Christine Caine - Re-Vision: A Heavenly Perspective - Part 3
Hey there and welcome to today's episode of "Equip and Empower". I hope you're well and I'm believing today's teaching is going to stir up your faith and equip you to believe God for greater things. You could be a single mom who feels like every ounce of your energy and every minute of your time is spent working and taking care of your kids. You could be an entrepreneur desperate for that big break, praying for the dream to come to fruition. You could be a volunteer in your church who feels overlooked and unseen or you could be a friend who cares so much about others but you don't feel like anyone cares about you. You might feel like your best days are behind you. You're here but you really want to get there to that place where you have time, energy, emotional peace, purpose and joy. I know that feeling all too well. And that's why I believe today's message is going to bless you because no matter where you're here is today, God wants you to know that not a moment of it will ever be wasted. Watch this.
Hey, everyone. I am so grateful that you have joined us today. I don't believe that you're here by accident. I believe that you're here in the divine timing, the divine plan and purpose of God. I believe that God has an on time word for you.
Now, I wonder, have you ever been here but you really wanted to be there? Now, I mean, like you were in your living room and you started scrolling through your Instagram feed and then you saw that your friend has posted a video from their vacation in Santorini and you thought, why am I here in my living room when I could be there in Santorini, Greece? Or you're dating and one of your friends is getting married and you think, why are we here at the dating stage and not there where they are at the wedding stage? You've started your career and someone else has got the big kind of corner office and the position and title, and you're thinking why am I here just at the start and they are there in the corner office? Or you've written a blog post and your friends are getting a book deal in the publishing world and you think, why am I here typing up blog posts and they're there? And why am I not there in the publishing world or you've started a savings account and you don't have enough money yet for a down payment on a home and you say to yourself, why am I here?
But I'm not there. Or if you have kids, you know exactly what it's like to be pulling out of your driveway and you're about to go on a six-hour road trip and one of your kids asks the question, mommy, are we there yet? And you haven't even pulled out of the driveway yet. And it seems to me like we're never happy to be here. Wherever our here is, we always want to get there wherever there may be. It seems like we spend so much of our one and only life on this planet unhappy with being here because we always want to be there. We often miss what God has for us here because we spend our time looking over there. And I think this is Amplified and social media because we get to actually see everyone else's there in real-time here. And that makes us feel frustrated with here because we're not there.
So many of us have dreams and desires and basically spend our time dreaming about what it's gonna be like when I get there. We're so frustrated that we're only here when we really want to be there. We believe that everything will be better over there. When I'm over there, somehow it will all come together and I will be full of joy and full of peace and full of contentment. And all the good stuff is waiting for us somewhere over there. And here, man, here just seems boring, just seems difficult, here just seems frustrating, here just seems mundane and insignificant and routine and a waste of time, and we end up spending so much of our time never really here, never in this moment, never in this place, never with this person because all we are doing is pining for there. And there is normally just another place, another person, another profession, another situation. There can be anything as long as it's not here. So we waste so much of our life striving to get there never realizing we never get there unless we arrest here because here is the only thing that will ever get us there.
I bet you're glad you've tuned in today. Have I confused you yet with the here and the there? Stick with me because I think you're gonna find here and how you get there, and you'll never be there unless you're here. The big question today is, where is the there that we are longing for? If we can re-frame our thinking to have the right there in mind, then we will not be as frustrated that we are only still here. We will become grateful for here when we identify the right there. So much of our angst, our frustration, our impatience is because we have set up the wrong place as there. We think it's a particular relational status, a particular career position, a particular financial position or gaining certain awards or accolades. We have put our hope and trust and our joy in the hands of the wrong there, and so we're never happy here.
So let's look at the scripture together and discover where there was for the apostle Paul. We are going to look at 2 Timothy chapter 4:1 and 8, and Paul wrote this letter to his spiritual son Timothy from a Roman prison. He's basically on death row. I want to you get this. He's on death row. This is very quite possibly his last letter. He was locked in prison. He knew his days were numbered. He was lonely and he had lost his friends. And these are his final words of encouragement, of challenge, and of caution to a young man he had mentored and discipled in the faith. He sent this letter to Timothy in Ephesus so 2 Timothy chapter 1 verse 8, we see that he sent this letter to Timothy in Ephesus hoping he might be able to see him one last time. If not, this is his last will and testament to a young man that he was passing on the baton of faith.
