Last Week, I made reference to a prophetic word spoken over our church in Brewster, NY and said that we had a prophetic destiny. The same is true for all of us individually. God said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” He had a destiny. But as I say often, nothing is automatic. It takes our participation to activate what God intended for us. We can’t sit back and think God should just do for us what we need. He responds to our faith and obedience. Jeremiah had to act upon the word given to him. When the prophet Daniel read Jeremiah’s prophesy regarding the nation of Israel’s seventy-year captivity and calculated that it was coming near the end, he started praying for their release. His faith was that God would do what he had promised, so Daniel prayed for it to come to pass. God wants us to come into the fullness of what he intended for us when he created us in his image. He wants us to walk in an intimate relationship with him in the same way Jesus did. He needs to be our central focus. Our relationship with him keeps everything in life in perfect order.
Some of the comments made during the last Planning Board’s public hearing regarding our plans to put up a tent on our field revealed how far off course our country has gotten. The church used to be the center of a community. Towns were built around them. There was a deep respect for the clergy and the work of the ministry. Somehow the church at large has lost its influence. People don’t see it for what God intended it to be. We don’t have time to dig into all the reasons for this but suffice it to say that all our technological advances that were meant to make life easier, have contributed to making people more self-absorbed. Possessions became the priority. Today many seem to spend more time connecting impersonally with social media while not developing genuine relationships. Smartphones can be taking the place of friends. While I’m not against technology and what it can do for us, nothing can take the place of living life the way God intended it. That is through personal relationships. “It is not good for man to be alone,” Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to love the Lord your God with your whole heart, soul mind, and strength. And the second was of equal value: love your neighbor as you love yourself.
This problem is not something that can be changed legislatively. It has to be done personally and that begins with each of us individually. We need to evaluate our priorities. What are our greatest concerns? What are our highest ideals? What is the most important thing in our lives? What is most valuable to you? If you were to lose something that would represent your greatest loss?
What came to your mind as you considered those questions? Was it about your possessions or your job, your family? Did you consider your relationship with God? How close you to him? What is your relationship with him like? Is it based on performance, e.g. keeping rules and regulations; trying to satisfy some sense of what he requires of us? Or is it an intimate relationship of father and child? Are we God’s friend? Do we stand for what he stands for? Do we hate what he hates? Do we love what he loves? Are our desires his desires? These are a good thought provoking questions. The church will regain its influence in the community when he is truly the Central Focus in our personal lives. As we grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father through Jesus and the power and presence of the Holy Spirit we will become closer to the people around us: our family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, strangers we meet, etc. Our church will become stronger and more influential because of the exponential power of our unity. Miracles will occur. Lives will be changed. Souls will be saved. This is our destiny!
Let’s begin by praying for ourselves to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to be filled with his Holy Spirit. Then pray for those around us and every relationship named above. Let’s pray to truly hear God’s voice and for us to fulfill his divine destiny for Grace Community Church: that we would bring HIM glory by being a church after his own heart. Expect him to move in our midst and touch our lives and everyone we have contact with. God bless you and don’t forget to STOP FOR THE ONE!