How Will We Flourish and Thrive in These Last Days?

by Rev. Pat Harrison

God wants to do a work in the church in these last days, but it is not enough to want to be a part of it. There is more to our being involved in God’s last-days work than our wanting to be involved or an I’ll-get-around-to-it attitude. For example, we’ve seen babies who were hungry but refused to eat. The bottle was there, but they refused it and just kept ;’ fussing. And you have known your children, whose heads were nodding and eyes’ were drooping, to refuse to go to bed or’ take a nap. You would say the word “bed,” and they would immediately protest that they didn’t need sleep. You knew that sleep would remedy the problem, but they would not give in to it.

To be a part of God’s plan for these last days, we must yield to Him and His will. We must surrender to Him and die to self. The Lord wants His people to flourish and thrive, and we will-if we judge ourselves according to God’s Word. We can solve a lot of problems by allowing the Word to judge us and by acting on the Word, being doers of the Word. But if we will not judge ourselves and act on the Word, the Lord will have to judge and chasten us.

To thrive means the following: to grow vigorously
to become increasingly larger and healthier.
to prosper outstandingly
to gain in wealth or material possessions
to advance successfully
to achieve growth or progress toward one’s goal
to flourish despite or because of circumstances or conditions

Here’s the one that I really love:
to create an atmosphere in which injustice finds it hard to thrive.

When I read that, I thought Well, who is a type of injustice in this world? The devil!

More than anything, we must develop a God-ordained atmosphere in our lives. Wherever we are, we want an atmosphere where injustice finds it hard to thrive. So if we are going to thrive, we must create an atmosphere where injustice finds it hard to thrive. We must cooperate with God.

We must keep our hearts pure and seek the Lord for His instruction. We should be open to relearn things that we may have laid aside or allowed to become stale. We should spend extra time with the Lord. Our souls need refreshed, and our vision needs restored. Negative attitudes develop when we ignore the hunger for spiritual food or the need to lay aside the load we’ve tried to carry. By judging our own motives and intentions, we welcome the Spirit of God to walk the corridors of our hearts. Thus, we thrive.

In Psalm 15 (NLT), David asked the Lord: “Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?” The answer is found in verses 2 through 5:

The last part of verse 5 (NLT) says, “Such people will stand firm forever.” The ( New King James Version says, “He who does these things shall never be moved.” In other words, they will flourish and thrive if they do these things, if they make the right choices.

David asked God for the qualifications for abiding in His tabernacle and staying in His presence. God’s reply emphasizes that abiding in His presence and purpose requires a will to build and maintain godly relationships with others. Strong godly relationships are the reflection of mature believers.

Mature believers thrive. We are faithful believers when we are mature believers. What do thriving ones look like? They speak kindly of their neighbors. They never gossip or say anything to destroy others’ relationships. They do nothing to hurt another in any way. They don’t blame, discredit, disgrace, for shame another. The New Testament equivalent is, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ (Rom. 13:9).

Doing the opposite of loving your neighbor as you love yourself is what brings judgment to the church , and the world. Living selfish, self-centered, and self-demanding lives does not glorify and honor God or cause the unsaved to want to know Him.

Micah 6:8 (NKJV) says, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”

If we want to thrive in 2005, we must be faithful to God and His Word. As Micah puts it, we must love mercy. One translation for mercy is kindness, and another is faithfulness. What does the Lord require ofus? To do justly and to love faithfulness and kindness and to walk humbly with our God. Faithfulness and kindness are traits that God expects in us.

Doing what God’s Word says will cause us to thrive in 2005. We must be faithful, mature believers, not just talking the walk but walking the talk.

Make a choice to thrive in 2005. Dare to act like God is God and His Word is real. Live a self-examined life. Stay out of strife, jealousy, envy, gossip, bitterness, unforgiveness-anything that hinders your walk with Him. Draw close to God and declare that you live in an atmosphere of faith where the injustice of the devil will not thrive.

How will we thrive in these last days? By living our lives in God and His will for us.

Editor’s Note: This article was excerpted from her article that appeared in the Apri1 – May 2005 Mentor magazine. Reprinted with permission from Faith Christian Fellowship International.