If your life matches the depiction of this picture,
then I think you will relate to this message!
In the devotion below, David Wilkerson is once again making an excellent point that hits us ALL right between the eyes, right where we live!
I know I certainly can relate to the journey, this Christian Pilgrimage as it were, that he is making reference to; and I wager you can too!
Certainly in the course of our lives, with our many trials and challenges, I’m sure many can relate to finding yourself in places where you’re feeling so insecure, as though on slippery slopes; fraught with moments of panic, with feelings of aloneness and insecurity; where every moment you have to remain focused and on your toes; where one misstep can be so costly; always on your guard against falling into the abyss.
Now I know this may sound like a slight exaggeration to some; but for most of us, I think it hits pretty close to home… and I know it certainly did for even the Apostle Paul!
|2 Corinthians 4:4:8-9
8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.
Certainly the Apostle Paul’s experience wasn’t exactly a bed of roses either.
It is so hard to break the grip of selfishness, bitterness, and hurt that can emerge in the midst of ministry. Without a very deep transformation taking place in our hearts, we will find ourselves inevitably and instinctively relating everything that happens in ministry to what it will do to us and what we will get out of it.
As one Christian honestly put it,
“I lived for myself, for myself alone,
Unfortunately, that is descriptive of a lot of Christians; we live for ourselves, what we want and hope to get. If we don’t get it, or if our sincere attempts to do it aren’t appreciated or rejected, we want out immediately!
How different is the spirit of the Apostle Paul, who longs to risk his life, his health, and his fortune for the sake of others.
We can see in 2 Corinthians 11:24-28 how Paul’s motivation for self-fulfillment was crushed, how he wasn’t focused on what he could get out of ministry:
“Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25] Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was ship wrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26] I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27] I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28] Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.”
(Portions of this article are taken from: Paul Becoming a Basket Case, by Pastor Robert C. Stone)
Our gaining God’s leverage in our struggles and battles is certainly an advantage; but there is a cost!
The point is, certainly Paul’s life and ministry doesn’t sound like a party to me; but I think the real message is that we are not intended to make this journey alone; and any attempt to do so is very foolish indeed, especially when you consider what Jesus offers us as an alternative, if we willingly submit and relinquish control of our lives over to Him.
This is a decision however, that is ours to make; and He will never force it upon us.
And once again let me remind you that the Bible even says of Jesus (in Heb 5:8) that He learned obedience through the things He suffered; and the long and short of the lesson, as I see it, is that for us to successfully navigate these waters, and make our way to our destination, which is for us to be molded and shaped in the image of Christ, we have to be totally reliant and dependent upon the ministry of the Holy Spirit, in each one of our lives!
Just as Jesus and all the Apostles, and all the Old Testament Saints had to… and so must we.
Therein concludes today’s lesson.
Go therefore and do likewise… and have a blessed day!
From: DAVID WILKERSON TODAY
Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 12:01 AM
Subject: WILDERNESS JOURNEY
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian, pictured the Christian like someone trying to cross a sea of floating pieces of ice.
The Christian cannot rest anywhere while crossing, except in his faith that God will see him through.
He cannot stand anywhere too long, otherwise he sinks.
After taking a step, he must watch out for the next. Beneath him is the abyss and before him is uncertainty—but always ahead is the Lord—firm and sure!
He doesn’t see the land yet, but it is there—a promise in his heart. So the Christian traveler keeps his eyes fixed upon his final place!
I prefer to think of life as a wilderness journey—like that of the children of Israel. And King Jehoshaphat’s battle, along with all the children of Judah, is also our battle (see 2 Chronicles 20).
Sure, it’s a wilderness; yes, there are snakes, dry water holes, valleys of tears, enemy armies, hot sands, drought, impassable mountains.
But when the children of the Lord stood still to see his salvation, he spread a table in that wilderness—rained manna from above—destroyed enemy armies by his power alone—brought water out of rocks—took poison out of the snakebites—led them by pillar and cloud—gave them milk and honey—and brought them into the Promised Land with a high and mighty hand.
And God warned them to tell every following generation: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts“ (Zechariah 4:6).
Stop looking in the wrong direction for help. Get alone with Jesus in a secret place; tell him all about your confusion.
Tell him you have no other place to go.
Tell him you trust him alone to see you through.
You will be tempted to take matters into your own hand.
You will want to figure things out on your own.
You will wonder if God is working at all—there is nothing to lose.
Peter summed it all up: “To whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:22).
“Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me” (Micah 7:7).
Read this devotion online: http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/devotions/2010/wilderness-journey