Dr. Stanley Spence, Pastor First Baptist Church, Lincolnton, N.C.
First Baptist Church of Lincolnton on Robin Road off S. Generals Blvd. (NC 150) invites you to join us in person this Sunday (September 6th) for our 8:30am and 10:30am worship services--also available online. Rev. Kyle Hamlin will be preaching from Psalm 34:4-8 “Being Unchanged During Changes.”
Members of First Baptist have already had the opportunity to read the following from Dr. Spence in their weekly "Informer." Looking ahead is a favorite activity for many these days. Another word for this is future pacing.
Looking into the future with an eye on what you may have to do to achieve this or that describes future pacing. If I want to build a boat in the future, I begin by anticipating the cost, the plans, the location, and the supplies I will need. When I future pace my life for the Lord, I look from my desired location of Heaven back to this moment to see what God desires of me. He desires my faithful trust in Him. He wants me to embrace the joy in life He provides. He is committed to helping me as I live to serve Him, my living God.
It may be truer than we would wish to confess, but we spend more time planning a vacation for a week than we do planning for the future the things God wants from us for a lifetime. Why do we seek our desires before the desires of God? Can our lives be so self-centered that our conformity becomes a part of our rebellion? Everybody’s doing it and we are just like everybody. They plan their weeks of vacation, so why can’t we? Unless we move so quickly back to our routine the question is good: What does God want us to do with our weeks; our lives; and our vocations? Are we willing to ask or do we put the question off to avoid having to be obedient to what God may be calling us to do?
Asking God to reveal Himself and His heart to you comes with a burden. You will know God more intimately but you will also know the mission of reaching others more intensely than ever before. You may grow a forgiving spirit because no one is perfect. You may learn to love beyond what you thought you could. You may demonstrate more of the fruit of the Holy Spirit because God is your ultimate objective and relationship.
Try this activity: 1) Stand with God in the future from Heaven; 2) Look back over your life and see what God would have you release and what He would have you embrace; 3) What dreams does He have for you and how would you cooperate with Him to achieve His desires for you? Write your observations down in a journal. Confess any sin that stands between you and a right relationship with God. Take up the purpose God has revealed to you in the ways He makes available to you. Someday, you will look back and need to change some things because you are different today than you were yesterday.
On my way to the beach, my headlights only shine 200 feet or so but when I achieve that distance, the lights are already shining farther down the road. Just as I know I am going to the beach, I also know I am going to Heaven by the mercy of God and His love for me. Follow the light He shines on your path, and ‘he will make your path straight.’ (Psalm 3:5-6)
As the Living God shows us the way, we must surrender our will to His to make this journey successful. See you on the path!
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