Imagine for a moment what a chess match looks like. There are two sides lined up facing each other—usually light and dark—with calculated movements used to strategically gain the pieces of the opposing team, until the king is cornered, resulting in a “checkmate”. In order to win this game, the pieces have to “advance” on the board in direct and purposeful interception of the opposing team. It requires skill, but more so, it requires a willingness to make a move.
This year, the Lord is calling The Church On The Way Santa Clarita to “A Year of Advancing”. I’m so excited for this prophetic theme. Advancing doesn’t mean that we give up the territory we’ve occupied thus far—it means we lay hold of new things and gain new ground. It involves active and purposeful expansion and growth. When I think of “advancing” in this context, it brings to mind Isaiah 54:2,3:
“Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited.”
There are two things I would like to draw from this passage as we begin this New Year:
- Advancing requires movement. Just like a chess match, we can’t advance if we don’t make a move. The Lord will not force us to advance against our will—it is up to us to make purposeful decisions that will advance us this year. Perhaps that means you spend more time in God’s Word, or volunteer in an area at church, or begin faithfully tithing, or go on a mission trip. We even have programs available through The King’s University that will enrich your knowledge of the Lord and give you greater insight into His Word. Make a decision to choose to advance in one of these areas this year.
- Advancing requires faith. I like how the passage in Isaiah says, “Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes…And your descendants will inherit the nations.” We may not be in a place at this very moment where we can see the vision of how God wants to advance us this year, but the great thing about the Lord is that He is always faithful to grow us and work through us if we’re willing to let Him. Ask the Lord to increase your faith this year; that you will have a willingness to trust Him as you “enlarge the place of your tent”.
I’m truly excited for all this year has in store for our church corporately, and for each of us individually. May we all see the Lord work mightily in and through us in 2015!