March 08, 2017

Preparing For His Purposes

At Word of God Bible Church in Eagle River, WI, we have been studying the life of Jesus for the last month.  It is a powerful series which will take us several more months to cover.  I am excited for the opportunity for us as a congregation to get intimate with Jesus and, hopefully, fall more in love with Him as we gain a deeper appreciation of what our Awesome God has done for us through this mystery we call the incarnation.

That was a really long sentence.  Sometimes, it takes a while to convey all the important stuff in a single message.

For the entire last month, we have been looking only at the accounts of the Gospels that deal with the life of Jesus.  All we have looked at so far has only brought us to the point of the wilderness temptations this coming Sunday.  That's a lot of time to take having not even reached much of the speaking parts of Jesus, and certainly having not reached His public ministry yet.

Yet, it is amazing to see how much Jesus has spoken to us through His pre-incarnate life, and even His birth and childhood.  It's all about fulfillment and preparation.  Some of the preparation was for Him and some was for others.  This hits home especially hard for us at WOGBC because we are on the cusp of something new that God is doing in our life as a local body.  We are growing and becoming what God has for us to be, but we are very aware that the Church does not belong to us; nor does the Body get it's direction from any "head" down here.  Jesus Christ is our Head, and our purposes and paths are given and directed by Him.  Not only for our blessing and fulfillment, but for the blessing and fulfillment of others as well.  There is always more at stake than we think - or less than our pride lead us to believe.

We are reminded in the prophecies of Christ that He would be for all nations, that He would be the final and authoritative sacrifice for peace between God and man.  We are reminded in the birth narratives of Christ, that others had much to lose from a human perspective. But as Joseph was told, "Do not fear," and as Mary pondered upon, "All things will be possible with God."  It is important for us to dwell upon those hope-filled statements.

In a world where we stand to gain or lose so much in the eyes of the world, our focus must remain on the agenda of God in and through us.  The promise to Mary - and anyone who encounters Christ - is not the simple truth that nothing IS impossible with God, but that nothing WILL BE impossible with God.  That is a promise full of hope and security for the life to come and the present reality.  What He has given to me and to us will not be impossible.  That is specific to me, not generalized truth about who God is.

But I come back again to this idea of preparation.  We are not always ready when we want to be or when we think we are.  Sometimes God says wait.  It may be for our development, or it may be for the development of others.  It may, very well be both.

But here is the crux of it for us: that we are being prepared for something greater than just us, and we need to keep our eyes and ears open for His purposes, not just what we want it to be.

We are a six year old Church about to step into something new that God has for us.  This is exciting, and if I am honest, a little bit scary.  What could God possibly do with someone like me?  With people like us.  Sure, God used nobodies in the Bible, but they were extraordinary nobodies - weren't they?  Maybe we are extraordinary nobodies with God before us as well...

How about you?   Are you in a time of preparation - or are you in a season of fulfillment?  No matter where or when, be encouraged by this:  God's purposes are sovereign and nothing will be impossible with Him.  With Him.  Stay the course He sets.  God Bless.

With you for His glory,