Sometimes when we look back at our lives we realize how far we have come, and for most of us, it has been against all odds. The life of Moses is an amazing story. He was born at a time when baby boys were suppose to be killed, his mom sent him down stream in a makeshift baby boat, and after being nursed by his own mom, was raised in Pharaohs court.
Then, as a young adult he realizes that his own people are being oppressed, and in an effort to help, he kills an Egyptian. Like many of us, he felt the call of God in his heart, a destiny of greatness, but responded in the flesh. Sadly, I can relate to that! No, I haven’t killed anyone, but moving when I should have been still, opening my mouth when I should have been quiet, and wrestling when I should have been resting I know all too well!
I can see that much of my life mirrors the early years of Moses. Now, I am looking and believing for the “against all odds” part of his life to shine through mine. You see, many times we get stuck in our past failures or inexperience, but we cannot allow the misfortunes and mistakes of our past to keep us from the potential of our future!
Two weeks before high school graduation I got expelled from school because of assault on a student. Three months later, that student, Rose, married me. She was just a little over seventeen and I was three days past my eighteenth birthday on our wedding day in 1972. In a fit of rage I almost killed her that first year. Thankfully, I have never touched her in that way since, but I knew at that time that I had some severe issues and needed help. We accepted Christ two years later.
Then, the very things I swore I would never do to my own children that had been done to me began to slowly manifest. By the time we were Christians for 23 years and pastors for 13 years, I was suicidal, wanting to leave my wife and four sons, and I was a very angry authoritative pastor. Rose was also at the end of her rope as well. After trying everything we knew to perform for God’s love and affection, we were about to give up!
That’s when Jack and Trisha Frost came into our lives back in 1998 and literally saved our lives. We knew through many prophetic words that one day God was going to use us to travel around the world to teach and preach, but we didn’t know what message we would carry or how it could possibly be. You see, in our twenty years as pastors we never had a church with more than 100 people.
I share some of my story to give you hope. You see, whether you feel it or not or know it or not, you are a treasure! God has placed within you the makings of greatness. You can’t work for it and you certainly didn’t earn it, but it was His gift to you as His precious creation. The treasure may at times seem to be hidden, but it is still treasure.
When we open our hearts (Revelation 3:20), Jesus comes in and helps us to be refreshed, restored and to dream again. Then, when we go from having an intellectual understanding of how much the Father loves us and begin to live in that love experientially, it changes everything!
Over the years of preparation, waiting and transitions, Rose and I often laid our dreams aside. When those dreams seemed too big or impossible, our tendency was to write them off as impossible possibilities for imperfect people. At this point many just stop dreaming. Did you know that you were created to dream big?
We have been to 12 countries in the last six years, including Korea 19 times, all of which would have seemed impossible just seven years ago. We have met and ministered with some of the most amazing people on the planet. In all sincerity, I can tell you that it has not been because of what we have done to deserve it, but only because of the One we belong to!
For us and for many of you, this is a season of Transition. While it has been an incredible journey these last few years we are now finding ourselves in that place of moving forward, but not knowing where we are going or when we will get there. Like the Children of Israel in the wilderness, we are finding ourselves at a place of learning complete dependence on Papa, believing that if He brought us this far He will see us through to the other side.
What do you do when all the exciting things that have been happening seem to slow down? When it seems like the years of plenty have been exchanged with the bitterness of wandering and waiting, what do we do? If the flow of anointing seems to dry up and we fear we will die of thirst in this desert place, will we too turn on the one sent to deliver us? Hold on dear one, there is help on the way.
The journey into the wilderness for Israel was the beginning of their deliverance, and what may appear to be a time of wandering for you and me may be the same. The fiery furnace for the three Hebrew Children, while appearing to be a tragic end to lives well lived, turned out to be the means of burning away the very things that had them bound. And, as sons and daughters of God, the lion’s den could be transformed to the place of your greatest rest!
Rose and I are learning a few things while on this journey that I will share with you. But, to see these things, we have to first understand that the desert wanderings are not always some form of punishment. If you have sinned repent, and if there are heart issues needing attention, bring them before your Father. We have to stop believing that every negative situation is negative!
First of all, we are learning trust. You would have thought we would have gotten this one down a long time ago. Proverbs 3:5-6 makes it clear that there will be times when what we understand to be fact will not always be truth. We are learning to come into the presence of our Father and to rest upon His bosom (John 1:18).
Secondly, we are learning where to eat. There is manna from heaven, food from the very heart of God, that sustains and nourishes us far better than anything this world might have. I can tell you that after having tried much of what this world offers us as comfort; it is so true that only He can satisfy our souls. Our prayer truly is, “Give us this day our daily bread!” (Matthew 6:11)
Thirdly, we are learning that this is a time of focusing on where we are headed and not on where we have been. When we continually look back, we more often than not run off the pathway of our destiny. We are focusing on listening to that gentle voice (Isa 30:11) that directs us each step of the way! (Psalm 32:8) There are times of moving forward and times of standing still. We must hear His voice to know the difference.
Finally, we are learning what it means to live in His secret place. Moses’ Tent of Meeting has become our Secret Place. We are discovering that there is a level of intimacy that He wants to share with us that goes beyond the “wish list” mentality we use to have. I think there could be times when our “Prayer List’s” hinder our quest for intimacy. By the time I am done reading off all the things I want and need I am about ready for a nap.
Intimacy with the Father is something that wakens within us an insatiable desire that can only be satisfied with more of Him. It is not about “doing” it is about “being!” It is all about a Father and child relationship of the highest order. There is a place in intimacy where words are not necessary as mutual adoration takes place and our greatest joy is simply being together. This is what I believe the Father is longing for with us and where He is taking us on this journey!
Notice, it is not a transition into a new ministry, a bigger church, more invitations or greater anointing, but it is a transition into deeper relationship with the one who gave it all for us! My prayer for us is that we will enjoy the process of transition, because it is taking us to a much higher place in His heart!
Vince Mercardante Sr