I realized yesterday that more people are interested in a “now” word or one that makes them excited than they are in the preparations necessary not only to “get” somewhere, but to stay somewhere. What value is fudging on an entry test or lying on job application only to get to the school or job and not be able to do the work?
For years we have talked about God coming to the unqualified rather than the qualified. I have heard the pithy statements like “God qualifies the unqualified”. I have listened to many sermons on the topic. I agree to a certain extent. I understand the power of grace that lifted us from a sinful cavern and set us upon a rock of salvation. I do. I really do.
I understand grace and favor.
Rom 5:1-2 “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through whom also we have access by faith into this Grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God”.
John 1:16-17 “And of his fullness we have all received Grace for Grace. For the law came with Moses but Grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ.”
Grace is the unmerited favor of God, undeserved favor, favor that you did not merit or deserve. Where the word favor is mentioned it has to do with being put at advantage, or given privileges that one does not deserve or merit.
- Favor is always unfair.
- Favor causes losers to be winners.
- Favor causes the undeserving to deserve.
- Favor causes the unworthy to be worthy.
- Favor causes the unqualified to qualify.
- Favor causes the unfit to fit.
But what I speak of is the preparations of the saints. Why would God talk of being “equipped” in Ephesians 4:11-12 if He was not serious about it? New seasons have new reasons, but they also have greater requirements. The wriggle room is less as you “go up”. Oh, I am not talking about the freedom that you find in Christ, but I AM talking about the responsibilities that go with the “upheaval” and “promotion”.
Mephibosheth saw his world change. I get he no longer had to fear lack of food or shelter, but did his mind change overnight? Did he begin to give up the “real estate” owned by the enemy in his head? David is anointed king, but with that promotion came testing. Gideon is picked. Saul is picked. But did they “just get it”?
A promotion does not guarantee a victory. Saul lost his ability to be royalty. Vashti stood up and was removed.
The kingdom is truly righteousness, peace and joy. I believe that.
But (A not so divine but…)somehow so many have thought “God will make me ‘talented, rich, famous, or you fill in the blank____” and it requires no effort. But there is an effort. To enter His rest by mixing your faith with the promises of God. You may have to lay hands on 10,000 people with little or no visible response before you see the miracles of Smith Wigglesworth or John G. Lake or your favorite faith healer. You may prophesy a thousand times before you “get it”. (Thomas Edison, the great inventor “failed frequently”. About those “failures”? Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” “Great success is built on failure, frustration, even catastrophy.” Albert Einstein did not speak until he was 4-years-old and did not read until he was 7.)
I have watched talented, anointed people strive and strain for a few scraps of food (So much for the scripture of David, Psalm 35:27. You CAN override mess with God’s plan for your life. He still may fulfill your purpose while allowing new plans. The scripture still stands true.) because they were not prepared for the next step, the next level, the next season.
I believe our next season is one of equipping and elevation. (There is a small child in our church fellowship who does not call it the “Salvation Army” but chooses to call it the “elevation army”. I think it may well be prophetic…) Many are finding all that they have learned and worked on is on the “altar” of God. Some will be consumed and some will stand out as ready for the next season. I think perhaps this is the season of elevation.
Proverbs 24:27 says “Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.”
Are you ready for the “now”? Or are you holding on to the past? Projecting the future?
Each great person in the Bible had something God wanted, something He looked at, something He redeemed. God honors faithfulness. If you have favor in this season, spend it. If you have not seen it yet, prepare for it. Your wave is coming.