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MYSTERIOUS JOURNEY

May 18, 2010
Acts 20:22-23 “And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:
Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”
On this otherwise ordinary day in the city of Miletus, the saints who had travelled from the Ephesus would see the apostle Paul for the final time in this theater of atoms. Paul was pressing toward Jerusalem without knowing how events would play out. He only knew that divers forms of adversity would be his constant companions. Yet he was so fixated upon the Lord Jesus, and the age to come that his only desire was to finish the course. His heart had long ago bid farewell to the trophies of this present world. He now lived exclusively as an ambassador for Jesus; striving to deliver the words of life to as many as possible, before his allotment of days came to a close. The circumstances that lie ahead; be they false accusations, torture, imprisonment, want for basic sustinence, or what have you, were no longer participants in the decision making process. Not even the heartfelt warnings of the brethren were enough to persuade him to reconsider this journey to Jerusalem.
Acts 21:12:13 “And when they heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.
But Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
The element of uncertainty concerning the particulars of what a day may hold is ever present in life; not only for one who is outside the household of faith, but also for one who is born of the Spirit and walks close to the Lord Jesus. For those who are in Christ, we know that at the end of our faith is the salvation of our souls and that to be absent from this earthly tabernacle is to be forever in his presence. The journey from here to the moment of departure, however, can be filled with one surprise after another. Upheaval in the physical realm can enter our lives without warning and cause us to learn whether or not we truly believe the words found in Romans 8:28. In a moment, the frailty of everything observable becomes manifest and we discover where our confidence is residing. Does our heart truly abide in the realm of the everlasting; longing for the moment when we are forever with the Lord? Or are we going through a religious exercise while trusting in the chariots of Egypt to sustain and protect us? This is a quetion that can only be answered when the carpet has been seemingly pulled out from under us and everything familiar has been compromised.
We tend to not like surprises; especially whern they threaten our comfort zone. And even though we know that the worlds were framed by the word of God we would usually prefer to have our personal supply chain in plain sight, with a sensation that somehow our hands are at the controls. We tend to gravitate toward an almost monotonous way of life, where every day closely resembles the previous and everything goes according to the script that we have assembled.  We work it all out on paper and then ask the Creator of all that is, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning, to bless it. Rarely do we consider that just as Gods ways are past finding out, it’s quite possible that he has  a plan for us that is equally past finding out at this moment. His plan may be in stark contrast to the itinerary that we are striving to carry out. Kind of like Joseph, who faced more adversity than most of us can fathom.  I wonder if it wasn’t until his brethren were before him, seeking corn, that suddenly all of the pieces of his life came together. (one can almost see the proverbial light bulb appearing over his head at the moment of understanding)
Genesis 45:5 “Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.”
Josephs testimony continues to be a most incredible account. Many of us would have not handled that series of events very well.
A future laden with uncertainty can be a frightening thing if one loves this world and is fully given to the empty promises of flesh. But for one who is in christ and has tasted of the world to come, it’s an adventure. (I John 4:18 just came to mind as I began typing out this paragraph) I don’t know where we will be in a year, but the Lord will be there, wherever it is, and will be working out his will. If we’re no longer at this address and are living in an apartment somewhere, there will be other residents there who need Jesus. (That would be a blessing because few people come by our house. There’s nothing out here but fields, woods, and millions of deer.) In addition to this, the very fact that a song remains through the course of a situation that would drive many into the depths of despair is a testimony that our God is real and that the true riches are not things which are observable.
Earlier this morning, I found myself revisiting the journey; specifically the moment when I was first born of the Spirit. My understanding was very limited and I had no idea as to how the journey would unfold. It’s been one of unexpected twists, incredible victories, stumblings wherein divine appointments were neglected, unexpected revelations that reveal a God who is awesome beyond description, stagnation from which it took years to recover, mountaintop encounters with the Creator of all that is, and seasons so dark that I became well acquainted with my wits end. There’s never been a dull moment, and yet each season has done its intended work. Even the backslidden years did a necessary work. First, it was a learning experience on what happens when we don’t keep our heart with all diligence. Secondly, it thwarted what had turned into a drift toward mechanical status-quo chrisitanity. And at the proper time, the Lord “rebooted me.” (I know that it sounds corny but this is the only way to describe it)
With so much already behind, one can only imagine how the remainder of the journey will unfold; especially as we are approaching the time of the end. I truly believe that we will be here during the time of tribulation, but I know that Jesus said “and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” There’s nothing in this world; neither threateneings or circumstances, that should cause us to be fearful. A couple of weeks ago, our pastor stated words to the effect of “we are often surprised by events. But God is never surprised. He saw it coming from afar off and sees the end of the matter.” In a recent comment offered on a previous post, Five Peas stated it like this:
As I was driving home, however, the Holy Spirit showed me that the Lord has a plan and I can trust him…rather, his way is better than the future way I had etched in my mind.
My prayer became “whether through prosperity or poverty, I welcome your way.”
Gods plan is far more incredible than anything that we could conjour up with our limited understanding. As for now, this post has to conclude as a lot of stuff must be done before heading in to work. (I’m already way behind. lol) May we all be ready to let go of the picturesque image that we envision for the remainder of our days under the sun and embrace whatever the Lord is doing. Thanks to all who continue to stop by; even though I’m not as active here as in times past. Part of this is due to the fact that we’re in a continuous whirlwind of goings on that must be tended to. The other is that I’m minded to get into the streets at every opportunity. Time is truly running out. Last night, as I was leaving the plant, words to this effect came to mind: “You now have one less day to be about the Fathers business.” It really hit home because, over the course of the evening, I had allowed my “foolish jesting chromosome” to become overly active. May we all be sober minded and place our complete confidence in the Lord Jesus.
I just came across the following link a moment ago. PLEASE READ THIS!!!
CHOOSE THIS DAY WHO YOU WILL FOLLOW
Blessings always in Jesus name.
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
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10 comments

