In this message today I would like to share with you some thoughts about how you can MOVE FORWARD in this coming year with a profound sense of God’s presence. This will give you the faith to face all the many challenges that will come your way in this coming year.
Text: Hebrews 11:6 ESV – And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him
God desires to be with us in all that we do! He is there for us no matter what it may be. Whether you are facing problems that seem insurmountable, undertaking various tasks, meeting emergencies, or taking advantage of opportunities that come your way, God wants you to know HE is with you in all that you do!
Isaiah 42:16 NIV – I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.
Isaiah 46:4 NIV – Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
With this in mind I would like to share with you some directions you need to be Moving Forward with God’s awesome hand at work in your life
Philippians 4:8 NIV – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Take time to look back (reflect) over the past year and identify those times in which you had evidence of faith in overcoming doubt, sin, unbelief, or anything else. Identify those times you saw yourself go from despair to courage in the midst of suffering or situations that seemed unsurmountable. As you look back and see how the Hand of God was at work in your deliverance, take time to give Him Thanks for all that He did.
Psalm 105:1 ESV – Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!
Psalm 140:13 ESV – Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence
As you take time to reflect and meditate on these things and give God thanks for His man blessings in your life, you will experience a fresh sense of His presence preparing you to move forward in this coming year!
2. Look Inward
Psalm 51:6-8 ESV – Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Take stock of yourself – look at your relationship with God and with others and your stewardship over all that God has given to you. Hold each area of your life alongside God’s standards and pray to grow in faithfulness
Psalm 139:23-24 ESV – Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
Psalm 26:2-3 NKJV – Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart. For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth
As you take time to look inward you will be blessed and encouraged when you see many areas where you did well and you will sense great hope when you sense God’s help, encouragement and leading in overcoming those areas that you failed in. Be honest with God and yourself and you will experience a great refreshing from Him that will give you the enthusiasm you need to change and move forward.
Acts 3:19 NIV – Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
3. Look to Jesus
Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Since Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, this means He is also at work right now with our lives. As long as we keep looking to him we will find the sufficiency to move forward in the many areas we are daily being challenged in.
In the midst of temptations, problems, difficulties, sorrows, various tasks and opportunities that will come your way during this coming year, stay focused on Christ, who is the Author and Finisher of your faith. He is there to hope you though any circumstance you may encounter.
Psalm 28:7 NIV – The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him
When you stay focused on Jesus, it will give you faith to boldly move forward in every area of your life
Hebrews 13:5-6 ESV – Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
Remember He is your sufficiency and you can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens you daily.
4. Look Forward
Genesis 26:12-13 KJV – Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him.13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:
Philippians 1:6 ESV – And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ
Because God will be with us, we can look to each day with keen anticipation.
Faith calls us to move forward to face problems, undertake tasks, meet emergencies, and dedicate ourselves to the opportunities the year will represent.
The apostle Paul understood the principle of Moving Forward when he said…
Phil 3:13 TLB “No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,”
Paul had no other choice because his past wasn’t the best…
Exodus 14:15 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:”
In this passage, God had already given Israel deliverance from the Egyptians.
And now they are headed toward the promise land after leaving Egypt.
Suddenly, they come to the Red Sea. The enemy is behind. They can’t go left or right. They can’t go back.
THERE WAS ONLY ONE DIRECTION FOR THEM TO GO…FORWARD!
But there was no apparent way to go forward. No boats or bridges.
They couldn’t possibly swim across But God said “Go Forward.”
And when they did, God did something He had never done before, and Israel escaped on dry land. The unexpected happened when they began to MOVE FORWARD!
Here is what you will move forward into in 2014
Psalm 65:11 NKJV – You crown the year with your goodness, and your paths drip with abundance