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"Pioneers, You Have Entered the New Frontier!"



Recently, I heard the Holy Spirit say, "Pioneers, You have entered the new frontier!". As I meditated on this reality, I remembered that a frontier is often referred to as uncharted territory. The Cambridge dictionary mentions "a frontier is a border between what is known and what is not known. " I sense that is exactly where we are as the people of God. We are stepping out of what has been known, and now stepping into what is not known.


The Church is going through such a deep and massive change that it is hard to put it into words. It is difficult to describe something when you haven't seen it before, but many are sensing that something unusual is taking place. Even amid all the changes and transition, we can rest assured that God is masterfully positioning us for the new, and all that He desires to birth will surely come.


This journey we have been invited to embark on may feel scary, unnerving, and sometimes confusing, while at the same time exhilarating and thrilling to realize we are a generation He is calling to pioneer the new with Him. In fact, as I prayed through this word, I kept seeing a picture of astronauts preparing and training for space travel. Astronauts spend many hours in training where the training systems seek to simulate various scenarios they will encounter and experience as they step into the outer space realm. But, even with all their training, they will undoubtedly still encounter things that are entirely new such as extreme temperatures, unusual terrain, and loss of gravity.


Just as astronauts are true pioneers who have chosen to step into the unknown and vast universe, this generation is also called to encounter and bravely pioneer things that are entirely new. I am using the analogy of astronauts and space travel because there is a lack of language to describe the monumental shifts we are experiencing and about to experience in the days ahead. The Church is not just starting a new program or Bible study, but stepping into an era of Church reform and transformation unlike anything seen before. We too, have a vast realm to navigate called the "Spirit Realm" that we will continually be exploring for the rest of our lives and into eternity. As pioneers of the new, we are ambassadors of the kingdom of God, establishing the values of our Father wherever we go.


Promises and Presence


As a teenager, I frequently watched the TV show, Star Trek, where the mission of the Starship Enterprise was "to boldly go where no man has gone before." This could be a fitting mission statement for the Church in this new era, and it is not so different from the words the officers told Joshua and the Israelites when they prepared to cross the Jordan River into their promised land. The officers gave instructions to follow the priests who were carrying the ark of the covenant:


"When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before." Joshua 3:3-4a


Like the Israelites, we have never been this way before.


The officers gave very clear instructions to the children of Israel as they were about to set out to cross into their land. The ark of the covenant was a constant reminder of God's promises to them and a visible representation of God's Presence with them. A covenant is a "two sided" agreement or promise. God had promised and covenanted to be with them, and they covenanted and committed to Him as their God.


Covenant is Key


As we venture into this new era with Him, we also need the signposts that mark the way for us. Could it be that the same constants that got the children of Israel to their destination are exactly what we need when we can't clearly see the way? When the road ahead is unfamiliar and sometimes hard to see, we lean into His promises and our everlasting covenant with Him. He is who He said He is, and He will do what He said He will do! We also can rejoice that we are never navigating the way alone. Not only is His Presence with us, His Presence is in us!


Because of the blood of Jesus Christ we now operate under a new covenant with Him. Under Moses, the children of Israel experienced an external covenant of law and rules. But we are a people of the new covenant. Under this covenant, God actually changes hearts and minds and He fellowships with us from a place of intimacy and deep connection.


"This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people." Hebrews 8:10


"For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant." Hebrews 9:15


I believe our covenant with Him is going to be emphasized and highlighted by the Holy Spirit more and more in the days ahead. Each time we take communion we remember, acknowledge, and offer gratefulness to Him for ransoming us from the darkness and setting us free to walk fully as His sons and daughters. I see a spirit of BOLDNESS coming on the Church as we step into greater revelation knowledge of all Christ purchased on the cross. Communion is not only an exercise in remembering, but a powerful weapon against the enemy as we proclaim His death and all that it accomplished.


"This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after supper he took the cup saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes." I Cor. 11:24b-26


A Warning in Times of Transition


As I was meditating on the uncharted territory we are stepping into, I felt I heard Holy Spirit say, "Watch out for golden calves". In Exodus 31 and 32 we find that Moses had gone up on Mount Sinai with the Lord to receive the two tablets of the covenant law. He was evidently gone for quite a while and the people began to complain and murmur. Having left Egypt, they were already in a time of great transition, and now the one who was leading the way had disappeared. In the absence of what they had become accustomed to, they became uncomfortable. In their discomfort they pressured Aaron to create an idol in the shape of a calf, and they quickly turned from God's commands, worshipping the golden calf.


I felt God's warning to us is that as our norms and routines are altered and shaken, we would not be tempted to create substitutes that are not of His doing just to soothe our discomfort. Much of the time God has to remove some things before He can bring the new. It is often the lull or the in-between place that we find to be so difficult. This is not the time to resort to old methods or to institute programs or structures just to fill a space. God is preparing a completely new wineskin for the new wine. If we fill it with the old wine, there will be no room for the new thing He is releasing.


The Role of Grace in Transition


If you have experienced a feeling that the grace has lifted for you in a particular area, be watchful and pray that He would give you eyes to see what He is doing. Often, that feeling that the grace has lifted is God's way of moving us from one thing to the next.

We are sometimes unaware of just how much His grace is present for us in our current assignments until the grace lifts or moves to another assignment. However, we still seek to walk obediently with Him through these uncertain transitions because finishing well is just as important as starting well.


When the children of Israel had crossed into their promised land, they were finally able to eat the fruit of the land. The manna had been their sustenance through all the years of wandering in the wilderness. It was truly a picture of God's grace for them. The manna stopped the day after the Israelites ate the fruit of the land. Though the manna had been God's wonderful provision and grace for them, that particular grace lifted, and it was no longer needed. God had something much greater for them than the monotonous manna. They had entered a place of abundance and a land flowing with milk and honey. How sad it would have been if the children of Israel kept foraging the ground for manna instead of eating the fruit of the land. As pioneers of the new, we need eyes to see the fruit of the land that God is giving us, and hearts that are quick to release to Him the blessings of the past era. Like Paul referenced in Philippians 3:13, may we be a people who are "forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead."


As we journey into the new frontier, we are not to be fearful, but a healthy fear of the Lord is to our benefit. We must understand that we cannot do this journey on our own. We are totally reliant on Him to guide us every step of the way. His promises and Presence are our signposts and we can anchor our faith in the everlasting covenant we have with Him. We celebrate that covenant every time we take communion, remembering all that He accomplished on the cross and proclaiming His death as a weapon against the enemy. We receive God's grace for the times of transition with the core belief that He is taking us from glory to glory. Not only are we part of an unshakeable kingdom, but a kingdom of continual increase and expansion. What a privilege to be alive today, pioneering the new with Him for such a time as this!


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