Week #1 – Focus Forward
Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!
James 1:17 – He never casts a shadow, because He doesn’t change!
– If God isn’t changing, we are the ones who must change if we are to be like Him.
Philippians 3:14 – Although we’re not there yet, we must forget everything that is behind us and press forward.
Psalm 138:8 – God will fulfill His purpose for us, so we need to yield to His will for our lives.
– While you may choose not to fulfill the purpose that you were made for, you still have a purpose that God “intends” for you to fulfill!
– God wants us to grow from a “salvation” mentality, to a “kingdom” mentality. When the gospel of the Kingdom comes alive in a community, everything starts to change – the economics, crime rate, prayer, number of Christians, etc.
– Many times we view the enemy as trying to “do something to us”, when one of his best weapons is just getting you to become ineffective to the world around you! Does he have an easy job when it comes to your life?
Numbers 13 – Spies were sent into the land so see the promise before everyone else. They came back with proof in hand! Ten spies also came back with an evil (discouraging) report about the possibilities of actually going in and enjoying the Promised Land, because they were seeing things from the perspective of past experiences & accomplishments.
- The people are powerful – they did not have faith in God
- The cities & towns are fortified – they did not trust in God’s power
- We saw giants – they thought the opposition was more powerful than God
- The land is already occupied – they didn’t believe that God could deal with those already living there
- They will take our wives & children – they didn’t trust God to take care of their families
- We felt like grasshoppers & we know they thought we looked like grasshoppers next to them – assuming the thoughts & ability of the enemy, and allowing that to defeat them before they got started
- We wish we could go back to Egypt – they wanted what was familiar & comfortable, even though they would be placing themselves under the heavy bondage of slavery again! They were not happy looking forward to the new wonderful place that God was taking them, simply because it was not familiar to them.
– Caleb saw the same things that everyone else saw, but he was looking through God’s perspective! He tried to quite the murmurings and bring the people to a place of faith, instead, they cried all night long and came against the very leaders that God had provided to bring them into their promise!
Luke 1:8-20 – An angel came to share the goods news of a new son with Zachariah. Instead of rejoicing at what he heard, he questioned the angel as to how this could really happen! The angel said – I am Gabriel (or… do you know who you’re talking to?), and I stand in the very presence of God, and now you will be silent until this promise comes to pass! The very voice that Zachariah used to question God’s promise was taken from him.
Judges 7 – Gideon was about to go to battle, when God stepped in & told him he had to many resources! He was to send everyone home who was afraid & who put their face in the water to drink. The only men who were to stay and fight, were the ones who drank from their hands – so they could be aware of what was going on around them, and they could focus on the task at hand. * Pastor Dan also said, the men who drank directly from the water, could only see their own reflection, but we need to look to God – not our own strength!
*** When your memories outnumber your dreams, you are heading towards the grave ***
God wants to help us focus forward on the things that He has planned for our lives. As Paul said, we need to forget those things that are behind us, and press forward towards the life & promise still ahead of us!