It was summer of 1986 in Nueva Ecija. I can still feel the hot breeze caressing my body as we embarked in a small wooden craft that would take us to the other side of town. Once I secured my belongings, I immediately dropped a handful of loose change on a waiting fragile hand of a lad. Those coins would be our transportation allowance for that day. We’ll have to spend the night in town and sail back early next morning, and believing that God will provide another handful of coins. Slowly the lad grabbed a wooden stick and pushed the boat off to the water. We sailed across Pampanga River and drifted quietly. No one dared to say a word. It was another day in paradise.
We disembarked and slowly headed to Nanay Claring’s place, where we will gather and share the Word. Along the way, I stopped by one of the brethren’s house. There she was alone, sitting on a chair and listening to her favorite Christmas songs. I was a little bit confused – What’s up with the “jingle bells, jingle bells” in the middle of April?
With glowing eyes she said, “Christmas season is the happiest moment in my life. That’s why I listen to them almost every day. It brings pleasant memories.”
I was dumbfounded and I realized that she was suffering from a “Happy Old Days Syndrome.” She had frozen her time and dwelt there, not knowing that God has better things for her. The best in life has yet to come!
Do not dwell on the pass.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell in the past” (Isaiah 43:18 NIV).
“A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul” (Proverbs 13:19a). Great accomplishments are priceless. Victorious Christians realize that victories in life are costly, and they also know that a mark of a conqueror is sacrifice. A triumphant child of God had invested his precious time, gave sweat and blood, sowed tears, and reaped joy. There’s nothing wrong to reminisce and cherries the good old days, but to remain in the past is not a good thing.
Winners look back and savor their exploits, but losers live in their past. The only thing that we dwell on is the lessons we’d learned – I call them experience. I don’t care how many library books you have read and memorized, if you haven’t been in a real life situation, or if you haven’t been there, and done that, you have never learned a thing yet. You only know something about it. If you haven’t built a house, then you haven’t built a house yet. You need to have the experience in God and in His works.
As a child of God, you must forget your failures; eradicate your memories of defeats and set-backs. Move on. Learn from Him hands on.
Get out of the status quo.
“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:12-14 NLT).
“We’ve done that before and it’ll never work.” Or, “We have no choice.” You’ve heard this many times before in your life, and without serious understanding of what it meant, you have probably adapted these negative confessions. As a child of God, you must realize that everything in this world works for your advantage. A situation may appear adverse to you, or circumstances may not be on your side, however, God can always change things for your favor.
We always have a choice to make. There is no such thing as a dead end. Remember a song that says, “… God will make a way, when there seems no other way…” A child of God cannot afford to stay unproductive, not participating in the work of God, and satisfied with what he has. Jesus admonished us to pray for more laborers because there is a great harvest waiting.
There is always room for improvement, for innovations, for doing new things, and a whole lot of thinking outside of the box. A fool is a person who does the same thing over and over again expecting different results. I remember a farmer who tilled his farm during the night while the moon was bright, and then sleep during day time. I had to ask him what’s behind that. He said that it’s easier for him and his water buffalo to work on a cooler night than on a hot and humid day light.
You see, that was innovation and seizing of opportunities.
Redeem the time for the days are evil.
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16 NKJ).
Someone said that the mind is a terrible thing to waste. But the worst thing to waste is time. Did you know that a one second split can cost billions of dollars? You’ve seen this in sports competition many, many times. A one second time remaining can change the whole course of a game; it’s either you go home a loser or go home a victor.
As a child of God, use every moment in your life for His glory. Give Him the glory, and take this world upside down for Christ. The apostle Paul encourages us to pray without ceasing. An Old Testament prophet cried, “Brake up that fallow ground!” We need to work out the field of every hardened heart of this unbelieving and rebellious world. Non-stop prayer and non-stop propagating of the Word to all over the world is needed at this very moment. We need to break through in every people’s heart with His Word.
Believers must use every channel and avenue to spread the good news. Let us redeem the time for the days are evil. Every opposing soul, who is against the Word of God, has an agenda to plant seeds of unbelief and rebellion against God. He uses everything he could to voice out and influence the innocent and uninformed children of God. As a child of God, it is your responsibility to shut down every lies and deceptions of your enemy – the devil.
Stay on the fresh anointing.
“But my horn You have exalted like a wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil” (Psalm 92:10 NKJ).
God’s mercies, compassion, and faithfulness are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Every waking day God shows His mercy, compassion and faithfulness. Every day is a new day. There is no such same day as yesterday. God’s goodness is always sufficient for us in each day. Therefore, a fresh anointing of His power and ability is reserved for us each day. Get a hold of this anointing from the Holy Spirit, because He desires to fill you with His presence and He longs to live in you and clothed you with His righteousness, with His gentleness, meekness and longs to fill you with His wisdom.
Stay in the power of the Holy Ghost.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20 NKJ).
Do not limit God. Our God has given us the unlimited favor in the eyes of Him and in the eyes of men. Thinking small is an insult to God’s covenant. The Old Testament mentality was always to think big. People in the old covenant were used to live in prosperity, they were healed, they were mighty in battle, never in debt, and their place in this world was on the top only. They were never a tail but the head.
That was in the old covenant, how much more are we, who live in the new covenant – a better covenant. We have a better deal in God because of what Christ has done for us. God has given us the power and authority to use His Name to cast out the evil works of this world. Stretch forth the vision God has given you; He started it and He will finish it.