What Are You Going To Do With Your Year—Today, and This Year?
Scripture Lesson: Isaiah 43:16, 18-19, Ezek. 47: 1-12, 13-14
Sermon Text: Isaiah 43:16, 18-19, Ezek. 47: 13-14
A few days before the first day of 2017, I had gotten up out of bed very early and was running several different errands—some of them involved “house errands” (caretaking), some of them involved ministry matters (outreach/funeral), and some of them just involved trying to get myself ready for various events that were happening during the holidays. I will be the first person to let other persons know: I am NOT a “morning person”; I never really have been—if I could, I would love to start my day at 10:00 AM and go all the way until 12:00 AM—I always had nighttime jobs, either the evening shift, or the so-called “graveyard” shift from 12:00 AM – 8:00 AM! But, if I ABSOLUTELY HAVE to, I WILL get up and be a part of the morning commuters [the morning shift :)] and will make sure that I have my orange juice or tea, because I do not care for coffee [sorry, coffee lovers :)].
Back to “my story”, or testimony. I got up out of bed, got dressed, looked in the mirror, and felt as if I heard the Lord saying,
“THIS is the day that I [the Lord] have made
(not you or me, but HE);
we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24).
I had been thinking about that scripture all week, had been rejoicing in it all week, and had teach/preached it in a weekly women’s early morning conference call prayer group, and just KNEW that that particular message was what God would have me to speak on as one of the speakers for our church’s Watchnight/New Year’s Eve service. However, when I sat down to meditate, write, and type, I felt like I was getting a “no”. I then decided to wait, then started looking through topical Bibles online, and was led to BibleGateway.com, which had a “Scripture of the Day”, which read:
“Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea
And a path through the mighty waters,
“Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.” (Is. 43:16, 18-19 NKJV)
I sat and looked at the scripture, and felt like I had been “blown away”. The first part which stated, “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old.”, did not resonate with me about that, because I was tired of speaking about the past, and was ready to move on with life events; however, I felt as if the Lord was impressing upon me to go back and read the entire scripture again, with all of my feelings involved. As I did so, I felt as if the Lord was showing me a vision of a dark wilderness, something that one may see out of a movie scene—very dark, and very barren. However, as I began to read vs. 19, it felt as if the trees had opened up, as the scriptures said—to a clearing road, and a river in the desert. Then another scripture came to mind, which brings me to Ezek. 47:1-12:
Then he brought me back to the door of the temple (the prophet Ezekiel had had a vision—his final one, which I believe was a healing one, after all that he had been through—of a Holy Temple)—and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar. Ezekiel’s vision then extended to his wading in the river, whose waters were meant for healing, viewing all the beautiful fruits and trees along the sides of the river—they were meant for food, as well as for healing—what a wonderful and awesome sight! and then back to seeing the river once again (vs.12 c).
—now, the vision does not stop there; it goes on to verses 13-14 in Ezekiel 47, which reads:
13 Thus says the Lord God: “These are the borders by which you shall divide the land as an inheritance among the twelve tribes of Israel. Joseph shall have two portions. 14 You shall inherit it equally with one another; for I raised My hand in an oath to give it to your fathers, and this land shall fall to you as your inheritance.
—now, what does all of this mean for us, as women and men of Christ? It means that:
Number #1: No weapon formed against you shall prosper (Is. 54:17),
Number #2: If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land (Is. 1:19);
Number #3: No weapon formed against you shall prosper [this point bears repeating :)]
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord (Is. 54:17).
I feel that this vision means that we can go forward, have dominion, and take possession over whatever God has decreed for you and I to have in our lives, because guess what? We WON! It doesn’t matter what is or has gone on in our life or my life, or outside, or inside, or anyplace else, we WON! Yes, we have been through—and sometimes feel as if we are still going through—the wilderness; yes, we have food, and a wonderful valley full of trees set aside for us for healing (truly there is a Balm in Gilead); and YES, we have been so blessed that we have been through the waters came up to our ankles, knees, waist, and then came up to a point where they were so deep, that we got to point where we could not swim/could not cross—talk about blessings!
HOWEVER, there is, yes, there is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God—the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High (ps. 46:4). The city of God…is US!…and about us as the Church Universal (us as believers collectively), and about each and every one of us as individually as believers in Jesus Christ—WE WON (me dancing and practically screaming in the devil’s face)! We each—and together—are the temple of the Holy Spirit in every way (1 Cor. 6:19)! “We have a strong city; God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks (Is. 26:1b)—WE WON!
No more upset,
no more worry,
or-even-poor-enough (yes, poor-enough-I-make-too-much-money-to-get-this-or-that-sometimes that happens)
We ARE a strong city—you are, I am—; God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks (Is. 26:1b)…and He already has…we won!
And, not to detract from either our former President and First Lady, or our current President and First Lady, Donald and Melania Trump—I do not believe that the above statements have anything to do with politics; it’s simply FACT: we, as children of God, have been given every spiritual blessing (which may be converted into physical, social, mental, etc. etc., blessings—we just have to follow what the Lord god would have us to do) — and I do not believe that I am being arrogant. That is what Jesus Christ came to Earth for, that is what He walked on Earth among us for, and that is what He died and rose again for, and that is why we have all of the above…!
Okay, so, in detail—what did we win? Salvation, joy, peace, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law (Gal. 5:22-23).
[Hmm…that’s not a car, house, or a ministry, or a man (smiles—the guys may say a woman); now why would we want any of that? That fruits-of-the-Spirit stuff ain’t helping us any (rolling eyes)] —
But, don’t you realize that with those fruits, and within those fruits of the Holy Spirit—is POWER? There is the ability to have dominion over every part of our lives, if we follow what the Lord would have us to do and say, and be and the way that He would have us to live. That way, we can
get the car, the house, the ministry, AND the man or WO-man (and keep him or her!)
…within God’s timing, and within God’s will, of course 🙂
Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen. 1:28). “Thus says the Lord God: “These are the borders by which you shall divide the land as an inheritance among the twelve tribes of Israel. Joseph shall have two portions. 14 You shall inherit it equally with one another; for I raised My hand in an oath to give it to your fathers, and this land shall fall to you as your inheritance.” (Ezek. 47:3)
—so, He’s given it out; now, what are you and I going to do with our portion?
WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WTH OUR BLESSING?
WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITH OUR MIRACLE?
(we asked for it; we’ve GOT it)
WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITH…
…going all the way back to the beginning of this article, where I felt that the Lord had me to speak about getting up the morning and feeling as if I had heard the scripture, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”, what are WE going to do with our day? What are we going to do with our YEAR? What are we going do with what is being laid out in front of us to accomplish and do and CONQUER? Unlike what our present “circumstances” may be, or feel like, or may or may not seem to be, this day, and this YEAR, is a clean slate for us to draw and determine on. His mercies are new every morning; great is His faithfulness—and His blessings (Lam. 3:22-23).
What are YOU and I going to do with our DAY—and our YEAR—this very day, and this very year? With the chance to create, determine, and to start all over, if need be—that’s good news!
—and that’s definitely every occasion to rejoice—and be glad—in Him—today, tomorrow, and forevermore!
Submitted By: Rev. Dr. Shonda R. Greene 🙂