This month, Calvary Chapel Jaco celebrated it’s 6 year anniversary. It amazes me how fast time has gone by and how much God has done. It seems like yesterday that we were just landing in Costa Rica.
As I think back upon the last six years, I think of all the things we have been through as a church. For a small fellowship, in a small town, we have surely seen our share of trials and successes! It has been an adventurous ride to say the least. It has also been a learning experience. While there have been many things that we have learned, there are still many more lessons to be learned for sure. Of course, there are also the lessons that we must re-learn from time to time as well. But as I reflect, I think of three major lessons that have brought us to this point. I shared these with the church and I would like to share them here as well. You see, not only have these three things been critical in regards to making it this far, but I believe that they will also be critical moving forward. So, without further delay, here they are:
The Work Requires Focus, Therefore, We Must Continue To Stay The Course
There has not been a shortage of people that believe they know Gods will for my life or this ministry. But the Lord has continued to press two things upon my heart.
When He created us, He did so knowing how we would turn out. He created us and gifted us in such a way as to use us for His purposes. While we should always be growing in the Lord, we shouldn’t try to become someone else. We must be who He created us to be as a person and as a church, collectively.
God calls us with a specific purpose in mind. He is a specific God. We must know what His will and calling is, then we must do it. I like to call this “plowing the row in front of you”. We can’t get caught up with what other people or churches are doing. If we become envious or jealous of the work others are doing, we will get off track and fail to fulfill our ministry. So, we must stay focused. In Colossians 4:17, Paul says to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” This is critical for all believers if we are going to finish well. We must fulfill OUR ministry, not that of others.
The Battle is Fierce, Therefore, We Must Continue To Stand Strong
As a person or a ministry grows, they become more effective for Christ. Satan takes notice of these things and does everything he can to stop it. He loves to destroy a work before it can really get started. He also tries to discourage us so that we simply give up and quit. Paul warns us of this in Ephesians 6. He tells us that we wrestle against the spiritual hosts of wickedness and therefore we must STAND!
The Lord is Faithful, Therefore, We Must Continue To Trust in Him
The greatest thing we have seen these past 6 years is that God is faithful! He has guided the church, He has provided for the church, and He has protected the church. There is no doubt in my mind that this is His church. So we must continue to wait upon Him, walk with Him, and trust in Him every step of the way. He is the rock that we must be founded upon and build upon. Hopefully, He will always be the one getting all the glory as well!
While it is always exciting to look back at what the Lord has done, it is even more exciting to look ahead. I believe that the best years are in front of us! In many ways, this ministry is just getting started. The foundation is just being laid. The vision is yet to come to pass. So let’s continue to seek the Lord whole-heartedly, let’s seek to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, and let’s shine our light for Jesus Christ!