People of GodQUESTION: People of God - Learning from the PastANSWER:People of God – Insights from God’s Word
But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations. - Psalm 33:11
And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is his Body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way. - Ephesians 1:22–23People of God – Learn from the Past, Live in the Present
Prayer: Lord, I am not quite sure where You are taking me with this prayer, but I do know I want to go where You are leading me. I am amazed how often You take my attention off of what surrounds me and cause me to dig down deep in Your Word and strong biblical teachings to uncover whatever golden nuggets You have prepared for me. My own perspective on life is quite shallow, and I often have a difficult time just seeing beyond my own nose. However, when You take control of my footpath, I am astonished at the places You have taken me and the revelations You have chosen to share.
I am so aware this morning of the men and women of God who walked this way before me. There are so many lessons to be learned from them. I sense You reminding me that many before me have been persecuted and died for their faith. I also hear You remind me that You never forget, in Your divine accounting, anyone who has surrendered their life to You and walked the road You paved.
Today we seem to be on the verge of a fresh, new movement of God, and as we approach the fullness of that time, I know You want me to look at past revivals to gain understanding from them -- and gain Your divine perspective on that which worked and that which failed -- and why. I do ask myself why You would want me to look deeply at this -- given the fact that I have little or no influence in the Body of Christ -- yet I hear Your challenge and bow my head and follow Your lead.
You are reminding me also of the different perspectives we have seen through the ages by great men and women of God who allowed the Holy Spirit to work in and through them. They were able to successfully stop the criticism of others from derailing what You had for them to do.
My limited view of history shows me that great men and women of God do not allow anything to derail them from the genuine move of the Holy Spirit. They refuse to accept the criticism of the few -- and look toward what You had to shown them -- recognizing that a few bad oranges were not going to destroy the entire crop.
We live in awesome times today, and as has often happened before, the critics are all around us attempting to counterfeit and destroy this genuine move of the Holy Spirit. It should not surprise me -- but I must admit it does. I have watched mean spirited men attempt to cast doubts on the authenticity of great men of God. I have cringed and felt the sting of anger -- but I have also felt the hand of my Savior simply showing me that critics will always be a part of any great move of God -- and we are not to judge but simply pray for them. I think this is why my knees are often raw.
Thank You, my King, that we can look back at the history of other great movements of God and find comfort, learning, and empowerment. Thank You that You are in control -- not me -- and that it is Your verdict that really matters. I praise You for all the lives being changed through our work here among the Body– and I give you all the credit and all the glory! I pray for my leaders here -- and for all the other churches around the world -- asking for Your Holy Spirit’s protection from the attack of the enemy and the criticism of the critics set against us. I choose today to set my feet firmly on the ground previously walked by many other great men and women of God. I choose to learn from their mistakes and from their accomplishments -- but I also choose to walk on the new, fresh ground You are planning for us -- surrendering its direction to the control of the Holy Spirit. To You my King be all the honor and glory!People of God – Making it Personal
Reflect: There is great value in learning from other great men and women of faith who have gone before us. However, our primary focus must be on what God is doing right now -- in us, our churches, and in our nation. All throughout history great successes have come to the humble few who have put following Christ at whatever the cost as their goal -- irregardless of the criticism they received. God is always at work refining and purifying His leaders. It is vital to our success or failure that we work to fulfill His purposes -- not our own.