I love the fact that the Ugandans love being in church and worshipping God. And they do it so enthusiastically, with much praising, clapping, greeting, dancing and jumping - how could you not be excited when in the presence of our awesome God?
I just had to share, too about this morning's message as it was so very good. Both Margaret and Julius, the husband and wife who started the church, shared about moving forward - going forth into the new year and all that God has for us in it.
Julius preached from Exodus when God led the Israelites out of Egypt. However, when they had their backs, in a sense, against the Red Sea, they cried out to God. And, He responded:
"The Lord said to Moses, ' Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.'" (Exodus 14:15)
Egypt was all that the Israelites had known. Although they had been in bondage, that had been their home for the last 400 years. But, God has something so much better for them. However, when they came to their first major obstacle, they doubted about the path ahead. But, God said to move forward - move forward and cross the Red Sea and go toward the Promised Land.
In verses 13 and 14, God used Moses to assure the people.
"And Moses said to the people, 'Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.'"
Julius pointed out that there may be things in our past that our holding us back, choices, relationships, etc., but there is power in the blood of Christ to be freed from what is holding us back from moving forward.
As I prayed, I realized that in myself I cannot loose my chains because I myself am bound. Therefore, I must rely totally on Christ to loose me from those things that are holding me back and keeping me from enjoying all that God has for me in the future.
So, I am encouraging myself and you to move forward. Don't keep looking over your shoulder to the past - to what was or what might have been. But look forward in hope and expectancy for all that God has for you, and rely on His power to "part the Red Sea" and bring you into His "Promised Land."
"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 3:12-14