During my prayer and meditations for this New Year, I was impressed in my spirit with the words “advantage” and “advance.” So, I looked up the definition of both for the sake of clarity:
Advantage is a condition that helps to make one better or more likely to succeed.
Advance means to move forward; progress further; rise higher.
Gail and I take these two words together to express God’s intention for us in 2016. He desires to place us in a position and create conditions in our lives that will not only benefit (advantage) us, but those with whom we come in contact. If you eliminate the competitive connotation of the word “advantage” you will understand it represents the heart and mission of God. His promise to Abram was, “I will bless you… and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” When God gave Abram an advantage, He was on His way to the world. From Joseph’s vantage point as Prime Minister in Egypt, he became a blessing to all nations: “the people of all the earth came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph.” Our advantage is our opportunity to bless others and ADVANCE!
As we reflect on the year just past, I hope we can see progress made. In fact, the beginning of the New Year is an excellent time to set some benchmarks to measure our future progress. It is always God’ intention that we advance: from faith to faith; glory to glory; grace to grace. There is never a good excuse for remaining the same. I have always admired the military strategy of General George Patton who believed in constantly advancing. Holding a position was not an option. What a great challenge for us to move away from maintenance mode and let our dreams take us higher and further in the things of God. We don’t have to settle for less the His best!
So, as we journey through 2016, let us remember our God has given us an advantage so that we may advance in His Kingdom and mission. Be looking for His advantage each day and expect to advance in every realm, responsibility and relationship in your life.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11-14