So we know this is important because last words are very important. You think about your final words. So what we have here is a bird's eye view from the finish line. Paul was there, and he was on the threshold between this life and the next life, and he says let me tell you what is going on in me here as I prepare for there. I am leaving here which is called earth but I'm going there. There is home. When I get there, I can finally really say I am finally here. See, what we are going to discover is that everything we do here is the preparation for when we get there, and the only there that ultimately matters, you will not see on a social media post. It is to be with Jesus for all of eternity. We want to get there and be able to say I'm finally here. I got here.
So Paul writes to his protégé Timothy in 2 Timothy 4, this is so powerful and there's so much packed into these verses. Paul is saying his whole life has been a continual journey of going from here to there. The time of his departure has come and he's leaving here for there, but when he gets there he will be able to say I am finally here. Paul is saying now that I am here, I'm ready to go there and here are my last thoughts to the next generation who is still back there and wanting to get here. Here is the place where you can say I finish my race. I've kept the faith. I want you to see when Paul was writing this letter, he was here. And he was writing to Timothy who was back there. Timothy was not here yet. He wasn't at the point of saying I've run my race and finished my course. He was still back there with his whole race still ahead of him.
Paul is saying to Timothy if you want to get from where you are back there to where I am here, then you need to do these things. To Paul, Timothy was back there, but to Timothy who was back there Timothy felt like I'm just here. So what happens is we spend all of our time looking for one day when we're there that we miss being right here. Here in this moment and time, here in this place, here with this person and the fact of the matter is we only have ever got right here. That's the only place we ever are, right here, right now. The only moment we are ever living in is this moment. No matter where you go you are only ever here. I want you to see the value of here and discover that you're here is not a waste of time. I want you to know that God is with us right here, that he will take you there. If we will trust God with our here, we will get there.
This text, Paul is saying to Timothy, I could give you a whole list of my missionary journeys, the churches I've planted, the letters I've written, the souls that have been saved, the arguments I've won, the miracles I've been a part of, the revivals that I've seen, but basically now that I am here at the end of my life there are only a few things that really matter. These are the things I want to you prioritize, Timothy. These are the things that you must do here so you can get to the right there. Timothy, stay focused on what you've been called to do. Don't get distracted by what everyone else is doing. Timothy, preach the word. Be ready in season and out of season. Reprove and rebuke and exhort with complete patience and teaching. Timothy, for the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching. Welcome to 2021. But having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions. Welcome to 2021. And will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. Welcome to 2021.
Paul could have been writing this straight to us in the 21st century. It's astounding to me how many have been seduced by conspiracy theories and myths. How many have walked away from the truth of God's word because it seems to be offensive in the culture in which we live. How many have stopped obeying God because they just want to give in to their fleshly desires. Paul is saying to Timothy, no matter what everyone else is doing and teaching around you, as for you always be sober minded, endure suffering. Do the work of analyst. Fulfill your ministry Timothy. If you want to get to the right there, you have to stay on track here. Do not divert here. Don't get off course here. Don't be seduced away from the truth of the Gospel here. And you will get there. For those of you wondering if it's the accolades, the accomplishments, the position, the titles, the heroic deeds, the number of things we have acquired, the things we have accumulated, the awards we've received, the successes we've had, the marriage, the family, the friends, that are the things that really matter when we get there, the answer is no.
What matters is did we do the will of God for our lives? Did we run our race? Did we finish our course? Did we do what we needed to do here so that we could get there? The other things could be good things, but they're not the ultimate things. The ultimate thing is, did I do here and now what I was supposed to do so that when I get there, I will hear the words, well done, good and faithful servant? You and I will never be there while we're still here on this earth. There is no I have arrived here on planet earth because we are on our way home which is the ultimate there. So what I'm saying to you today is you can chill out and start living here and now. In our text, Paul reminds Timothy to preach the word, to stay true to doctrine, to endure the difficult seasons and work to spread the Gospel. That's the goal. Paul says I am living. I am a living sacrifice poured out. I am about to depart. I am pulling up anchor and I'm sailing home to heaven. I have fought the good fight. It's been tough at times but man, it's been worthwhile.
In 2 Corinthians chapter 11 verse 25 to 28 he says, his here was obviously not always awesome. It was difficult. I have to trust him to take me there. Jeremiah 29:11 says: so to be honest with you, I could not have imagined the life God has allowed me to live. People ask, how did you start a global anti-trafficking organization or how did you start a global women's movement? Well, the truth is when I started following Jesus, I didn't even know that trafficking existed. But while I was faithful back there building a community based Youth Center, speaking at youth rallies and high schools, God was preparing me for here. Running a 21 and propel women and speaking around the world, and as I was faithful back there, God led me step by step to here. The interesting thing is some people think I have arrived and I'm there, but I actually am only here on my way to there. I don't think at the end of this broadcast I'm necessarily going to be going home, therefore I'm not there yet.
