The Year Before Us
-Wade E. Taylor
According to the calendar, a new year recently began to
tick away, and will be gone all too quickly. I often explain
to the Lord that He has much more "time" than I
do, and that the things which I desire to do in life must
be done in this new year, or else it will be too late.
I probably said this very thing to the Lord a year ago.
I am not sure that I feel any closer to their attainment now,
than I did then, but I do feel a greater sense of urgency
at this time, than at any time in the past.
As I look back over the year recently completed, and at
the successes and the failures in my life, a Scripture comes
to mind. "But what things were gain to me, these I have
counted loss for Christ" Phil 3:7. The "things that
were gain"; such as, getting caught up in the pressures
of life, and gaining a victory over them; the progress I made
towards security; or, the things that I felt I must have,
and came to possess. Unless these are placed in His hand,
and are submitted to His higher purpose for my life, they
are of no eternal value.
There are drives within all of us, towards things that are
less than what the Lord would have for us. These "drives"
must be lifted up to a higher dimension in the Lord. "But
indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of
the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered
the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I
may gain Christ" Phil 3:8 NKJ.
Now, Paul's view of life is in the right perspective and
he is ready to face the future. He can present his desire
to the Lord: "That I may know Him and the power of His
resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being
conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to
the RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD. Not that I have already attained,
or am already perfected" Phil 3:10-12a NKJ.
The experience of this "resurrection" that Paul
spoke of, is my desire for the new year that is before me.
This speaks of an "out resurrection from among the living
dead". That is, a deliverance from going through life
with out a vision or hope, but merely existing. The Apostle
Paul cried out to be delivered from this kind of existence.
The next verses beautifully express the inner cry of my
being, as no other passage of Scripture: "But I follow
after, if that I MAY APPREHEND THAT FOR WHICH ALSO I AM APPREHENDED
of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
but this one thing I do, FORGETTING those things which are
behind and REACHING FORTH unto those things which are before,
I PRESS TOWARDS the mark for the prize of the high calling
of God in Christ Jesus" Phil 3:12b- 14.
This is a New Year's message, "Forgetting those things
which are behind", such as last years failures. I am
not to strive, nor condemn myself, but rather, "FORGET".
I am to set all these things aside. I can do this, as the
Lord enables me.
"I press towards the mark". I will establish this
as my goal for this new year. I well understand that I can
not do this within myself. The world knows this also, and
makes a joke about New Year's resolutions and our inability
to keep them.
But, there is another verse that is to be added to this,
that they do not understand: "Have you not known? Have
you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator
of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. There
is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the
weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men
shall utterly fall: But those who wait on the Lord shall renew
their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk, and not
faint" Isaiah 40:28-31 NKJ.
There is an impartation to me of "enabling power for
life" as I wait on the Lord. This waiting is not passive,
it is not waiting for the Lord to do something. Rather, it
is an active entering into His presence. "They that wait".
These are the ones that receive. When the battery in my car
goes dead, I do not just wait for it to somehow charge up.
No, I get a charger and connect it to the two terminals on
the battery, then turn on the power and "wait" as
the charge goes in.
I have two hands, or terminals. "Those who wait"
means that I get these terminals connected to divine power.
Just as the charge does not go into the battery, unless there
is a direct connection to the "charger", my strength
is not renewed until I get the terminals (my hands), up before
the Lord and begin to wait actively on Him. Now, my weakness
will be exchanged for His strength.
If I am in a hurry to go some place, and do not leave the
charger connected long enough, all that has gone into the
battery will be lost and the car still not started. There
must be a "waiting" that is long enough to know
that enough power has gone in.
"They shall mount up with wings". There is a specific
direction that my life is to take. The power He gives has
a purpose in view. "That I may apprehend that for which
also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus". I am actively
seeking for this to be wrought out in my life by the Lord.
As I wait on Him, I will apprehend this, within this New
Year that is before me. He will make a way, if I will do my