This and That

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. (Philippians 3:13)

Can you believe we’re in the second month of the new year?

What have you been up to, my friend?

I’ve been praying for a study I could sink my teeth into. Not just a sweet morsel or a piece of fluff but a thick juicy piece of meat to spark my synapses and grow my spirit kind of study.

But until recently, I had been so busy with life—and its heartaches—I didn’t have the time or the chance to be alone. So, I am thankful for last month’s opportunity to settle in and grow in understanding. To reach for a “that” and make it a “this.”

The idea of “this” and “that” has been with me for over 30 years after hearing a message. I can’t remember everything the minister said except “this” and “that” is necessary to move forward. The Lord has brought me back to the idea many times to help me understand the seasons in my life.

So what is the point behind this and that? I’m so glad you asked!

A “that” is the next step in our spiritual journey. The next victory we’re believing for—and expecting—God to give us. It is the answer to our petitions if we pray for God’s will.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1 John 5:14-15 KJV)

Notice John said, “according to his will.” That should be the pattern for our prayer life. It isn’t a name-it-and-claim-it lifestyle. It’s a sold-out-I-surrender-all-not-my-will-but-Yours-be-done lifestyle. Without that mindset and faith, we will never turn a “this” into a “that.”

This and That

When speaking of this and that, we could also say here and there. This being here. That being there.

A “this” is a truth we possess. It is what we know. Our comfort zone.

A “that” is what we’ve yet to achieve. It is the invisible in our lives waiting to be discovered.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

In the opening scripture above, Paul forgets those things behind him and reaches for things before because he wants his life to become the story of Jesus. “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”

To be like Jesus.

We can’t know the overflowing power of his resurrection unless we daily conform to his death. Do we want to know the fellowship of his sufferings? Hard question, I know. Yet Paul was in prison for his beliefs. He did not complain. Instead, he penned letters to encourage the believers.

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: 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… (v. 12 parentheses added)

Wow! When I think of what Paul had been through, what he had done for the Lord, it’s hard to imagine him saying there is more.

…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (v. 13)

Paul knew there was more, and he wanted it.

Like Paul, we are apprehended to bring glory to the Father through Christ the Son. To be a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Him. An obedient servant doing the will of God our Father.

In this new year, will you remain in your comfort zone or press into the unknown to apprehend even more of Him? To trade a “this” for His “that.”

Before you answer, did you notice the picture? THAT looks bigger than THIS. But it’s not. The font on THAT is 42 percent. The font on THIS is 50 percent. Often, our present THIS looks smaller than our future THAT, making our task seem almost impossible. But God is always with us. Cross that bridge of faith, my friend, and claim all the spiritual blessings He has for you!

Prayer

Father, may we press toward the mark and claim by faith that which you are calling us to. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen





Happy New Year

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)

While searching for scriptures to use for this post, I came across Isaiah 41. Not really a Happy New Year scripture. But I think it is a fitting one.

As I look through my memories of 2022, I can see God’s blessings. But if I’m honest, I can also see the hardships just as well. My accident, months of pain and recuperation, my mom’s and dad’s health issues, and my brother’s death.

Still, there is a God in heaven.

And when beginning anew, whether it be a day, year, or something as simple as a new project, it is comforting to know He is already there waiting for us.

Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. (Psalm 40:5)

He has a plan. All we have to do is follow in His footsteps.

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21)

We cannot control the circumstance of this coming year. But one thing I know is we are not alone. He is with us and has everything under control. Let us forge ahead in confidence!

Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. (Psalm 62:8)

Happy New Year, dear one.

Revelation

The LORD hath made known his salvation:

His righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.

He that remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel:

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Psalm 98:2-3 KJV

The Song

Joy to the Word was written by Issac Watts in 1719. The lyrics are based on Psalm 98. If you get a moment from your busy schedule, read it. It is a power-packed passage sure to invigorate and give you strength for your day! Now, let’s take a look at the song.

Joy to the world! The Lord is come: Let earth receive her King; let every heart prepare Him room, and heav’n and nature sing, and heav’n and nature sing, and heaven and heaven and nature sing.

But as many received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God,

even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood,

nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 1:12-13 KJV

Joy to the earth! The Savior reigns: Let all their songs employ; while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy, repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end,

upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment

and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD will perform this.

Isaiah 9:7 KJV

No more let sins and sorrow grow, nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found, far as, far as the curse is found.

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written,

Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Galatians 3:13 KJV)

He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love, and wonders of His love, and wonders, wonders of His love.

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory,

the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth

John 1:14 KJV

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

John 1:17 KJV

Joy to the World – Isaac Watts, 1719 Public Domain

Merry Christmas, sweet friends!