Growing Dependent

“FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART” February 19, 2019
Starting well is what most people do in the beginning of anything. No one plans to fail at something they set out to do. We go into new endeavors with good intentions. Finishing well is amazing only because it happens so rarely. Finishing with the same enthusiasm present as there was in the beginning is celebrated as a great feat since so few actually accomplish it. What happens to the majority of people is they get bogged down in the middle. True strength is not how a person starts or ends something; true strength is seen in the midst of the journey or task when a person is as determined and focused as they were at the beginning. This is seen in many of the leaders who God placed over His people. Jehoshaphat is a great example of someone who started off strong and was distracted in the middle of his reign.
“31 So Jehoshaphat was king over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 32 And he walked in the way of his father Asa, and did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the Lord. 33 Nevertheless the high places were not taken away, for as yet the people had not directed their hearts to the God of their fathers. 34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, indeed they are written in the book of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is mentioned in the book of the kings of Israel. 35 After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who acted very wickedly. 36 And he allied himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion Geber. 37 But Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the Lord has destroyed your works.” Then the ships were wrecked, so that they were not able to go to Tarshish” (2 Chronicles 20:31-37, NKJV).
Jehoshaphat did what was right in the eyes of the Lord like his father, Asa. Yet, he allied himself with Ahaziah who was an evil king to do something that would be beneficial to his kingdom and the people. Jehoshaphat may have even had the idea that this venture together might even help Ahaziah to learn to worship the true God instead of his idols.
Walking with the Lord is never done while compromising with those of the world. Many ministries have caused themselves to lose their testimony and many precious resources by ministering in the way they believe is best, rather than first seeking God’s direction and then following Him. Dependency upon God does not lessen as a person matures in their faith; it increases. Reliance upon the Word of God for direction and prayer is something that grows greater as more is understood about God. Starting well is good. Finishing well is awesome. Staying fully dependent upon the Lord in the midst of ministry is miraculous. Make it a priority to spend time with God each day. This will not grow easier over time, but will grow to be more of a necessity to daily life. Taking time to pray is something that must be a conscious choice that is made at first, but will grow to be a time that is looked forward to and sacrificed for over time out of desire and need. This is how a person can see evidence of spiritual maturity in themselves over the years. Maturity in faith brings strength that is able to carry a person through all the things of life that happen in the middle of the journey where others tend to lose their way and become distracted.
Praying beyond the physical: Father, help me to be ever growing in passion for You and need of You with every moment I live. Jesus, teach me to be focused on the will of the Father as You were in Your earthly ministry. Spirit, conform me to be more like a reflection of the Father’s character seen in Christ as I mature in faith. Pastor Tom

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