The new year has arrived. If you feel as though you have “been through the ringer”, you may be crossing a threshold into another level of your market place ministry.
Thresholds are places of testing and places of triumph. I can tell when I am going through a threshold. I am tested in every way and those areas where I have allowed God to judge me and purify me withstand the scrutiny. However, those areas where the working of His sanctification is incomplete, well… that is where I get rubber-banded back until I have applied the work of the cross.
A threshold in the natural is that part of the door we step across to pass through the open door. In eastern culture, a threshold is a place of covenant. For the Jewish culture, they would have a basin built into the bottom left side of the threshold. The basin held the blood of sacrifice of a kosher animal and this would be the place where blood covenants were made. It is a place of intimacy, agreement, and blessing.
We have a blood covenant with Abba Father through His Messiah, Yeshua, our Lord, Jesus the Christ. As we pass through the open doors God puts before us, we must pass through scrutiny of the threshold. If we have covenants or agreements with any foreign god, we will have a difficult time crossing over.
Any area of false refuge will be a stumbling block to us. God is our refuge and our strength. However, if we run to food, alcohol, sex, spending, control, ministry, or work to be our refuge, we are in violation of the blood covenant we have with God. We will not pass through until that is dealt with.
In my experience, you will go through multiple thresholds throughout your life. As you grow as a Christian, you will experience times of testing and “crossing over” as you mature. Major reaping grounds are marriage, the birth of a child, the teenage years of your child, college, retirement, etc., major changes in your life.
For example, if God wants to take me into bigger business, bigger ministry, bigger outreach, He will require corresponding character for me to be able to maintain and sustain my new position. I may need better budgeting (hello!). He may be dealing with an attitude that is ungodly. Personally, for me, every time God promotes me, I am hit with several tests.
First, the test of sexual purity. I was saved from a very ungodly lifestyle in the early 90’s. It was the fruit of a lot of abuse as a kid. It is a major area of testing each time God takes me higher in position, finances, influence, etc. The Kingdom of God does not want a compromised Christian in a place of influence.
Another area of testing is faith. When I approach a threshold, I will sense the unbelief within my new sphere of authority. I used to get so upset with myself thinking “how could I have such unbelief”? Until God showed me I was discerning the unbelief of the world around me and He wanted me to be able to conquer this new level and be in faith.
How about tithing? Before every financial promotion, I experience “the squeeze”. The squeeze is where I am stretched thin in every financial direction as I expand the influence or outreach of my business. Will I continue to tithe? Will I continue to trust God. I am ashamed to admit that I struggle with unbelief when I encounter the squeeze. And even though I continue to tithe, I am sometimes hit with “I could use that money over in this place for this project”…. But I tithe because I recognize the threshold. I tithe because I cannot even keep track of the many blessings God has bestowed upon me, His child.
And there often comes the relationship test. Will I act in a godly manner toward those who hurt me? Will I be kind, respectful, generous when I am wronged. Will I set boundaries with those who are emotionally exploitative, verbally abusive, and in some way manipulative? This is the most challenging area for me, but it is also the area of the best fruit of my life. I love giving mercy where it is most needed and I now respect myself enough to set boundaries for myself that are healthy.
I want to encourage you to seek God as you prepare to cross your threshold this year. Whatever He has for you, let every attitude be dealt with. Ask Him to show you the key to going to the next level. God has designed you for success and influence to expand His Kingdom. Invite Him in. Invite Jesus to “judge” these things in you which merely means He will bring them to your attention for you to make a decision about whether to tolerate these things. He will then help you forgive, nail it to the cross as it were. He will give you grace to leave it at the cross, and put it behind you.
I pray you cross into the new thing God has for you by the grace and power of our Lord Jesus Christ.