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How Long Will You Mourn?
July 27, 2012

One of the devil’s effective tools to hold us back from our destiny in God’s Kingdom is regret. Who doesn’t have regret over painful failures from wrong choices made in the past? Who doesn’t have regret over severed relationships due to misunderstanding or even betrayal? Who doesn’t have regret over a “once in a lifetime” opportunity that you passed up because of fear? These regrets will continue to haunt you until you determine to finally deal with them through God’s grace and leave them buried in your past, never again to be visited. Failure to do so will result in tragic defeat of God’s divine purpose for your life. You can’t afford to let past regrets rob you of your promises and blessings from the Lord, both present and future.

 As I was praying this morning about a past situation that is out of my hands, the prophet Samuel came to my mind when he received a stern rebuke from God regarding a deep regret that Samuel had carried for too long. It was a heavy burden that was holding the prophet back from God’s purpose for Israel. In 1Samuel 16:1, we read, “Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.”

Saul was appointed by the Lord as the first king of Israel, although it was not His original plan. He gave the people what they wanted, though they were warned of the personal hardships and sacrifices they could expect from a king. Saul displayed great humility in the beginning of his reign, but quickly turned to pride when the people began to elevate him above God because of his victories in battle. Before long, Saul’s pride led to continual disobedience to the Lord’s commands and God had no other recourse than to reject him from the throne.

Samuel loved Saul. He was the one sent to anoint him. He mentored him, and like any mentor today who has invested time and energy into an up and coming leader, the crushing pain is almost unbearable when that protégé leader turns against you and you feel as though all your labours have been in vain. I have felt that blow, as have countless others in the ministry. It seems to be par for the course. Jesus certainly felt it in His earthly ministry with Judas; Paul with Demas; Moses with Korah; David with Joab, and the list goes on.

The serious question that God is posing to you right now as you read this is “How long will you mourn...?” It’s time to forget your regret and move on. Their is a young shepherd boy in the wings whom the Lord has been preparing specifically for your ministry and mentoring to raise him up to a position of greatness in the Kingdom. Your greater regret will be to miss it and allow the enemy to continually vex your soul with things that “could have been”. For years now, I have carried a regret for things that “could have been”—if only I had done this, or if only I hadn’t done that. I sensed this morning that God was releasing me from past regret. I am to no longer mourn for things that will simply not be. It doesn’t mean that somehow I failed—it means that God is not through with me, and that my greatest ministry lies just ahead and I must be free from past disappointments and hurts in order to give myself entirely to the new direction and new people that the Lord is leading me to. The apostle Paul said it best in Philippians 3:13-14 “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 toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” In other words, it’s time to “forget your regret” and let God turn your mourning into dancing! Amen and amen.

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