TURN THE PAGE
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18
Today is another day. It does not matter what yesterday or the last week, month or year has brought us. Today is a time in which we have the opportunity to once again step into the promise of God's plan. We get the chance to get to know new people, grow deeper in the friendships that we already have, and even spend the time we need to get to God a little more intimately. Thank you God for waking us up today and providing for us an opportunity to see the new chance that we have to look into the future and let go of those things that are continuing to cause us to falter from the past. Turning the page is not something that is easy, but it is something that is necessary so that we can grow and change. For many of us there are natural times in our lives when we turn the page like from crawling as a baby to standing up and walking, learning to feed ourselves, the first day of preschool, driving, graduation, college, marriage, jobs and new jobs, etc.. We naturally step into those moments with hope and prayers that God is leading us into the next chapter of the spiritual journey in our lives. It is something that is truly amazing and scary, but necessary in the growth of our lives.
I say all of this because today is another marker of turning the page. As we bid farewell to one president and say hello to the next, we are reminded that there is a lot that needs to be said and some things that need to be laid to rest. We step into a new day realizing that God has already got the days marked and numbered and so our goal is to no longer point fingers and think about what could have been, but instead, just as I did 4 years ago, I get down on my knees and begin to pray for God to change and protect our leadership from the inside out. I know that God has truly turned the pages in many peoples lives that at one point the world saw as the greatest enemy and God used them to change the world. There are some things that are truly out of my control and once again I have to turn the page and give that
authority back over to God. But ONE thing I can do is pray. I can pray for the days to come that a great revival will born out of the chaos and the ashes of what has divided us for some time now. God has the true ability to do those kind of things if we step aside and allow God to do what only God can do. I know that may not seem to be what many of us want to hear today, but I just want to let you know that the world will continue to revolve around the sun and so I allow my life to hopefully revolve are the SON as well. So I put a period to conclude this chapter and turn the page and press down on the page to wait and see how God will step into this day and the many days to follow to once again use it for HIS glory and not my own.
As we look at Paul's words again today, I am still reminded of how God was able to turn the page in the life of Saul now Paul. God stopped his story dead in his tracks and began to say that there was going to be something more that I ned you to do Saul. I need you to use all of this training that you have been receiving to be a part of the Roman aristocracy and I am going to use it to provide a way for the Gospel to reach the ends of the earth. Remember God took one of His greatest advisories to the Gospel and used him to be the greatest author and missionary that we have ever known. Why do I say this, because I still believe in the power of God to use ANYONE God needs to change the world. All it takes is a single moment for God to introduce Himself into their lives and the page will turn and a new story will begin. Looking into Paul's words we see that the first step is obvious... prayer. Paul is asking that we pray in the Spirit for the people of God to be surrounded and protected for all occasions. We lift up prayers to help others to understand that they are not alone and in the times in which they are completely isolated, they will feel the Holy Spirit through the power of prayer. Praying in all occasions may seem easy for some and hard for others. In the good times we see that it is not easy to thank God for His provision. In the difficult and uncertain times, we also find it easy because our hearts and spirits are in need of God to provide healing and comfort. But it is in the times that feel as though we don't need anything at all that we struggle. It is hard for us to turn the page when we are comfortable in the situation because that means that God is about to change something in US that needs to move us from apathy to humility.
So today as we see the next steps of our future unfold, I ask that each of us stop, pray and give all of this over to God. I ask that we earnestly pray for wisdom and discernment in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead. I pray that truth will prevail and all will be new again. I pray for the lives of people in our country and world will be infected with Gospel as new chapters are written and old ones are completed. I pray that we are able to see opportunity in our frustrations and possibility in success. I hope and pray that unity is the word of the year and we no longer point fingers at each other but as Walt Disney said, "If you point one finger at others, remember that you have three fingers pointing at yourself." It all begins with
one person who is willing to turn the page on all of the chaos and allow God to step in as Author of their story. It begins by us letting go of the control we so desperately seek and saying what Jesus said in the Garden, "Father not my will but YOUR will be done." Are we ready to let the true Author and Perfecter of our faith take the pen and begin writing on the pages of our hearts, or are we going to continue to try and extend our story with our own words. Only time will tell and I pray that we are given that time to see and once again watch as God comes out on top. Never forget that at the end of THE STORY for this world, GOD WINS IN THE END... Lord, please help us to heal as a nation and to turn the page and recognize that YOU are still the one in charge. Help us to pray for the eyes and hearts of the leaders of this nation to turn back to YOU... the same God who we fought to have freedom to worship when this country began. The foundation is still strong, we just have to be willing to turn over the authority to the TRUE AUTHOR of this story.