30 years ago when I felt frustrated that I'm only here at the local Youth Center when I had a desire in my heart to do something global, I saw this as there where I am now. But now that I'm here, the place I once thought was there, I realize I'm only here. And 30 years ago that was there. And as I keep following Jesus here, my here becomes there. So I want to remind you today that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. Not us. He is. I know the destination. I want to get there. I want to make it all the way home. I want to hear well done, good and faithful servant. I want to run my race. I want to finish my course. I want to finish well. I cannot control all of the circumstances of my life, but I do trust Jesus to take me there. The route Jesus uses to take us there is not what I consider the most director the most expedient route.
When I look back over my journey, I feel like often I went down and not up, that I went in the direction that was opposite to what I had thought that God seemed to want to do a deeper work in me than anything significant through me. That I had to take the long way around and not the shortcut. That I had to take the slow way and not the fast way. But I now look back and I see the inter connectivity of my life that I could never have planned. I went to church. I joined a small group. I attended youth group. I simply volunteered to serve wherever I was needed. I turned up to a church cleaning day that led to my first ministry appointment at a community based Youth Center. I served there for 7 years and was invited to lead our denomination state youth movement. I served therefore another 7 years. At that open doors to travel and teach around the world. As I was doing that I was awakened to the reality of human trafficking. And over time started A21 and as I built that over time, a need arose to start propel women. I did not go chasing those things. I just kept turning up here. And in my turning up here moments, God opened the doors that took me there.
If you don't show up here, if you don't step into your life here, if you don't follow and obey God here, you won't get there because there is a culmination of all you're here moments. I desperately want to you value you're here and now. I don't want you to sleep through your life waiting until you get there. You must wake up here, be engaged with right here right now if you want to eventually get there. I'm a lot less concerned with the details of how to get there from here and a whole lot more concerned with being here in order to get there. What you do here will determine if you get there.
What is the key for getting from here to there? It is actually very simple. Not easy but simple. Keep turning up here. Keep being faithful to Jesus here. Keep standing in faith here. Keep believing God here. Keep dying to self here. Keep serving Jesus here. Keep doing whatever is in your hand to do with passion here. Keep obeying the last thing that Jesus told you to do here. Keep running your race here. Keep selfish ambition out of your heater here. Keep guarding your heart with all diligence here. Keep choosing life here. Keep changing and growing here. Keep letting go of the past here. Keep laying hold of the future here. Keep trusting God here. Keep praying here. Keep reading your Bible here. Keep loving people here. Keep fighting for justice here. Keep being generous here. Keep forgiving here. Keep Holy Spirit dependent here. Keep doing good to everyone you can here. Keep getting back up here.
If I keep walking in the ways of God here, then I will end up in the will of God there. If I do the revealed will of God here, he will continue to unlock the concealed portion of his will that will take me there. Remember, it is God who opens doors that no man can shut. We can not see all of the doors that he has before us. Nor do we know what is behind all of those doors. We he here, we see now. We act here and now. We trust God to take us there. We just need to stay close to the Holy Spirit and follow him. If you throw yourself into what is in your hand here and now, you'll be so busy following Jesus that you won't have time to be bored or dissatisfied.
Nick and I are discovering what God has for A21 one step at a time, one day at a time. Nick and I did not plan everyday of our marriage with we started out 25 years ago. We said yes, and we keep saying yes everyday. Our marriage is a journey and an adventure. It unfolds day by day. We just keep showing up wholeheartedly everyday, and 25 years later we still marvel and ask ourselves frequently, how did we get here? We couldn't have imagined. Listen, I love goals. I love strategies and plans as much as anyone else. I run several organizations and I know the importance of these things, but I also know God wants to blow our minds if we are willing to step into the faith adventure and not try to control every aspect of this faith walk. Ephesians 3:20 says God is able to do exceeding abundantly above and beyond anything we could ever ask or imagine. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says our eyes have not seen, our ears have not heard, nor has it entered into our hearts the things that God has for us.
God is for us. God is with us. God is guiding us day by day. Let's trust him to take us from here to there. Let's not waste our life trying to control our life but let's choose to surrender to the one who knows best, don't limit God to what you can see or know. Most of the things I'm doing today I did not even know existed. God alone can take us from here to there. Don't over think that how of this process or you will be paralyzed. The fact is the gap between here and there is trust. We have to trust God even when we can not trace him. We have to trust that our God is good, he does good, that he will work all things together for good for our good and for his glory. Our God is with us and our God is for us. Trust him here and your God will take you there.