Inside Perspective - November 2014

My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Ronald Reagan once said: “Status quo, you know, that is Latin for “the mess we’re in.“ The things that we do day in and day out become very comfortable to us; we settle in to a routine quite unconsciously and it becomes our norm. Once a pattern has developed it is often very hard to pry ourselves out of it.

It is very easy and takes no effort to stay within the status quo. I recall when I was first hired at the Greenhouse, we were given the responsibility over a certain area of the grounds; indeed we were told by the powers that be, "Stay in your area." The men that had been working there were content with that; but I was not. Five men were already there and four of them quite happily did nothing. I personally set about in my heart to make "our area" as beautiful as possible. Over the next couple of years the Lord blessed abundantly and "our area" was looking noticeably different. I thought, "To get more area, I must first be faithful with the area that I have."

So, I took wood planks which I scavenged from the dumpster, cut them accordingly, painted them and put them as borders around all the beams and flower beds to give everything a more orderly look. It's funny though, all the time I was working I was always looking out beyond "our area." I found myself scouting new ground in a day-dreamy kind of way while I worked. I'd think to myself, "Oh, look at that, I could put morning glories on that fence and they would do great there. Then, I could split all the hostas and fill in that area over there with them and their bloom would compliment the early bloom of the Shasta daisies." It was my mindset and it continues to this day.

The mindset of my expansion plan is akin to the doctrine of “Manifest Destiny”, which was a belief that it was the destiny of the U.S. to expand its territory over the whole of North America, from “sea to shining sea”. Of course, in my case, I have to bring the police in line with my inclination because without their permission, I'm not going anywhere! So as soon as I can get them in my camp, with their permission, I move to the next area. I try to stay three areas ahead of them. While they are approving the newest one, I am scouting out the next one ?. God has given me favor with custody, so that no sooner do I have an area the way I want it, then I am on to the next one!

Here at the Greenhouse we name each area, so that when we are talking over the daily chores that need to be done, we know which area we are referring to. For instance, we started out with "Highway 51" and the "British square." Then, we added the "Back-forty", which I filled with mums. Next added was "Death-row," aptly named because that's where our resident hawk kills all his pigeons. Every morning when we get to work it is full of bloody feathers. The next addition was the "Shipyard", named after the pilings jutting out of the ground there. I could go on and on about the "Ponderosa," the "Band-room," the "Chapel," etc., but you get the picture. I am conquering the prison one small flower bed at a time! I'm making a dark place beautiful a little bit at a time, all by the grace of God.

It is written, "But ye shall receive power when the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be my witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in Judea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

As believers in the Lord, it is also very easy to stay within the status quo. The things that we do day in and day out become very comfortable to us; we settle into them and they become our norm. Once a pattern has been developed it is very hard to pry us out of it, but prying out is exactly what we need. It is written, "Break up your fallow ground" (Jer.4:3).

You have an area that God has put you in charge of. It's your area. The devil wants you to "stay in your area" but God wants you to make dark places beautiful. Adorn that which He has given you with the fragrance of The Rose of Sharon and He will give you more. Once you have planted the flowers of Heaven's gospel in the heart of one, move on to the next. God will give you the increase.

Just because some people in your church may be operating within the status quo does not mean that God will not bless your effort. It's all about the mindset of the Christian's "Manifest Destiny" as he works from "soul to shining soul." Always under the Holy Spirit's unction and in His power you will see that your areas have names too. Move from your family, to Sally and on to Joseph next door. Then, expand from the Johnson family to the uttermost ends of your neighborhood! While you are sharing with Sally you should already be scouting out Joseph in prayer.

Beloved, get out of your rut! Change your habits! Go to a different supermarket, gas station, etc. Introduce yourself to people and tell them about the living Christ, who they called a Friend of sinners.

We are coming upon a new year. Are you really aware of the signs of the times? I hope so. Stand fast soldier, look up for your redemption draws nigh. Extol the glories of the resurrection. Stay unspotted from the world because God is looking for faithful men and women that He may use.

Beloved, when Christ comes...