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Serve GOING THROUGH THE PROCESS to the Next Level
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But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. -2 Cor. 3:18
Has God said to you lately, you're going to the next level? If you're anything like me, you get all excited (as we should be) that you're going to the next level. You say praise God I'm going to the next level. We're shouting all over the place. Did you hear the word of God for me, "He says I'm going to the next level?"
Well, it's true; we just quoted it from the scripture above from 2 Corinthians 3:18 the word of God says we go from faith to faith, glory to glory...
But usually, when we hear that (some of you older saints you know what I'm about to say) the journey has JUST begun. You may as well strap in, buckle up and get ready for the PROCESS.
But God in His mercy doesn't tell us that we're about to start the PROCESS before we get to the next level. He knows us in our humanity, our frailty in our earthly tents that we might not be ready to hear that. So he shows us that end step (the next level) to get our eyes on the prize. He may show you the top step of the staircase but not the whole stair case. He knows that with this glimpse of the prize, the promise, our future that we'll enter the joy of it and be strengthened. I believe that's what happened for our Lord Jesus.
Let's go there quickly, Heb. 12:3 says The author & the finisher our faith who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Remember the joy of the Lord is my strength. He knows we'll need the strength to make it through...
I noticed many of you are saying, 'The process did not kill me." That's well and good. Praise God that we made it through the process. But I believe God is still reaching for some people that are still in the process. They haven't made it through yet. Even as I say that the Holy Spirit reminds me that we go to many levels in life. So guess what, that means that we go will go through many PROCESSES.
My goal and mission is to encourage you at whatever point you are in the process. God is a God of the strong finish. He loves happy endings. He wants the end of your process to be a good one, one of victory. He wants us to receive the promise and walk in His promotion and the victory. Therefore He has given us 7 powers to help us finish strong. They all start with a P….
The Power of God's Presence. Seek His presence. When you seek me with all your heart you will find me. Jer. 29:12; Moses knew the power God's presence. Exodus 33:14 And he said, My presence will go with you and I give you rest. (Another translation says I will give you rest and success.) You shall hide them in the secret place of your presence. --Psalm 31:20a
The Power of God's Preparation. Enter God's preparation. When we enter God's preparation, we receive His perspective. Furthermore, He may be calling you to some consecration time. I can say that with each new ministry level, God has called me to some consecrated Bible reading and studying time. But let me add this, God's preparation is not just for His pastor's and teachers. Your process may not be all to do with your ministry. It may be a personal new level. He may be calling you to strengthen and fortify your personal life and time with Him. Read with me, 2 Timothy 2:20,21 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also or wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor sanctified and useful for the Master PREPARED for every good work.
The Power of God's Pruning. Yield to His pruning. Varn and I have always loved plants and flowers. Especially Varn, one time he had a really good season of roses. We had neighbors and friends stopping by to look at those roses…At the end of that season, I came out and he had cut them all down to stubs. Not knowing about pruning, I asked him why he did that. Some of the stubs looked as if they would never come back. He explained he felt led to prune them back heavily for a better harvest.
To make a long story short, the Holy Spirit showed me us (you and me) in that season. Sometimes, we feel so sharply pruned that we wonder if it will kill us. I can testify; it won't kill you. God sees that you are doing well and he wants a stronger harvest. Know that the Master Gardener is in control; his pruning won't kill you.
But it will make you better and more fruitful. By the way the next season for the roses Varn pruned were some of the most beautiful roses I've ever seen. They were cascading everywhere and producing gorgeous blooms. God used the rose bushes as our teachable moment.
Even so, I must warn you when we go through God's pruning, everyone may not understand. In fact you may be misunderstood. Notice in John 15:2 Jesus said every branch that bears fruit He prunes…it didn't say every branch that stumbles, that has sin in their life. As some of our critics may try to say….So you can know if you are being severely pruning, it may just mean you are doing well but God wants a STRONGER you and even more fruit.
The Power of God's Patience. Exercise God's patience. In Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of patience, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.. What will of God, you may ask? After you have served in faithfulness, after you have received the Word with gladness, after you sought his presence, after you have yielded to his preparation and pruning, then there's patience. Can I tell you another story? Many times in my Christian walk, God has said wait. I can't say that I have always understood the why of wait. But I can tell you each time God asked me to wait, after a little time it becomes clear it has been well worth the wait.
The Power of God's Perseverance. Continue in God perseverance. In the Kingdom, it's all about character - becoming more like Jesus. You know the race is not given to the swift but to those who endure to the end…Sometimes in God's sovereignty there's endure in the word patience and it becomes perseverance. Because we continue into perseverance. In Heb. 6: 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. (speaking of Abraham) Simply put don't give up; keep going there's a victory waiting for you on the other side of perseverance.
The Power of God's Promise. Inherit God's promise. God has designed an ending to this process. He's a finisher and he's given us the spirit of the finisher. He wants us to receive the promise. So, to every process there should be an ending. He's given us the spirit of the finisher. Heb. 6:12 That you do not become sluggish but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promise.
The Power of God's Promotion. Expect God's promotion. Wait! There's more after you have received the promise and walking therein. Yes, that's not all; after you have received the promise then comes God's promotion (Next Level.) We can expect God to move us into our next level. If you don't already know this principle, I must let you know. And if you do, I remind you God is in charge of raising us up. The Hebrew writer encourages us with, "No discipline (process) seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it (process) produces a harvest of righteousness and peace (promotion) for those who have been trained by it.
Remember God has a purpose in each process we travel through. He works all things to the good of those who love him. He's working his will and his way in us as we go through the process.
There's a story that a pastor friend told us that sums up all of what we've talked about. It shows us God is in the process, working in and through us moving us to our next level. He said one day a man found a cocoon of a butterfly. A small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole. Then it stopped, as if it couldn't go further.
So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily but it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch it, expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge and expand enough to support the body, Neither happened! In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around. It was never able to fly.
What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand: The restricting cocoon and the struggle required by the butterfly to get through the opening was a way of forcing the fluid from the body into the wings so that it would be ready for flight once that was achieved.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us. We will not be as strong as we could have been and we would never fly.
You are destined for your next level in Christ. Don't stop now. Go to your destiny!
© Varn and Earma Brown, Author & Ministers of the Gospel
Most leaders are strengthened by Holy Spirit led, growing in God people around them. Your leadership should experience that too! Varn and Earma are Co-Founders of Armorbearers International who offers help with designing strong teams of support for God's leaders. Send any email to firstname.lastname@example.org for their free mini-course and ezine "The Armorbearer Coach" or visit them at http://www.armorbearers.net or http://www.armorbearercoachseries.com for other insightful Helps Ministry resource.
1. Seek God's presence. Ex 33:14 And he said, My presence will go with you and I will give you rest;Jer. 29:12
2. Enter God's preparation. Eph 2:10; 2 Tim 2:21; 2 Tim. 3:16,17
3. Yield to God's pruning. John 15:1,2 I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
4. Exercise patience. Hebrews 10:36; James 1:3,4; Heb. 12:1; Ro. 15:4,5; Luke 8:15
5. Continue in God's perseverance. Romans 5:3 And not only that but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance and perseverance character and character hope
6. Inherit God's promise. Heb. 6:12 That you do not become sluggish but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promise. Heb 6:15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. (speaking of Abraham)
7. Expect God's promotion. For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge He puts down one and exalts another. Ps. 76:6,7; James 5:15; 1 Peter 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt (raise you up) in due time. Isaiah 33:6; Hebrews 12:11,12, 1 Peter 5:6,10.