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12 April 2015

Something Better for Us

If reading through chapter 11 of Hebrews doesn't set your faith on fire, your logs are wet.  It is one of my favorite passages of scripture, perhaps because of verses 39 and 40.  "And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us, they would not be made perfect."

So many that have gone before us have pioneered and plowed the fields of faith. We have the benefit of seeing their lives, their successes and their failures, from a perspective that rivals that of the cheap seats at a football game. We can see the whole field and we can tell them where to move and who is open. We even have a better view than the coaches.

What we don't have is the experience, and we lack the wisdom that comes from being on the field. Like a highschool football player dreaming of the NFL, we watch, we listen, we learn. We put our heart into practice and do everything the coach tells us to do. We get in the game and we don't let the guys in the cheap seats discourage us when we miss a play. We've studied the play book. We've watched the videos and learned from our own mistakes. But, above all, we keep a close eye on the pros.

Holy Ghost is the coach. We watch as He speaks to the players. We can't often hear what He says, but we watch how He interacts with them and we watch what they do with the information He has given them. Sitting on the edge of our seat, we cheer with each success and we mourn each failure. In it all, we are learning.

There is something better for us.

I've watched the big leagues in ministry since I was a child. Sometimes the big leagues in my mind were really little league, but I was littler. I suppose because I was a little girl with a big imagination, and bigger dreams, it was the ladies that seemed to grab my attention. There was the prophetess that prophesied to my dad and the power of God hit him so hard it lifted him off his feet and he hit the floor like a 2x4. Or the little evangelist that always carried a footstool with her. She preached with power and had a saying that I loved, "I may be short, but when I'm on my knees, I can reach heaven."  And, the Sunday School teacher that was gentle and consistent. She taught me what to expect when I did reach heaven.

Then there were the ones I didn't aspire to be like. Lots of show. Noisy gongs, trying to make up for a lack of the genuine power that flows from perfect love. Or the ones who sat back on their own anointing in fear of usurping a man's authority.

As time went on, I discovered more women of faith that found a niche in which to minister, that truly edified, exhorted and comforted others. These women were quiet leaders, not seeking their own. They weren't looking for a position or a title, they were looking to love on and build up. They were the wind beneath the wings of younger women. Encouragers in many ways.

The years passed and my young heart longed for more of the God that had called to me as a child. Voices of the elect echoed through the chambers of young motherhood and teenagers. My season came. I made the team for intermurals. It wasn't the big league, but it sure was a lot of fun.

Satisfied.

For a time.

God had something better.

When the new season rolled around. I made the cut! I didn't know if I was more excited to be on the team or to be in the presence of seasoned pros. Even during the training season, I was watching. I was listening. I was learning. Experience was all around me and wisdom was easily grasp. Like my childhood days, the women were the ones who I kept my eyes on. The teacher who was so comfortable with her gifting that the anointing made it work like a well oiled machine. The prophetess with a quiet, gentle nature that sat next to me and delivered deep healing and restoration without a word. The missionary in the dirt, discipling a nation by stopping for the One ~ and, stopping for the one. The friend of God. The laid down lover. The original.

A lot of years have passed since that little girl, with the big imagination, sat at the feet of great women learning to touch heaven. Today she's in the starting line up. It's her first pro game without seasoned players. She's listening to the coach. Remembering the plays that worked and the one that didn't. She will trust His view of things more than her own ~ more than the fans in the cheap seats. She will rely on the experience and the wisdom of the past, and create new plays. Some will succeed. Some will fail. Ultimately, she will run her race with endurance. She will  not grow weary or lose heart. She knows there is a great cloud of witnesses surrounding her ~ waiting to be made perfect ~ with her.

God has provided something better.

Without faith it is impossible to please God. Those who come to Him, must believe that He is, and, that He is the rewarder of those who seek Him.

Not everyone longs to be in the game. Some are content to sit in the cheap seats and shout their opinions. Others are there to learn.  If you find yourself sitting in the cheap seats, or on the sidelines, and your heart is aching to be on the field, keep your eyes focused on Jesus. He is the author and finisher of your faith. He will put you in the game when the time is right. In the waiting, keep watching. Keep listening. Keep learning. Your time to write the new play book is coming. Wisdom from those that have gone before is a treasure to be handled. The experience and wisdom of the seasoned players is of great value. And they are counting on you to receive what has been promised. He is the rewarder and He has better things for you!