Suddenly (Life Has New Meaning to Me)

Has your life ever changed for the better in a single moment? Maybe something you’ve longed for is realized and your heart is no longer sick by deferred hope. Someone you thought was lost is miraculously found and restored to you. The doctor reports, “we got it all.” Even receiving that voicemail stating, “you got the job.” I hope it has. And I hope it will again.

King Hezekiah was made king when he was 25, living all those years under his father, Ahaz, a bad king, who, incidentally, most likely killed his brother by making him pass through the fire, an idolatrous offering to demons. Most kids grow up and basically follow in the patterns of their parents, especially royal children. There is a standard, an expectation, and it is hard to buck the system. There’s also pride and vanity which further cloud issues pertaining to governance. Thankfully, Hezekiah’s mother saved him from sharing his brother’s unfortunate fate, and his heart was to follow Almighty God as he ruled the nation.

As I write this, I’m struck by the immediacy of two things: 1) The brand new (and somewhat young) king to implement radical, practical, cultural, spiritual changes in the very first year of his reign, and 2) how quickly God responded. 2 Chronicles 29:36 wraps up the story of putting the temple worship back in proper order under Hezekiah’s command and how “Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because God had provided for the people, for the thing came about suddenly.”

Part of what intrigues me about these scriptures is that God may just show up immediately, vouching, affirming, and blessing our immediate repentant and obedient intimations toward Him. This flies in the face of that lie, “I’ve done too much wrong, too much water under the bridge, to be forgiven and accepted by God.” For YEARS, these same people had done wrong, being led (and following) a corrupt and evil king. Yet the new and godly king starts putting things right in the very first year of his reign. And God not only provides for the people, but does so suddenly! By His swift action, we discover that God will show up for you in a hot minute, once you decide to follow Him (or follow Him again).

Did it take work? Yes. Did it require strength and leadership? Yes. It reminds me of a favorite scripture of mine from the opening line of Deborah’s song in Judges 5:2 (NKJV), “When leaders lead in Israel, When the people willingly offer themselves, Bless the Lord!”

Not only do we bless The Lord… HE BLESSES RIGHT BACK!!!

So this all begs an important practical question for your life… “Do I believe God will show up suddenly?” If not, what is our faith (or lack thereof) revealing? I do not believe God will ________. In the gospel of John, we see Jesus instructing His followers to “ask in My name,” promising that whatever it is, “I will do it for you.” Strong words… but they’re spoken by our Faithful and True Savior, Jesus. They are worthy of believing. Only by believing them can you experience the truth of them. Faith unlocks everything… even tightly, worldly locked things. Jesus has ALL the keys. Your faith unlocks your “suddenly.” Remember, “he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” – Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

Your faith unlocks your “suddenly.”

Harvester of Hearts

The ultimate Harvester, the One who recognized ripe harvests when He saw them, is also the One who commissions every follower of His to get out there immediately and start reaping it. Jesus is the premiere crop inspector and He knows precisely when to harvest, when to reap. He also knows when to till the ground (in prayer), plant seeds (of The Word), water them (with encouragement), and see people be moved to action (by His Holy Spirit) so they can be won into the Kingdom of God.

How often do people who fancy themselves followers of Christ miss the entire harvest of hearts simply because we don’t see the harvest as ripe, the fields as white, the people as ready. Jesus says, “people are absolutely ready to be invited (harvested, reaped, plucked out of darkness and drawn into light) by you, and your testimony, and your bold invitation.

In order to see how Jesus sees, we need a wake-up call, and Someone to direct our vision, attention and focus on this perfectly ripe harvest right in front of us.

Incidentally, praying for that discernment is part of His will and plan for you to discover your place and destiny, day by day… so don’t delay in asking Him for success in harvesting. Expect to hear God respond to you as you pray for direction who you are meant to reach, where they are, and when is best to go to them (in the soon/now timeframe).

One primary harvest field that is ripe for the picking is the young. Here’s why:

98% of professing Christians make that decision by the time they are 29 years old.

65% decide by the time they are 18. The data suggest the most profoundly massive and fruitful harvest field possible is the young. Perhaps God will lead you to pray at/over your kid’s school – or just the nearest school to you. We’ve adopted the schools in our city – and will see God move powerfully throughout a full instructional year of weekly prayer gatherings at school campuses. Our obedience opens the door for God to move how He intends. You must remember that city-changing moves of God are released by your diligent “yes.”

Other oft-ignored ripe harvest fields are among the poor, the international, the prisoners, and the sick. Consider asking God specifically about any of these areas and see if He stirs your heart to engage with any of these overlooked populations of lovable, redeemable people. Jesus wants us all. Do you?

Your Podcast Is Served

If you would rather listen to the material than watch it, please feel free to enjoy the podcast version, available now. I feel compelled to give you the links to all the places we serve up this podcast, despite any podcast listener knowing exactly how to search and obtain the podcast you want on your preferred platform. But, hey… we go the distance here, soooo…..

Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor, Breaker, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic

Here are the newest episodes, just in case you require a little taste before you commit… (How DOES he do it?)

If you love the Word of God and want more of it in your life, you’ve come to the right place. We are happy @toservemankind.