The summer before each new school year, and this will be my 7th in Memphis, I pray for a thought or theme to carry into the year. It doesn't have to be impressive or stand out. And I don't always publicize it beyond key leaders and some students with ears to hear. This year has a different sense to it for me. It may not be a theme for a school year, but something that resounds in life for me:
The Best Is Yet To Come
It is a common thread among my journaling. It seems to be present in many of the conversations I have. It is not always said exactly like this. Sometimes I hear things like:
"I cannot wait to see God move again."
"There is something stirring and beginning to happen."
"Just wait until the Spirit of God moves."
All of them can be put into this phrase: The best is yet to come. I wanted to spend a few moments to highlight what is behind this for me. More than a mantra, there is a depth and weight that comes when I hear this phrase run through my head.
This is not a knock at the past, rather a tipping of the hat towards it. There is a thankfulness for the foundation that has been laid that we can now build on. Since this phrase is almost always in a future tense, the past can go back to the disciples, the early church or even just several years ago in which we see great awakenings here in America. I am extremely grateful in my own family, the heritage that has been passed down. I am a fifth generation minister, starting with my great-great-grandfather who was radically saved and became one of the first missionaries to the country of Bolivia. I am who I am today because his son decided to follow the same calling and not turn away. My grandmother continued this great legacy by marrying my grandfather who has been recognized in the Foursquare church for over 50 years in ministry. This continued on to my dad, who is living out the call of God in Knoxville at a church plant, and now to me. I am thankful that it won't end there either. That the best is still yet to come! Even if your past does not look like this, it doesn't have to define you. Instead, let it refine you!
"These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect." Hebrews 11:39-40
Today is a gift, that is why it is called the Present! Stop looking behind and don't put too much stock in what is ahead. Tomorrow is only a product of our small disciplines and choices today. If this statement is to become true for us, we need to make the most of every moment here and now. I love this idea that I can have some control of what happens tomorrow. I know that if I plant a certain type of tree, I will grow a certain type of fruit. The same is true spiritually. You can read more about that in my post, Bear Fruit. This means that everything I do today, I must do it as unto the Lord! Even the small things matter, because they are the building blocks for tomorrow. Enjoy today! Enjoy the moments! Embrace the grind.
"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much." Luke 16:10
The best is yet to come. I am going to continue to say this over and over because I believe it is true. I believe that God is not finished. I believe that better days are ahead. I believe that God can still use you. I believe that God can still redeem lives, cities, and nations. I believe that we have not come close to seeing what is available in His Kingdom for those who believe.
There is a passage of scripture in the book of Haggai. In the second chapter and ninth verse it says, "The glory of this present house will be greater than the flory of the former house, declares the Lord Almighty." I understand that this is a passage of scripture declaring truths over the rebuilt temple, but we would be missing something if we did not stop to consider the new place in which God really lives. For we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are the place in which God resides. And I truly believe that we will see "greater things," as Jesus told us, because He gives His "Spirit without measure!"
This should certainly be encouraging to all that are "waiting" for that day. While you are waiting, embrace where you are now. There is revival coming, but I think one day we will look up and realize that we are already in it! The Best is Yet to Come!