Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 indicates that God keeps productive, healthy people so full joy in their hearts that they don’t have time to become oppressed, humiliated, or downcast from the trials and losses of life.
As we close out 2016, and prepare for our time to restore, consecrate and rededicate ourselves to the work of the Lord for 2017, as leaders we must understand our responsibility to take inventory of how we have individually and collectively accomplished the work God placed in our hands for 2016. We should give him all the glory for areas we completed according to His will, and submit back to Him those areas we did not.
In John chapter 17 when Christ was preparing to end His season of work on the earth we see Him, in prayer to the Father, taking inventory of the work he completed; and then He submitting the rest back to the Lord.
Christ begins his inventory In verse FOUR where He says:
- “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.”
In verse SIX He says:
- “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.
In verse EIGHT He says:
- “The words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them… and they believed that You sent Me “
Then, Christ submitted the unfinished work to the Lord… Asking the Father to:
- Keep them – that is His disciples and any who would come afterwards – in His name;
- And to make them one, even as the Father and the Son are one;
- And to perfect them in unity so that the world know the love of God through Christ Jesus.
Christ was sealing his completed work, while making preparation for his next work to be revealed and to be accomplished at its appointed time.
Just as the Father had given Christ a specific work to do during His specific season on the earth, He also gave you and me a specific work to do during the 2016 season. And, just as Christ had another work to complete in his next season, so does each of us have another work to complete during the 2017 season.
Christ prepared for His next season in prayer, in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He rededicated himself to the Lord’s work saying “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22)
What lied ahead of Christ was a tough work; but, with the releasing of that prayer, the angel came and strengthened Christ so He could accomplish it. Once Christ’s strength was restored He went directly to his disciples and reignited the strength-giving power of prayer in them as well because They too had to be prepared for the next work.
We see this in Luke 22:45-46:
When He (Jesus) rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, and said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.
So I say to all men and women of God, in these last few days of 2016 take some time now to:
- Assess how well you completed the work God gave to your hands to do in 2016.
- Assess how well you led the people who have been placed in your care for the purpose of evangelism, discipleship and spiritual maturity.
- Take inventory of how well you exhibited the love of God in every area of your life in 2016.
- Assess how strong your level of faith is, based on your level of obedience to the Lord and the manifestation of His glory in your life.
AND THEN… submit every unfinished work to God; He will turn it as He wills.
AND THEN… commit to the time of prayer, restoration and consecration unto the Lord as we enter into 2017; and the angel of the Lord will strengthen you for your next season.
Singing: “Lord whatever You’re doing in this season; please don’t do it without me. Don’t do it without me. Lord if You’re healing, healing in this season; please don’t do it without me. Don’t do it without me.”