Keep Your Eye on the Prize

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Have you ever noticed that when you get a word from the Lord or a dream or some type of revelation about how God wants to use you or what He’s going to do in your future that you will start having trials and attacks from the enemy? Then the enemy starts saying, “that’s never going to happen, you’re too weak, you don’t have what it takes, etc.” Sound familiar? Even though I’ve been through this plenty of times before, and the Apostle Peter told us in 1st Peter 1:12 to “think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you”, it still kind of takes me by surprise sometimes. It’s like in Revelation 12:1-6 where the dragon was waiting as soon as the child (Christ) was born to try to devour him, but of course, he couldn’t. It’s time like these that I have to remind myself to be like Jesus and keep my eyes on the prize (Hebrews 12:2).

The enemy is a thief who tries to steal our dreams and our destinies, but he can’t do it as long as we keep our eyes on the Lord and keep following him. I guess the reason it takes us by surprise a lot of times is because we’re at a certain point, like A or B or C and God shows us something that is coming a little further down the road and we expect it to happen immediately and without trials. What we often fail to realize is that the Lord is taking us from glory to glory and he has to prepare us for that next level or place that he’s calling us to walk with him. Romans 5:3-5 tells us that we should “exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. 4 And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character approved faith and tried integrity). And character (of this sort) produces (the habit of) joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation. 5 Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.” (The Amplified Bible). Don’t feel bad if you haven’t got to the point of rejoicing in your trials yet, I haven’t arrived in that area either, lol. So Paul is explaining that going through the trials is what develops our character and brings us to a place of spiritual maturity so we will be equipped and ready for the thing the Lord is calling us to do or the next season in our lives. I wish we could just snap our fingers and be there, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. As the saying goes, “We are into microwaving, but the Lord is into marinating.”

Also, sometimes we think that we have to be perfect or in a place where we feel strong for the Lord to use us, but often, it is just the opposite. In II Corinthians 12:9 the Lord tells Paul “My grace is enough for you (sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully); for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in (your) weakness.” (The Amplified Bible). Also, in II Corinthians 4:7-12 Paul says: 7 However, we possess this precious treasure (the divine Light of the Gospel) in (frail, human) vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves. 8 We are hedged in (pressed) on every side (troubled and oppressed in every way), but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair; 9 We are pursued (persecuted and hard driven), but not deserted (to stand alone); we are struck down to the ground but never struck out and destroyed; 10 Always carrying about in the body the liability and exposure to the same putting to death that the Lord Jesus suffered, so that the (resurrection) life of Jesus also may be shown forth by and in our bodies) 11 For we who live are constantly (experiencing) being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake, that the (resurrection) life of Jesus also may be evidenced through our flesh which is liable to death. 12 Thus death is actively at work in us, but (it is in order that our) life, (may be actively at work) in you. (The Amplified Bible). So Paul was saying that when we go through trials, there is a death process going on in our bodies (or flesh) that causes more of God’s resurrection power (His anointing) to be produced in our lives. It doesn’t feel good when you’re going through it, but when you see the increase in the anointing that it produces in your life, it’s definitely worth it.

There have been times when I felt really bad physically, mentally and emotionally and felt totally unfit to be used by God. I didn’t feel like going to church or anything, but I went anyway and was totally astounded when the Lord would use me to give a prophetic word or to pray for someone and His presence and power would show up. It’s His way of letting me know, it’s not me, it’s Him and His strength is made perfect in my weakness, in fact I think that’s when He gets the most glory. So, if you’re going through a trial, be encouraged, God is preparing you to be used in a greater way. It’s like John the Baptist said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30 ESV). God bless you all. Kelly Rowe