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Seeds of the Kingdom

Am I a `When We`?

by Paul Lawrence

30 December 2013

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The Lord says, Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. Look at the new thing I am going to do.
Isaiah 43:18-19, NCV

When I lived in South Africa as a child I was know by some as a “When we…” This was not an unpleasant statement but one that was given to a lot of people who were born in countries around South Africa like Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Angola. I was born in Zambia. It was a statement given because we were always talking about what it was like “when we” lived in the other countries. It was a bit of a compare and contrast really, and usually the past was seen as more positive than the now.

We would say things like, “When we lived in Zambia we had fruit the size basketballs.” or “When we lived in Zambia we never had this or that problem and if we did we solved it straight away.” The Israelites used a similar, “When we”, statement when they were in the desert. `They said to them, “It would have been better if the Lord had killed us in the land of Egypt. There we had meat to eat and all the food we wanted. But you have brought us into this desert to starve us to death` (Exodus 16:3).

The problem with the “When we…” statement is that we are always looking back at something and not looking forward. We are always living in another place and not being part of what is going on around us or getting stuck into where the Lord had put us. This means that we are living in the present but are always looking back at how it was. We are not facing the reality of the situation and letting God take us into new things. Some of the new things can be pruning, and while the Lord is pruning, instead of embracing the challenges and changes, we sit talking about “When we…” times.

We can do that in every situation we live in and moan about today and talk about the times, “When we” did it differently or had more. However, the Lord is challenging us today to stop being a “When we…” and start looking at what He is doing now. `The Lord says, “Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already happening. Don’t you see it? I will make a road in the desert and rivers in the dry land` (Isaiah 43:18-19).

As we transition to 2014 we look back at all the Lord has taught us and stand amazed at His provision, but He is also asking us to face the future with Him and walk boldly into the future and trust Him in every situation we find ourselves in. Sometime we miss the moments that He is working in now because we are “When we-ing”

Before you go into today ask yourself this question with the Lord; “Am I a “When we” or am I looking at the new thing God is doing in my life?"

Prayer: Father, I want to embrace all You have for me now and in the future. I don’t want to be a “When we” in a negative way, but want to fully embrace where You have put me. Help me to see what You are doing in my situation today and tomorrow. I thank You for all You have done for me in the past and look forward to all You are doing in my future. In Jesus` name. Amen.

Paul Lawrence is the Centre Director at Ellel Grange, UK and is married to Anne, who is the Deputy Centre Director for the Grange. He has lived in Africa for over 20 years and China for 5 years. His passion is to see the Lord do bigger and greater things in peoples lives that they cannot do on their own, not just in healings but also in the fun things of life. His belief is that nothing is ever big enough and as a team we can achieve anything if the Lord is at the centre.


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