By Bryan & Dyane Davis of LifeSpring Church in Abbotsford, B.C.
Easter celebrations have certainly looked very different the last two years. Depending on where you are in Canada, you may have been able to gather with just a few inside, only outside, online only or some crazy hybrid mixture of a few of those options. As leaders we have had to be ready to shift at a moment’s notice, spending far too much time rethinking and restrategizing due to constantly shifting protocols. Let’s just all admit that the whole thing has been exhausting, sometimes overwhelming and for most of us it has taken every ounce of self-discipline we can muster not to fully unleash all of our frustration on social media.
Yet we can’t help but think that God is up to something that none of us can truly comprehend or imagine. Time and again in the Bible we see that what feels like defeat turns out to be an overwhelming victory. We all know the stories, but here’s a little refresher… The Israelites coming to the Red Sea thinking it is all over and yet God does a miracle to see them through and destroys the enemy at the same time. Goliath showing up spreading fear until God raises up a young warrior named David to courageously step in to defeat the enemy and lead a nation to victory. Of course the ultimate victory of Jesus overcoming death and the grave when to the disciples it had appeared as though all had been lost. God has the habit of bringing about the greatest victories from the ashes of the greatest defeats.
Is it crazy to think that something greater is on the way? Is it out of the realm of possiblity to suggest that God is doing something behind the scenes and setting us up for a radical Kingdom shift in the nation of Canada? Well, it certainly feels that way doesn’t it? Many leaders we talk to have the same sense of anticipation for what is next. The problem is that it feels like we are all still “on hold” in many ways. We are all waiting for this whole thing to be over so we can move on. So how do we manage a desire for greater things while wrestling with the sense of disappointment that accompanies constantly having to wait?
The followers of Jesus knew what it felt like to be placed “on hold.” After that first Easter and before Jesus ascended into heaven, he told them “not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father…” (Acts 1:4) You and I have the privilege of knowing what that incredible promise was, but they didn’t know. The fact that Jesus had to tell them not to leave, not to shake off the dust of the city from their feet after what felt like defeat, tells us that they likely would have done just that! They would have longed to go back to their simpler lives and give up on waiting for what was to come next.
Waiting times are not wasted times.
Jesus knew his followers needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit and armored up for a calling they weren’t previously geared for. He was about to send them what they needed for what they didn’t know was coming their way. The church right now is in the same place in that we don’t know what is coming our way, but God desires to equip us in a new way for the battle ahead. GOD HAS NEW ARMOR FOR YOU! We are heading into a new season of harvesting that we haven’t had the gear for in the past. Don’t waste what seems like a time of waiting. Ask him to give you new armor, a renewed prayer life, renewed vision, renewed baptism in the Spirit, greater faith and strategies for a battle we have not faced before. He sees exactly what we need ahead and he’s got the gear ready for us. Don’t be eager to rush back into busy schedules, don’t think that everything will simply go back to the way it was. Instead, be prepared to walk into the next season with new armor, to face new battles and win even greater victories!