Our family just got new tropical fish over weekend. It’s fun to watch them swim around in their tank and interact. Before bringing them home, however, we had to first purchase the tank, prep the water and set things in order so the conditions would be right for their survival.
We learned that the hard way recently.
For Christmas, the children asked us if Gary, our pet Betta, could have some companions. So we agreed. We purchased four neon tetras and a bigger tank for all of them to go in. My husband Kenya transported Gary and the new fish into the tank. We were absolutely horrified to wake up the next morning, only to find them all dead.
He talks about it on our latest YouTube vlog. Click here to watch. He discusses the fish mishap at the 9:24 mark.
Kenya thought he had done everything right. But he discovered too late that the new water didn’t have enough bacteria in it for the fish to survive. He felt awful about his error. We all did.
So we bought a new betta and two new tropical fish. This time, we worked hand-in-hand with experts at the pet store. Kenya put extra effort into making sure he did things correctly. He made certain the water’s pH level and temperature were right before putting the fish in the tank.
A week in advance, we bought the new tank and the heater, and allowed the water filter to run. Additionally, we took a sample of the tank water into the pet store to get confirmation that it was ready to welcome the fish.
Once Kenya was told that the levels were on point, he got the green light. Everything was a go. We made the transfer. I’m happy to say the fish survived! They all seem to be thriving and we are happily enjoying them.
Though it was sad to lose all five fish at once last week right before Christmas, it taught our family a valuable lesson about preparation. Successful transitions are impossible if the way is not prepared. Someone with wisdom, understanding and the ability to create the proper conditions needs to set the stage.
Aren’t you glad God doesn’t haphazardly handle our destiny and that He knows exactly what’s needed for us to thrive and live a blessed life?
We see in Deuteronomy 31 that the Lord always prepares the way.
In this chapter, Moses, who had delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt and led them through the wilderness, had gone as far as he could go. He was120 years old and was about to turn over the reins of leadership to his protégé, Joshua.
Israel was on the precipice of crossing over the Jordan River and stepping into the Promised Land. Even though Moses would not be with them, he gave them a word from the Lord. In Deuteronomy 31:3 NLT, he said, “But the Lord your God himself will cross over ahead of you…”
He assured the people of God that the One who is greater than any enemy, with infinite wisdom and power, preceded them. He went before them, prepared the way, and had already given them victory.
In verse 6, God said through his manservant Moses, “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Friend, God is sending you this message to start out your 2018. He’s saying, I, the Lord your God, will personally go ahead of you.
There are ways you need God to make, doors you’re praying He will open, miracles you’re trusting Him to work, and breakthroughs you’re believing Him to secure. He knows you are waiting and trusting, and He’s letting you know, I’m going ahead of you.
God does things in advance. That means, before the problem ever shows up, He already has the solution.
Before symptoms manifested, He had a plan to heal you.
Before financial trouble started, He had plan to increase you.
Before the loved one went astray, He had a plan to restore them.
Before depression revealed itself, He had a plan to break that stronghold.
Before you could formulate the question, He already had the answer.
God personally goes before you. Don’t be worried, discouraged, or dismayed in 2018. God is with you every step of the way. You might as well praise God in advance, because He has already done the work.
To remind you of this truth, I’m stirring Isaiah 65:24 NIV into your cup of inspiration, which says, “I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!”
As you drink down the contents of your New Year’s cup, know that you are being led by God. Wherever this year takes you, He goes before you. He favors you. He removes the hindrances and clears a pathway to destiny.
You have no need to worry or fear.
Now let’s pray.
God, thank You for allowing me to see another year. Thank You for the assurance that You go before me and that You have already made provision for every one of my needs. I am ready to receive all the great things You have in s tore for me in 2018. I speak blessings, favor and prosperity over my year. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
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