  1. i’ll come back and read this later. Wanted u to know that david meyer is back in the pulpit.


  2. Hi Timbob

    I marvel at the complete trust that Paul displayed as he journeyed to Jerusalem; that even the cries of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, appealing to him to stay, did not deter him, shows that he had indeed set his face like flint. He had heard from the Holy Spirit, and He had empowered him to walk the next leg of the journey. I recently read Ezekiel 36:27 and noticed that the Holy Spirit causes us to walk in God’s statutes.

    We are to be living in a state of constant awareness of the Holy Spirit’s leading, listening to Him and obeying. Such was Paul’s life. The Holy Spirit had prepared him for what was ahead, as He now prepares us. May we abide close to Him and gain strength to endure what is to come, knowing that with Him is all comfort and joy.

    Thank you for this post; knowing that the worlds were framed by the word of God assures us that He painted the whole picture from the first to the last and we can trust that the completed work is indeed a masterpiece.

    Blessings to you and all your family.

    FP 🙂


  3. Psalm 84 has blessed me so many times because it deals with this theme. We make a firm choice/decision to set our sights on Him, to journey into His leadership and plan in our lives regardless of how chaotic it makes the surrounding circumstances. In return, He takes us from strength to strength. I have no assurance that tomorrow is going to be comfortable or safe…the only certainty I have is that He walks beside me, and He’s worthy of praise regardless.

    It’s when things begin to seemingly spin out of control that I start seeing the reality in myself of why I worship–and I don’t always like what I see. So often, my relationship with the Lord is conditional; full of praise when everything is going the way I want it to go, and full of tearful assaults questioning His faithfulness when uncertainty arises. How patient He is to work in us and then through us.

    Bless you!


  4. It sounds like you’re going through some tough times, bro, and I’ll keep you in prayer. It’s amazing, though, isn’t it, how He sustains us through things we do not see ourselves taking well. He gives us the grace we need when, exactly when, we need it. We can’t take credit for it because it’s all Him.

    Love you, Cindy


  5. Hi Code. Thanks for the update. Other than the newsletter, I receive little information from the goings on at the ministry.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.


  6. hi Five Peas. To be conistantly aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit and yielding to his leading is imperative. Thanks so much for pointing this out; especially in an age when lifes hecicity can carry us away if we’re not careful.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.


  7. Hi Chrystal. Psalm 84 is incredble as we indeed go from strength to strength. When we can arrive at a place where we literally take no thought for tomorrow insofar as being fearful, the peace is beyond description. But most of us (including me) tend to look at the storms and wonder “how will this situation conclude?”

    May we all learn to trust completely in Jesus and not become apprehensive over temporary circumstances. Thanks so much for taking time to comment.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.


  8. Hi Cindy. Thanks so much for keeping us in prayer. A certain level of chaos has been present here as of late and it’s like being in a continual “spin cycle.” It’s interesting that this post almost went into a listing of those goings on as to help illustrate the point being made. But when I saved it, everything was gone from the point that I began running down the list. (Everything before that point was preserved.) I’m continually being reminded to not focus on circumstances. Be aware of them: yes. Make plans to address certain circumstances: definately. But not dwell on things that are soon to be resolved.

    The pastor at our previous fellowship had what he termed a “hundred year rule.” Any event that comes up, hesuggested that we pause and ask “will this be relevant a hundred years from now?” When we do this, we find that most of the issues of uncertainty will have no relevance in a hundred years.

    A hundred years from now, we’ll not be living in this house. I’ll not be working at AAM, we’ll no longer be struggling to meet the needs of a son with autism and we’ll not be concerned with swings in the economy. But those that we reach with the gospel; this will be very relevant a hundred years from now. All in all, the present chaos has been beneficial in helping to keep an eternal perspective. A truly sweet place to be.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  9. Hi Timbob, just dropping by to say hi – will be seeing what you’re written recently. Blessings!

    Peter


  10. Hi Peter. Thanks so much for stopping by. I’ll do the same when I can.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.



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