News and Updates
David Copeland · April 1, 2023
Newsletter · Volume: 23 Issue: 4
As our weather finally changes in the Northern Hemisphere, the days get longer, the weather gets warmer, and it’s also time for us to mark the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus. I regularly refer to 1 Chronicles 12:32 which states:
And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment. -KJV
I am constantly reminded the times & seasons in God are not determined by a clock or a calendar, but they are determined by the revelation of Jesus we are willing to walk in and by the brooding of the Holy Spirit we are allowing allow in our lives. But God will use calendar events to grab our attention to remind us what our faith is built upon.
April in Latin literally means “to open” or “be open.” Every time we speak the word April, we are declaring openness to our faith, family, finances, and our circumstances. April declares to me that God has a right now word for everything I am walking through, and that right now word will take me where He wants me to be!
I was preparing to speak in a leadership weekend recently when the Holy Spirit dropped several things in my heart about different seasons that we all will experience in our lives. Whether you call these seasons, things, events, or places, it doesn’t matter; you will experience this on your way to spiritual maturity:
I wish I could tell you that you will never experience a wilderness in your life, but you will. I’m not being negative either. The wilderness has a purpose to remove things from your life you won’t need going forward in your relationship with God. Mainly, the wilderness challenges the Word of God and the prophetic Word in your life, just like it did Jesus.
Another main objective of the wilderness is to deal with your ego & pride. The wilderness also shows you areas of “neediness” that distract you from total dependence on the Lord.
Gethsemane literally translates “crushing” or the place of crushing. Gethsemane is where your will and control are crushed. I’ve taken dozens of people on mission trips in the last twenty-five-plus years that I thought I really knew and that I thought were prepared for cross-cultural ministry. But when inserted into a place of crushing, you find out how demanding for personal comfort people can be. I’ve seen very meek and mild people when thrust into a culture they are unfamiliar with and uncomfortable with, how strong their will and the desire for control can be. Gethsemane is the place where your will definitely will be crushed and you will declare to the Lord (and mean it), “Nevertheless, not my will, but let Your will be done.”
Everyone has a cross they must carry. Our faith is built on the Word of God as well as the faithful lives of the multitudes who have gone before us. But there is a cross, a sacrifice God will call you to carry that you alone must carry. From time to time, He will send people to help you carry the load, just like He did for Jesus. I am constantly reminded of the Moravian missionaries who, when they accepted the call to the mission field was required to build their own coffin, mainly because there were dozens of their predecessors who died and were buried on the foreign field. They were only allowed to pack enough possessions that would fit in that coffin. It is told, that when one group was boarding the ship to sail to the field, with their families crying on the dock, one of them looked back and cried, “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering!”
Jesus said it this way: And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. -Luke 9:23 (emphasis mine)
This is not the tomb of your personal death, but a place where you will bury all your hopes and dreams, and promises that you think will never come to pass. Just because it looks like a promise dies, it doesn’t mean it is over. Again, Jesus said it this way:
Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. -John 12:24 NKJV
5.Then, there is a resurrection!
I don’t know why Jesus does this, but He does His greatest work with resurrection power! It’s the resurrection that separates us from every other religion in the world. I wish He didn’t allow some things to die; but when a promise is truly from the Lord, you cannot completely kill it.
As we enter this 2023 April resurrection season, may all of God’s promises resurrect and come to life again, establishing His covenant not only with us but with all who love His appearing!