News and Updates
David Copeland · October 1, 2016
Newsletter · Volume: 16 Issue: 10
In September I observed my birthday. I won’t say how old I am now; you can be assured I’m not 16 years of age any more. In my head yes; in my body, no! Thank you to everyone who sent me a special birthday greeting in September.
For the last several weeks I have been meditating on Psalms 80:14, 15. In this Psalm the writer is crying out to God in repentance, acknowledging the nation’s sin and rebellion, both corporately and individually.
Then in verses 14 & 15 the writer makes this cry:
14 Return, we beseech You, O God of hosts;
Look down from heaven and see,
And visit this vine
15 And the vineyard which Your right hand has planted,
And the branch that You made strong for Yourself. NKJV
The Amplified Bible says it this way:
14 Turn again, we beseech You, O God of hosts! Look down from heaven and see, visit, and have regard for this vine!
15 [Protect and maintain] the stock which Your right hand planted, and the branch (the son) that You have reared and made strong for Yourself.
The word visit as it is used here in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance means to visit (with friendly or hostile intent); by analogy to oversee, muster, charge, care for, make a new deposit.
In the New Testament the word visitation means an inspection with the intent of providing relief.
September & October always brings with it a shift in the natural seasons. Vacations are over. The kids are back in school here in the United States. In the South, we are patiently (or not so patiently) awaiting cooler weather. People’s minds are already shifting toward the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday season.
While the calendar says it’s Fall and a new season in the natural, the temperature gauge is still reading in the 90’s almost every day. But if we will be patient, the temperature will eventually change to coincide with the season.
I call this seasonal overlap. This works spiritually for us as well. It is without a doubt a new season for the Body of Christ. While Holy Spirit has told us it’s a new season, some of us experiencing some of the same situations, same problems, same temptations & discouragements as the last season. And if we are not patient we will end up making the same mistakes we made in the last season.
In spite of the seasonal overlap that I too am experiencing, my heart is hungrier for God to do a fresh work in my life than ever before. 2017 will mark my thirty-ninth (39) year in ministry. I know better than anyone, I have not arrived. I am so hungry for God to do a greater work in my heart and life because I want to finish strong the race I have left on the earth.
How do we survive “seasonal overlap”?
1. Acknowledge we need Him! This will be demonstrated by a new hunger and thirst for Him! The Psalmist said it this way in verse 14: Return, we beseech You Oh God of hosts…
2. Repent of where we have gone wrong. That will call on us to acknowledge that maybe we have veered off course in some areas of our lives. One of the areas we have gotten off track is how we treat other believers who don’t believe exactly like we do. My heart is broken over the anger and vindictive spirit so many Christian people are operating in. It bothers me daily that if you disagree with someone on any topic (especially Scripture) you are labeled a heretic and false teacher or false believer. I am NOT condoning false teaching or false preaching. But the lack of maturity in many will not allow people to receive anything from people who do not believe exactly like we believe.
3. Return to whole-heartedly serve Him again! I realize in years past many of us have made an idol out of going to church. We spent so much time at the church and in church activities that it burned out many kids who have since (and because) completely walked away from God.
But I am greatly encouraged! God is beginning to stir many hearts to come back to whole-hearted worship and service to HIM, not a building. And when we do, it will again become a joy to gather with His people.
My own personal Word study of this verse literally reads like this: Oh Lord return to us…we plead with you….look down from heaven and focus your undivided attention on us and oversee us…make a new deposit in us…give a new commitment to us and help us make a genuine new commitment to you…..because we are Your vine….and Your vineyard that You have planted for yourself…