How To Prepare For Blessing - Jacob Stanley
Prepared for the promise We are currently preaching a series called ‘NEW’ We want to explore the New things God has for us as a church, as families and as individuals. What New thing is God leading you into this year? God has something for every person in 2021 Breakthrough. Growth. Maturity. Blessing. Joy. New peace. New Authority. Last week Ps Paul talked about having the right spirit and attitude to enter the promised land, the promise land is the place that God has for you to live and flourish. How do we prepare ourselves to enter the next thing God has for us? this morning I’ll talk about how we can be prepared for the promise. Jeremiah 29:11 Says For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. God has a good thing for you, but are you prepared? Phillipians 3:13-14 “...But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” It’s a new year and God wants to us to run with hope and faith. Faith see’s God hand in the present Hope see’s God’s hand in the future Faith see’s what God is doing in the current season Hope looks toward God moving in a new season
Faith See’s God’s hand right now Hope see’s God’s hand in the future —— Recently I turned 30, and to celebrate I dragged my family, brothers and brother in laws out for a long bike trip. We put racks and bags on our bikes and rode from Hokitika down to Lake Hawea, over 8 days staying at camp sites along the way. On the second day of the ride the other lads have given up on their weight and put it in the back of the car, but I was still keen to keep my bags. Eventually, under the extra weight, the slight buckle in my back wheel got worse and worse until my bike was looking like it wasn’t going to make it to the campsite. I had to make a decision. I had take the weight off my bike so I could get to where we needed to go. I had to drop my weight. I either would have taken too long or never arrived. I realised that because I was choosing to keep carrying this, that I was not only making it harder for me, I was making it harder for others. Maybe today, you find yourself moving slower, struggling, because you are carrying some weight. ____ Hebrews 12:1-15 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, before we can run with vision, with hope, we need to deal with two things: You can’t run if you’re tangled up in sin
You can’t run if you’re carrying heavy weights. This Sin will trip you up. Always stop to tie your shoe laces The weight will slow us down. I wonder what you are holding on to this morning? Is there something you could lay down? See some of you today might be carrying heavy weights You might not even make it if you don’t get rid of these burdens. But It’s not only slowing you down it’s also effecting others. could the things that are affecting me affect others through my behaviour? My behaviour was; because of the burden I was carrying, I was biking very slowly up hill. Which is fine for me, but I was unaware of how much it was affecting those stuck behind me, they were having to go a pace that was painful for them. Today, if there is something that you are carrying that you can drop for the sake of others, consider it. For some the weight may be a heavy heart. Maybe you are being weighed down by hurt or disappointment Maybe it’s unforgiveness, or hurt, maybe it’s dissappointment, maybe it’s rejection, maybe frustration. Let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely and let us run with endurance the race that is set _ BEFORE _ us What is ahead needs you to be ready You can’t run if you are tangled in sin or weighed down with hurt and disappointment
You must prepare yourself for this new year. Last year may have been disappointing for you. It’s time to drop the disappointments of the past.
⁃ disappointments need to be processed,
⁃ people need to be forgiven
⁃ some of you may need to forgive yourselves,
⁃ some of you may need to forgive God. What weight are you still carrying, is it time to drop it at the feet of Jesus? Maybe your entanglement is sin, it’s time to get un-tangled. Don’t carry this for another year. Get alone with God, talk to him about it. for some, you might find looking forward with hope quite challenging Maybe you’d say, Jake that sounds great but I can’t do any more vision stuff. I’m done with goals. I’m tired. Maybe you had hopes for 2020 and they didn’t go how you expected Sometimes things don’t go how we hope they should. We can find ourselves shocked, confused, discouraged because God hasn’t come through like we expected. Israel experienced disappointment Somewhere between 600bc-580bc israel was besieged and exiled to babylon. Nebuchadnezzar The people of God didn’t think they could loose against an enemy like babylon. They prayed, sacrificed, fasted and fought. They couldn’t loose. But they did. Psalm 137 1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. 2
There on the poplars we hung our harps, 3 for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” 4 How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land? 5 If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. 6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy. GUTTED that’s how they felt. Gutted. Sometimes life is like this. We fight, contend, pray, fast, do EVERYTHING and then loose. We end up confused, hopeless, disappointed and absolutely gutted. At the beginning of the message today I read a scripture that we all love - Jeremiah 29:11 “11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” It’s a wonderful promise. It’s absolutely true, in every season. But if we read the full chapter we get a better understanding of God’s promises for our lives. Let’s look at Jeremiah 29:1-14 This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2 (This was after King Jehoiachin[a] and the queen mother, the court officials and the leaders of
Judah and Jerusalem, the skilled workers and the artisans had gone into exile from Jerusalem.) 3 He entrusted the letter to Elasah son of Shaphan and to Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. It said: 4 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” You may not be today where you thought you would be, or where you should be. But God hasn’t abandoned you. He brought you here and he has blessings in this season for you to receive. The season which you see as a distraction as a pointless detour, as a waste, God see’s as an opportunity. Its time to see the opportunity to grow and prosper. Don’t swim against God’s current, go with it, give in and let him carry you. 8 Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. 9 They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to listen to what we don’t want to hear. We wont listen to God because we only want to hear one thing. This is a season where we need to figure out what is God actually doing in my life, and HE is wanting to do in my life, not just want do I want him to do Stop and listen. Seek first the kingdom. Jeremiah is saying, hey guys, don’t fight against the current. Go with it, trust God. 10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.
70 years - that means that those people will be dead, and it’s their children that will receive the promise. So settle down. Embrace this place. God has a different plan - receive it, embrace it. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. God hasn’t forgotten you. He has a good plan while you’re waiting, embrace the place you’re in. Right now, this isn’t the forever plan, but it’s the current plan. Embrace this place. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Then. Once you give in to God, settle in to his call for now and the season he has called you into, then you will have peace with God. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.[b] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Sometimes with God the current plan doesn’t seem to line up with the future plan. But God calls us to be obedient now to be patient now and to prepare ourselves now. While in the unexpected, undesired season of exile; God wants us to increase, to grow, to prosper become good at something, learn a new skill successful,
buy a house, have kids, prosper embrace the place we are in and prepare. Don’t push against the current, if God is doing something, accept it, let go, go with it. “to those I carried off to exile” Some things that God does seem like a terrible waste of time. But what is he calling you to do in THIS season? God knows the plans he has for us, plans to prosper us. Sometimes his good plan is to use the season on exile to prosper us. To grow in in the detour of Babylon. To grow here, now. To use this season of unexpected challenge to grow us, and prepare us for the next season. Babylon isn’t forever. It won’t always be like this. One day God will call us into a new season, but for now, embrace this place. —————— BAND UP ——————— The promise remains For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. God has not forgotten you. God has GOOD plans for you. ————Please stand ———- Band up———- Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
This morning, you may need to free yourself from the weight of a heavy heart because of past disappointments. Matthew 11:28 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Give it to God. You may need to Untangle yourself from the bondage of sin. Give it to God. You may need to Embrace the season you find yourself in instead of pushing against the current. Give it to God. Stop fighting God about where he is leading you. Let him carry you. And in surrender, your heart will become prepared for THIS season. A season of growth, increase and blessing.