As the New Year sweeps in I take stock of my life before the Lord over the past 12 months. I welcome the searching eyes of God’s Holy Spirit of truth as He takes stock of me. On reflection, I praise Him for His faithfulness and rejoice in His redeeming love for the lessons He has patiently brought me through. Looking ahead, I am expectant and excited as I await His “appointed times” in my life for the coming months.

What has the Lord in store for us this year? Some reading this may think there is little happening in their lives at present. In taking stock consider Zechariah 4:10 – “For who has despised the day of small things?” God is the alpha and the omega, what God begins, He finishes. Anything birthed of God does not need me to prop it up with my labours. In 1 Samuel 3:12 the Lord says, “………..when I begin, I will also make an end.”

Philippians 1:6 encourages, “Being confident of this very thing that He who began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

The story of the prophet Samuel and his beginnings is well worth reading again in 1 Samuel chapters 1 – 3. The child, Samuel, was given to the Lord in the care of Eli, the priest, by his mother, Hannah, to minister to the Lord serving in temple duties. We note that Samuel began in a small way. The child was ministering before the Lord, but he did not know the Voice of the Lord. We all need to hear when God speaks to us.

1 Samuel 3:7 records, “Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the Word of the Lord revealed to him.” It was Eli, the old priest, who perceived it was the Lord calling the child, 1 Sam. 3:8.

Samuel was going through the motions, serving Eli before the Lord before he came to know God for Himself. It was seemingly a very insignificant beginning – just a little boy and an old priest with no clarity of vision at that time in the nation.

“For who has despised the day of small things” – Remember that from little acorns mighty oak trees grow!

Within a few verses of that same chapter, 3, Samuel goes from not knowing the Lord in verse 7, to verse 19 recording, “And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and let none of his words fall to the ground.” None of Samuel’s words fell to the ground because they were God’s words, not Samuel’s. God had revealed Himself and the whole nation of Israel knew that the prophet, Samuel, was the medium God was using for the restoration of the nation.

Isaiah 55:11 also records the Lord saying, “So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth, it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I send it.”

Today, much of what is called prophecy falls to the ground. Samuel did not have that problem. He was like a sharp – shooter, hitting the target every time as an oracle of God. Throughout his lifetime, God used Samuel mightily with Israel. He faithfully delivered God’s living word to His people.

This year is the beginning of a whole new chapter. Remember, God said, “When I begin, I will also make an end.” No matter how small a company of Believers you belong to, you can be part of a GREAT vision: “For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:9. At the beginning of this new year in our Gatherings for fellowship together, let us minister to the Lord that He might reveal His word to us. Amos 3:7 declares, “Surely the Lord will do nothing, but He reveals His secrets to His servants the prophets.”

Philippians 3: 12 – 14 is encouraging for all of us:
12 “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

In my experience I may not have arrived, but legally “I am seated with Christ in heavenly places”. God has arrested me but I have not yet attained that for which I have been apprehended, as Paul said in the above quote…..BUT….there is something in me that God has started that is greater than myself. It is my responsibility to press in to that which I have been apprehended for, and God will finish the work. I am here because of what the Lord has done in me, not because of what I have done. My life is a testimony to God and his unchangeability and my confidence is in Him.

So, hallelujah! Let us encourage each other to press in, to not despise the day of small things, to stay expectant and……enjoy the journey through 2012.