Words for the Vineyard - Pioneering


Pioneer- 1) One who ventures into unknown or unclaimed territory to settle. 2) One who opens up new areas of thought, research, or development. 3) A soldier who performs construction and demolition work in the field to facilitate troop movements.

I have shared before that every time you think a new thought or learn something new your brain creates a neural pathway. That looks like taking a machete to a jungle and paving a new path. The more you think that thought and meditate on it, the structure in your brain begins to resemble a paved wide-lane highway. Thinking is powerful. And the brain likes thoughts to travel on the path of least resistance. Hmmmmm. We have a culture and society that likes to take the easiest, most convenient path. Others do this, definitely not you or me.... But just for the sake of this email, let's pretend we are like that too. :)
We like fast food, faster check out lines and don't you dare get in the left lane if you're not going to put that pedal down! But what if the Lord is asking us to be pioneers of a different way of living and existing? With the world pumping out "produce more and faster", we are called to pioneer resting in Christ and letting Him do the producing through us.

We are built to choose and pave new paths to establish the culture of heaven on earth. Did you realize that? You were made to partner with God to bring heaven on earth. Jesus is our Forerunner. (Hebrews 6:20). He went first paving new paths of righteousness and mercy, showing what His Father desired to happen on earth. He says "if you've seen Me, you've seen the Father". So to follow Him, we keep going into new places and spaces with His authority by the power of His Spirit working within us to bring His Kingdom.

So what does pioneering look like today?  It looks like taking the heart and ways of God into our everyday environments until they start to mirror "as it is in heaven". The Lord is moving people into every space to establish His rule and reign. I know of people obeying His voice by making their way into governmental roles.  A couple recently left their careers of 20+ years to get teaching degrees just because they heard the Lord say "get into the schools"! This Vineyard Church has long been a place of pioneers. Our CMA brothers and sisters leading motorcyclists and gang members to Jesus in some of the hardest places to share the Gospel. Not to mention the history of missions to the nations this house has held for 40 years. We are rich with pioneering spirits here!

Pioneering can sound rather glorious but there is a really challenging side to it. It can be a hard ground we are traveling with little to no obvious fruit for seasons. It cost us the easy breezy way. There's the day in and day out of the discipline of pioneering a new way of parenting or running our homes. Men and women paving new paths of integrity and honor in the workplace when the norm would be to gossip and complain. Teens and young adults carving out lives of holiness and choosing Jesus in the midst of the popular "cool" things of the culture. Pioneering can be lonely. People that do new things are not always accepted by others at first. They are often judged and face criticism. In our Bible plan this week, we read Proverbs 29:25, "Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety".  When we rest in Christ, listen to what He tells us to do and then step out into that obedience, we are going to face opposition. But according to this verse, we are safe in fearing and trusting God alone. David recounts in Psalm 37 that he had lived a long time and he had never seen the righteous forsaken. Let us step out in obedience, with the confidence that the Lord really is the One we aim to please and He is where we rest secure. And oh the people coming behind us!! Can't you just see them?!? May they dance freely on the clear paths we break down with the Lord! Father, give us visions of them so we will not grow weary.

This week:
  • Read and meditate on the Word of God. I suggest Psalm 37 or John 15 but every single bit is good! We are paving new ways of thinking and living in our minds first.
  • Ask the Lord where He wants you to pioneer His heart and ways in your life.
  • Reach out and encourage a friend you know who is paving a heavenly path in their life
  • Spend time thanking the Lord for all the ways He has gone before you and for the people he has inspired to go first. 
  • Enjoy His presence as you journey with Him. He goes everywhere with you. Psalm 23.
Grateful for all of you, pioneers. Don't quit, keep going!

For His Glory,

Rachel Burnham
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
  and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 

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