A young boy was at Disneyland enjoying meeting Mickey Mouse and experiencing all the rides. As he eats his popcorn, and enjoying the excitement of all the fanfare, he didn’t notice that he had become separated from his parents. He was enjoying the hustle and bustle of Disney until he looked up and discovered his parents were not there. Once this boy discovered he was not in fellowship with his parents anymore, Disneyland turned into a Disney Disaster. All of a sudden, the candy floss wasn’t so sweet; the rides were no longer exciting.
We too can be so busy enjoying the rides and trills of this world that we don’t realise we are not walking with God. We are happy with a little bit of God, but God longs that we know and understand His higher purpose for our lives. We need to walk and be led by the Spirit, not only into the Spirit’s presence, but into the Holy Spirit’s provision – all the things He wants to produce in our lives, that we might know life.
All around us there are challenges to our Christian faith, but if by the Spirit of God, we can live a life led by the Spirit of God, we shall find life and discover God’s purpose. Rick Warren said ‘You were born by His purpose, for His purpose, you do not discover purpose by looking within yourself, you only discover purpose by starting with God, lives values and purpose comes from Him’.
In Philippians 3, Paul said the following to the Philippian church;
I am focusing all my energies on this one thing; Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…I press on that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has taken hold of me.Philippians 3:13-14
What is your vision for 2020? What is your focus as you look forward to a New Year? Sometimes we can become weary in the race set before us because we lose, we lack vision and direction, we start looking at the negative things in life. I pray you get a fresh vision of your calling and purpose.
Maybe as you face a new year there is much uncertainty about your life, there is anxiety within your heart as you run the race set before you. John Piper said that “unbelief is the root of our anxieties”. Let faith arise in your heart, as you trust God for this coming year.
If we are to know our purpose and fulfil our purpose for the coming year, we need to run this race in faith, we need to get our focus right. Jesus our example, He knew the end goal (see Hebrews 11:2-3).
Looking back at Philippians 3, what does Paul mean by “forgetting those things which are behind”? He means that we don’t settle there living in the past, holding past regrets, past hurts, missed opportunities, lost dreams. We should only look back in order to gain confidence in going forward. Today let the Spirit of God renew your heart, your strength and understand who you are, that there is an upward call of God on your life.
So, what is your focus for 2020? More wealth? More holidays? Or is your focus on the things of the Kingdom of God – the call of God on your life?
Our effectiveness in life is determined by our ability to see. What do you see? We need God’s revelation. When Helen Keller was asked whether there was anything worse than being blind. She said “Yes, to have sight but no vision”. Thank God for yesterday’s accomplishments; but we need to think about tomorrows possibilities, to see what God sees. Before you were in darkness, dead, but God called you out of darkness into His marvellous light. Dead people cannot hear; however, it was the Spirit of God that made you alive to hear the call of God.
…to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ2 Thessalonians 2:14
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.1 Peter 5:10
Here in these verses is our focus for 2020; our call is to encounter the glory of God. God has taken hold of your life; your life purpose is to be satisfied in God and to glorify Him forever.
Don’t look back trying to find comfort in the old ways, yes you can remember what you were, lost, blind, with no understanding, but also remember what God had done for you.
God has taken hold of your life.