A Promised Land –
A destiny chosen by God. A plan perfectly created by the One who created each and every one of us. The One who has a very specific purpose He wants to accomplish and has invited us to partner with Him in it. The One who placed Grace Chapel in the hearts of a few almost 20 years ago. The Father who has lovingly guided our steps.
But, we want answers. We want the stat sheet. We want the square footage and the layout of the property. We want to know what kind of things we’ll be able to do on this property. We want to know what the parking will be like. We want to know if we’ll still have windows and trees. We want answers!
What if though…our Promised Land isn’t so much a physical place but a new understanding of the Presence of God, a new commitment to living in community and carrying one another’s burdens and a new passion for the world around us? What if our Promised Land is a movement of people who believe wholly that God intends to touch Heaven to Earth? A people who are looking for what God is doing and meeting Him there! A Church where the hearts and minds of people are more important than the coffee and the cool factor.
A Wilderness –
Have you ever noticed that the Israelites were always going to be going through a wilderness to get from slavery to the promised land? There was not a plan that didn’t include the wilderness. God didn’t intend for them to be there as long as they were, but they would always experience the wilderness.
I’m sure you all have seen in your own lives that your growth or exposure to a new aspect of God’s character comes from time in a wilderness. We all get comfortable – whether in slavery or in a first promised land. Too comfortable. So comfortable that we’re shaken when God calls us to continue moving.
Wilderness is a fact of life. God uses the wildernesses in our lives to teach us more about Him, ourselves, and each other. The wilderness is hard, but there is no promised land if there is no wilderness. And we have a choice in walking through the wilderness. Are we going to approach it with the mentality of a slave or a precious daughter of The King?
A People –
God’s chosen people. The Israelites were God’s chosen people. They had a rough road of it, but that did not change their identity as God’s chosen people. Now, WE are God’s chosen people. Jesus came to save both Jew and Gentile. Jesus came that we might be adopted into His family. Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly!
What does Life Abundant look like for you this coming year?
Maybe your abundant life is one of: Restored relationships, Healing, Forgiveness of long-held offenses, Freedom from the chains of bitterness, addiction, anger, etc.
Whatever elements your Abundant Life holds; I know this – Life Abundant is a life full of:
- His Presence
- His Forgiveness
- His healing
- His Love
- His Grace
- His Mercy
- His Righteousness!
My prayer for each and every one of you this year is: Ephesians 3:14-21
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
So here is to 2018! A year of changes, a year of journey to the Promised Land, and a year of something new! Even if the unanswered questions feel like a precipice; and you’d rather be safe and sound back in the safety of the tree line; remember, it is only standing at the edge that we see the amazing view open before us! God, we praise You for our anticipated Promised Land and we give ourselves up to the journey!
Jen is a pastor at Grace Chapel. She is married to Gary (26 years) and mom to Emma (and Josh), Meg and Kate. She loves people, reading, traveling and finding new adventures. She loves Jesus and walking with people to find the freedom God intended for us!