For Your Reference

A Brisbane Couple

Over the past three years I have had the immense privilege of watching God move in the life of a beautiful couple.

At Presence Conference in 2014 God planted a business idea in their hearts, I watched it completely unfold by the following year and at Presence 2015 we sat amazed at how quickly God had worked. By the next year, once again at Presence, they felt God incline their hearts to ministry, encouraging them to step out in a way that would completely test and strengthen their faith. This meant selling their new business, rearranging their lives and moving out west of the city to be a part of a church plant.

 

Did they ever see the story unfolding like that?

I am certain they would laugh at the question but as they found themselves at Presence, year after year, they were met with new levels of faith and new revelations of The Word that guided their steps for the coming year. However, each year was not without sacrifice and not without a tenacious resolve to be in the room. Although their lives changed significantly over those three years, having Presence as a reference point etched out time for them to hear from God (be it directly or through the teaching) and be refilled for the next season.

 

 

Reference points

We can understand reference points as “a basis or standard for evaluation, assessment, or comparison; a criterion.” Sounds a little odd at first to think about our lives in terms of reference points but our lives are marked by them. Whether it’s

Christmas, Easter or other significant occasions, these times serve as reference points for our day to day lives and provide context for time. For me, Presence is a reference point I have chosen to build into my life.

 

One of my favourite reference points in the Bible is, Genesis 18:10, “Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”.

 

The more I think about this verse, the more it comes alive with applications. Imagine God saying to you that about this time next year you will have what was promised. You will have gone through the process. You will have a new perspective, you will see His faithfulness, you will have continued to trust Him when you didn’t understand.

 

 

The tension of a Reference Point

Reference points highlight tension between two moments of time: ‘here’ and ‘there’. Genesis 18:10 highlights that a God focused reference point encourages faith, speaks life into the future, emphasises the importance of obedience to the Word of God, reveals God’s work and reminds us that Gods instruction and process is always for a purpose.

Sometimes life can seem to happen so incrementally, or we can think God is moving so slowly, that we need to find a reference point to see from a different perspective. Reference points can be places, dates and times, meetings, special occasions – anything that distinguishes a moment. They provide a point of comparison from which you can say, by the grace of God, I am not who I was and I am not where I was. We can say:

 

I have good news. I am made whole. I have freedom. I have seen others find freedom. I am victorious. I have received comfort, received beauty where there were ashes, joy where there was despair, I have a song of praise – I can see the splendour of God. Isaiah 61 Paraphrased.

 

Maybe those words bring up disappointment, maybe you can’t see where they are true for you right now. Instead, maybe you can look at your reference points and say, by God’s grace, I have:

  • Forgiven who I thought I couldn’t
  • Loved when I had nothing left
  • Stayed when I wanted to run
  • Ventured when I wanted to hide
  • Trusted when I wanted to waver
  • Believed despite my reality.

 

 

The beauty of Presence as a reference point

 

Just like we saw in the reference point of Genesis 18:10, Presence Conference is a time and a place that speaks life into our future. This does not happen in an instant, but it happens when we take the time to slow down and reflect: to look back on our references points, to look at where we are and look ahead, hopeful, at the days to come.

 

I pray that this year you can find yourself at Presence Conference, but regardless, I pray you create the space needed to mark your very own reference point and see that God is in fact on the move.

 

 

Isabella Jensen-Fielding is a passionate communicator; she delights in sharing her personal revelation of Jesus and the invitations held within the Bible. While living in Canberra, she oversaw the youth department at her local C3 Church, completed a Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics and started her career working as a management consultant.

Most recently, Isabella has moved to Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Currently attending C3 Oxford Falls, she has joined the brilliant C3 Youth team and is pursuing creative endeavours while relishing the chance to learn how to surf. Isabella’s ideal rest involves a fresh pot of tea with her journal and pen at hand, Chai tea anyone?

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