The End . . . or the Beginning?

You are probably familiar with the dilemma of a glass being half-full or half-empty.  It’s obvious the glass has only one amount of liquid, but it’s a person’s perception of it that colors their outlook.  Someone who considers it half-empty probably sees that there is only so much left before it is all gone – and “then what will we do?”  On the other hand, those who see it as half-full probably think, “Wow!  I still have half the glass left to drink!”  I couldn’t help but see myself in this principle during a time of change in my life.

While I recognized the hand of the Lord in the changes, I was focused on the ending of things, resulting in a sadness permeating everything I did or thought.  As I prayed before bed one night, however, knowing the next morning would be the first day following the “end”, the Lord spoke to my heart that it was really the first day of the beginning I was facing.  I was actually stepping into something brand new, not just leaving something behind.  It is an understatement to say this simple sentence changed my whole outlook!  Though I still didn’t know what I was beginning, and things really were ending, I now saw it from God’s perspective.  I now saw my glass as half-full, rather than half-empty.  Further, I could see He was beginning the process of filling it up again – with new and different experiences to add to those He had given me before.

Philippians 3:13-1413. . .Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

Had I continued to dwell on the endings – with a half-empty glass mentality – I’m sure I would have missed much of what the Lord had for me in the changes.  I couldn’t have pressed forward with my all because I’d have been looking backwards – and that makes progress difficult, if not impossible.  God’s Word changed my perspective so I could see the glass as half-full, awaiting His refilling, no longer half-empty and running out.  Sadness was replaced with excitement and anticipation about the new things Daddy had for me in this adventure of life in Christ, because it’s not the end, but the beginning!

Proverbs 3:5-6 “5 Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.  6 In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.”  AMP

Election Hangover

What I’m going to share in this post is something the Lord stirred in me this morning, and which I have already put into practice.  Truly, it works.  Please take it to heart today and find yourself strengthened, even in times of uncertainty.

 I can only describe a strong uneasiness in my spirit as I considered the outcome of the majority of elections for our national officials.  The seemingly never-ending election process was enough to wear down even the hardiest among us.  Maybe that was the very thing it was designed to do – without the participants even knowing it – wear down those who pray effectively and fervently according to the Word of God.  After all, the battle we wage is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world, and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  (Ephesians 6:12)   Just as a disclaimer, I am not calling anyone who was running or elected the devil or the antichrist.  I am talking about the world around us that is so much bigger and more real than the one we see with our natural eyes – the spiritual realm. 

As I struggled initially this morning, I kept coming back to the overriding Truth that God is still on the throne, and always will be.  As such, my attitude and countenance needs to reflect that to the lost and dying world, regardless of the circumstances or who is or isn’t elected.  It wasn’t until this phrase welled up in me, though, that I was able to get over the hump I had been battling.  “Why are you downcast, o my soul? . . . Put your hope in God.”  (Ps. 42:11 NIV)  I also heard, “Encourage yourself in the Lord – not in what just happened politically in America.”  In 1 Samuel 30:6, David encouraged himself in the Lord when everyone around him wanted to stone him because their circumstances looked hopeless.  He knew he didn’t have it in himself, but he encouraged himself in the One Who was his Source and Strength – no matter what.  

While the world and worldly Christians think only about the natural changes that have just been given the go-ahead, my spirit man is aware of something so much greater taking place.  When I tried to pray concerning the upcoming elections, no wonder I kept being directed to pray for the body of Christ!  Now, as we’ve never known before, is the time the church must rise up in the spirit, by His Spirit, for the people who are running with utter abandon toward the abyss, some of whom are part of our own families or congregations.  If it wasn’t the time before, now is definitely the time we must set our faces to seek His face at all times and in all situations.  We must rely 100% on His grace, where His wisdom resides, in order to walk in His wisdom and take His kingdom by force!  (Matthew 11:12)

 God is still on His throne, and always will be.  Regardless of what has just been ushered in for a brief time, we have eternal life now, and now is when we must go forward to proclaim and share eternal life in Christ as never before!  Jesus Christ is (present tense) Lord!  Heaven is God’s throne and the earth is His footstool.  (Isaiah 66:1)  The devil may have bruised Christ’s heel (and might even think he’s in charge now), but Christ has crushed his head for all time, glory to God!  (Genesis 3:15)

One final word of help in personal encouragement is something that rose up in me as I considered what I’ve just written.  It’s from a current song, whose title and author I don’t remember at this time.  (If any of you will let me know those things, I’ll include the information here.)  The song ends abruptly after declaring, “It’s not the end.  This is the beginning!”  It is, indeed, the end of something, but it is really the beginning of something so much greater than we, as believers, have ever seen or imagined!  We’re in the final countdown, folks.  Don’t let your souls stay cast down.  Put your hope in God alone!