In this phase there are five points that I believe are essential for the church to maximize the fullness of these promises of God. Using the life of David as a basis for this insight the first point is: Don’t wait for God to bring you those who look good. The second point for leaders is: our role is to make them look good. The third point in staying the course in this final phase of transition is to honour those who are willing to serve you.
Leadership is crucial during this phase of transition. It is for this time that we are called. When everything is peaceful, people wonder why we have leaders. What’s the point, as there doesn’t seem to be anything for them to do? It is a question that’s asked of the armed forces when we aren’t engaged in war. Lets cut back spending because we don’t need all this expense during peace. The problem with that is it is too late once war has broken out to mobilize an army. We need to be training people before there is a need to go to our defense.
The fourth point to be aware of is: during the “suddenlies” of God you will face battles. They may even appear to be defeats. In I Samuel 30 David and his men returned to Ziklag to find that the Amalekites had raided the camp, burned, looted and abducted their families. The men including David were overcome with grief. That grief led to threats of stoning David as if it was his fault that it happened. Verse 6 says: “But David found strength in the Lord his God”. But David! Leaders in their families, in their church, in their nation have to do a “But David” during times of apparent crisis.
There was no one for David to blame. There was no one who could lift him up. The buck stopped with him. If he didn’t do it, he was dead. During these times of apparent defeat a leader makes the difference between ultimate victory and complete despair. David had to strengthen himself in the Lord his God. Times like these come not because God isn’t with us but because He is. He allows them to draw us into greater intimacy with Him. We can see Him afresh and anew as we move close to Him. The worst thing to do is run to something else for relief at times like this. You may not feel like drawing close to Him but it is the very thing you must do.
The Lord would say that this period of change is positive and for good. His plans are for us to prosper not for harm. Even what looks to be negative initially will be turned to a positive. Don’t withdraw from Him because you don’t understand. Push into Him and be strengthened. The need for intimacy is crucial during a time when you may be feeling potentially overwhelmed. He will keep you and sustain you.
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