This, That, and the Other

“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.” Acts 2:16 In this excerpt, Peter referred to a then-present day occurrence, the “this“, of a previously predicted event spoke of in the book of Joel, the “that.” Pastor Steven made a great correlation to some of his visions of the past. He spoke of envisioning a great church in a major metropolitan area each time he could see Charlotte’s skyline on flights from speaking engagements. He saw beyond Elevation’s humble beginnings of sponsoring one family at Christmas that very first year of the ministry to a time when dozens to hundreds of families could be helped. Out of a single convert early in the Elevation ministry, he shared imagining dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of people starting a relationship with Jesus Christ for the first time.

That was then but this is now. Over 3,500 people in regular weekly attendance; $100,000 donated to CIS Safe Journey for college scholarships just last week; over 2000 people saved since the start of Elevation and 146 last week alone. In the words of Peter (and Pastor Steven), this is that!

But here is the crux of the situation. Did success just happen overnight? Did victory come by way of chance or cosmic happenstance? Was Pastor Steven granted some kind of special dispensation of grace for being in the ministry? No, there’s an older Biblical concept at work here that goes deeper than the realization of a dream. It’s seedtime–harvest; or sowing and reaping. Pastor’s visions were not just empty predictions or the result of wishful thinking. His thoughts were intentional and purposeful; they were catalysts that moved him to action. He prayed relentlessly, exercised faith religiously (pun intended), worked countless hours regularly, spent money he didn’t have, remained focused and disciplined, and pursued his dream with bulldog tenacity. He sowed the seeds to get from “that” to “this.”

Out of this concept comes basically three types of people. 1) “That” person who sets the vision and sows the seeds to bring the “this” to fruition; 2) “This” person who enjoys the harvest from being diligent, disciplined, and determined at doing “that” and; 3) the “Other” person who sits on the sidelines wishing for “that” yet unwilling or lacking courage to do “this.” Which one are you?

Have you been disobedient with something that God has asked you to do? Have you been reluctant to get started on your dream for fear of what people might say or fear of failure? What great destiny have you been called to but refuse to answer? How will you overcome the obstacles keeping you from fruition of your dreams? Is there a small step you can take toward your destiny today? What can you do to initiate “that” right now? What seed can you sow today that will reap you a plentiful harvest tomorrow? This is that time to leave the other person behind!

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