LIFE IN THE GAP | Gaps By Design

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
— 1 Peter 1:6-7

We’re finding purpose in the middle of our gaps.

We're so focused on our past and so anxious about the future, we miss His presence in the middle, in the gap.

>>>This morning I want to take a look at how we can begin making progress in the gap. Start moving forward. It starts with a commitment to no longer compromise. And yet, this doesn’t get rid of the gap. So how are we supposed to live in the gap?

These gaps by design.

Hebrews 10:11-14 - Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.
Hebrews 10:32-37 - Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful [You took steps] even though it meant terrible suffering. Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever

This is the gap in which we live. The gap between who I used to be, and who I want to be—better yet, who God called me to be.

And this is where so many of us get frustrated. It’s where too many have given up.

My expectation for the gap is that I’m going to take some steps and as I move towards God’s will and move closer and closer to God, that this gap is going to shrink. This explains why a lot of us don’t feel like we are growing in our relationship with Christ. Salvation is gift. What did Peter say…

Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance— And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation… -1 Peter 1:3b-5

Salvation is a gift, but it's one that you must grow into. 

My expectation was that as I took a step the gap behind me would get bigger and the gap in front of me would get smaller. But here’s what God does…

Every time you take a step, He takes a step. 

God knew that if you felt like you had arrived, arrogance would be sure to follow. 

So God makes sure that as you take a step, the gap stays » GAPS BY DESIGN

We look back and can see that we are making progress, but we look forward and it doesn’t look like I’ve gone anywhere.

The truth is, you need grace for both gaps! The same grace that created this gap, is the same grace that will propel you forward.

...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. -Philippians 1:6, NIV
Hebrews 10:32-37 [CONT] -So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. “For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay.

I need both gaps.

I need a gap that makes me grateful, and a gap that makes me grow. 

Paul, in Romans, tells us that the gifts and call of God cannot be withdrawn. So the devil can't steal your calling, so he attacks your confidence.

What kind of thoughts do you have in the gap? Not good right?

So the devil tries to get us to give up and give in when we need God the most.

Philippians 3:12-14 - I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

It is no coincidence that Hebrews 11 (The Hall of Faith) follows immediately after the content of Hebrews 10. You need encouragement this week in your gap? Read Hebrews 11. Study the lives of these men and women.

Hebrews 11:1 - Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Hebrews 12:1-2; 12 - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. … So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.