(January 17, 2020) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share 2020-centred inspirational thoughts…
Wondering what on earth that title 2020: 24 Across – Anticipates (7) is all about?
As our articles’ themes this month are encouragements to move ahead boldly in God this new year the ‘2020’ bit is obvious… but what about the rest? Well, we’re crossword (not Sudoku or other puzzles) addicts and our title comes from today’s puzzle.
The answer? Why ‘expects’… of course. But then, you knew that of course – didn’t you?
A prime meaning of this transitive verb ‘expect’ is to ‘think or believe something will happen’ (Cambridge Dictionary). We like that! Merriam-Webster Dictionary explains it this way – ‘consider probable or certain.’
‘Expect’ is regarded as a word that ‘implies a high degree of certainty and usually involves the idea of envisioning.’ It’s a verb we need to consider in regard to 2020 – and in relation to the supernatural movings of the Holy Spirit as we call on him to enable us to build/expand our local churches!
Envisioning in 2020!
For some time now we’ve been saying that 2020 is going to be a year of 20/20 vision for those hearing from God and daring to be of kingdom service, expecting and seeing great things happen such as souls saved, miracles and healings and more of the (genuine) prophetic word!
Now don’t misunderstand us – 20/20 vision isn’t, as some think, perfect vision. Rather it refers to our visual acuity, which is the clarity or sharpness of our vision.
So then, think spiritually, clearly regarding 2020 and your consideration of your church and its future/vision this year, thinking also about your own vision of what you want to achieve for yourself this year… and what God wants of you.
We encourage everyone to be perfectly clear, keenly sharp in respect to God’s vision for ourselves in 2020. Know it, live it! Believe in your destiny, the calling of God on your life – and don’t let anything, any ‘thinking small’ or even ‘gigantic towers’ (see Norman and Margaret Moss’ Ignoring Gigantic Towers) hold you back.
2020 is a time of moving ahead, not giving up!
It’s good that churches have a clear vision, let alone one for ourselves. We like the heart of the vision of the church (next icon) where we base ourselves – in a nutshell, it’s to be Spirit-filled and allowing the Holy Spirit to have his way, lead and direct without restraint.
That’s the key to serving Jesus… allowing the Holy Spirit to have his way! He is the CEO of the church universal and should be in charge of our local churches, our lives too! In simple terms – we should all be open to him – he lives within every born-again Christian, he regenerates us away from the old way of living to grow in our Christianity and become strong disciples of Christ.
He is also the one who helps us grow the church… and we all have a role to play (see George Forbes’ Given Much, Much Required)
Don’t have a vision yet for 2020, not expecting anything? Mark 10:32Message comes to mind – ‘He (Jesus) took the twelve and began again to go over what to expect next.’
In that particular case Jesus would tell about his own future but later share about kingdom matters, including the coming of the Holy Spirit our greatest help in following our Lord and building his kingdom. One recalls God’s heart for Abraham: ‘Then God said, “Shall I keep back from Abraham what I’m about to do?”’(Genesis 18:17). We believe the Lord wants to share his vision with his followers who ask!
God wants us to have a clear vision for his work in 2020, our calling and what contribution we can make. If we don’t know, we should pray and ask him. He has various ways of speaking to our hearts with confirmations, and we’ll clearly vision what is required of us – as we move ahead in 2020 we just need to keep open!
For example, maybe your pastor or some Christian friend, even a stranger, gives you a prophetic word that directs you regarding what God requires of you in 2020. Or a particular scripture speaks to you, or a line from a hymn or chorus or some unusual circumstance.
Above all, talking to God is a priority! Jesus rose early to spend time with the Father (Mark 1:35) – a good example to us to regularly pray to God before the day really gets going. We can ask him anything eg if we still haven’t got a vision for 2020, we can ask for one. And there’s comes that moment when you hear that quiet voice within, one you’ll know that you know that you know it’s the Lord, not you (nor the devil), and you’re getting direction from the God who communicates.
Faith is always the base we work from!
Remember: We don’t have to get the full picture! It’s 20/20 vision… we see with clarity and sharpness, then we take the next step of faith, even daringly into the unknown, and discover more. A bit like what happened with us back in 2018… we were praying, contemplating our future – and that quiet voice within spoke so clearly ‘Return to Melbourne.
Like Peter, we too must make the move and get out of the boat and walk on uncertain waters! And, even though we might falter at times the Lord’s strong hand will always be there to grasp and uphold us (Matthew 14:29-31)!
In our case in faith we began making preparations to move… yet not knowing exactly where we were to go in our state’s main city! To cut this story short, one thing led to another, one door after another opened, contact after contact came our way, and in the most amazing way God led us to a great location north of Melbourne and to a great visionary church. In respect of natural vision, by God’s grace we have a magnificent home overlooking Plenty Gorge Parklands and our neighbours are proud kangaroos and beautiful ducks!
And, following the Lord in expectation and ‘believing for things unseen’ (as those dictionary’ descriptions imply) new ministry doors have opened. Amazing how God links things, people and circumstances together… and one thing leads to another as we hear, obey, and move in faith and trust.
We’ve just shared a down-to-earth incident. The supernatural ministry side is this… in moving in faith to operate in the gifts of the Spirit we must die to self and let the Spirit take control.
The ‘ministry gifts’ of 1 Corinthians 12:6-10 are God’s communicative gifts of love to followers – and even at times to the unchurched. In anticipation let’s daringly and believingly pray for the sick, or supernaturally speak a timely prophetic word or word of knowledge and so on… to supernaturally encourage others, especially our church family, demonstrating Gods love and interest in his people.’
Readers following our postings in recent months will recall that various authors have emphasised how the Holy Spirit is our great helper as we serve the Lord, fulfil our calling whatever it may be, big or small, and be active in growing the church of Jesus Christ both locally and overseas eg Biggest Business in the World.
We encourage all to expect the Holy Spirit to move in our own lives and in our churches, that we never shut him out, especially by an over-busy lifestyle, thinking small or inhibited, fear, church rituals or off-key programs! May we – and our church – ever be open to the Spirit.
Jesus was very straight in Matthew 16:24 Message: ‘Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am.’ He requires this same attitude toward the Holy Spirit whom he sent to aid us!
Following Jesus as a willing servant? May we be open to the Spirit leading us to share Jesus, pray for needs expecting God to answer, and be bold in moving in his gifts. Expect to be used by him in 2020! Remember that title – 24 Across – Anticipates (7). Don’t doubt yourself, be bold and anticipate!
And one last thought re expecting, anticipating, visioning: Something we say when teaching on moving in the Holy Spirit is this… ‘In the things of the Spirit, expect the unexpected!’ Let the Spirit surprise you, take you deeper; let’s be kingdom builders together as we move ahead in 2020!
Dr Robert and Maureen McQuillan’s links are email@example.com and Facebook (Scripture/other emphases in this Onliner ours. Appreciated images/pics: various general sources). Links: Brian Bells’ The God of Pardon, Presence and Provision / Carol Round’s Living Life in View of Eternity