousy or envy. “That” person who trusts God completely, knowing He is working all things for our good and His glory in His perfect time.

Yet, in the quiet of the darkness of night and in the break of first morning’s light when no one but God is near, the facade of “that” person disappears and the reality of who we are is made known.

1 Samuel 16:7 “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”

We are often fooled by what we see outwardly, but God sees the heart. He knows the reality of who we are when no one else is near. He sees our hurt, our pain, our doubt, our pride, our sin.

Psalm 139:1-4 “O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.”

God sees every action and every thought, He knows us inside and out; yet, in our imperfect state His thoughts are still toward us and in that is the most amazing of all truths.

Psalm 139:16-17 “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!”

The reality of the true extent of His desire to be with us when no one else is near, knowing us for who we really are should enable us to live in the freedom of that realization. In Him we do not have to be “that” person, we can be exactly who we are, a person saved by His grace as a result of and despite our imperfection.

Thus, we can live as we are when no one else but God is near fully confident in who we are in Him. We are free to be honest, allowing others to see our vulnerabilities in all humbleness knowing God can use our brokenness to reach a world that is broken.

Ephesians 2:3-5,8-10 “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Light Reflections

The first light of morning is always a beautiful thing, a fascinating miracle of life as the light creeps over the horizon. It’s expression of new hope fills the heart with anticipation, anticipation of all the promise held by the new day that is dawning. I’ve often wondered about that moment when the first light of my Savior dawns with the realization that a new day has come over the horizon and the darkness of the night will be no more, for it will all be gone away.

2 Samuel 23:4 “And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.

Paul experienced this light in the brightness of light of day, this light that he saw far exceeded the light of the sun at noon day.

Acts 26:13 “At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.

Even in the brightest of days, the light of our Savior expands far beyond human comprehension. We cannot begin to understand the light that exists within the person of our God and Savior.

John 1:3-5 “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

This light is so great that it shines in the darkest of nights, it reaches beyond the imprisonments of sin and gives life where death once was found. It penetrates beyond the grasp of darkness to the sinner that turns toward the light.

John 8:12 “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

No matter where we have been, where we are, or what we might have done, this light comes to to us in the depth of our darkness. We need only turn toward the source of all light.

Psalm 107:13-14 “Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.”

When we experience the light that comes with the forgiveness of our sins, it spreads throughout our soul as the first rays of summer’s warmth shining upon our face. We lift our face up to the source of inner light, soaking in the essence of who He is and what He has done. A new day dawns within us.

Isaiah 58:8 “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.”

1 John 2:8 “Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.”

Once we experience this great light it becomes a part of us, it lives within us. The beauty of light is in its ability to spread outward, to overtake the darkness that exists. Light was never intended to be hidden, but to be shared with those in darkness.

Matthew 5:14-16 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

We are commanded to take our light to others, to share the light that we have been given. Unlike the light contained within the wattage of a light bulb, the light within us is limitless exceeding outward to dispel darkness.

Isaiah 42:16 “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.”

And, in that day when the last set of sun occurs in our lives, we will step into the dawning of Heavens light where no darkness will ever exist for all is Light.

Isaiah 60:19-20 “The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.

And so it is that we should be reminded, the time is nearing when all that is darkness shall be put away and all will be light. Romans 13:12 “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”