Troubles that Confront Us

November 12, 2014

Philippians 1:19-24
…for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.d 20I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.
Troubles that Confront Us

Throughout life, those near us or ourselves personally, are touched by tragedy, disappointments, hardship, setbacks, hurts, sickness and trials of various kinds. If we don’t have a revelation of what our life purpose is we can become discouraged, bitter, unforgiving and even blame God for what touches our life or the lives of those around us. Paul gives us a perspective here of a life that is lived and dedicated to Christ. No matter what adversity befalls him, Paul has one goal and purpose. His life, he does not consider his own, but Christ’s and the life he now lives, he lives by faith, not for himself, but for Christ who died and gave Himself for Paul. Whether in life or death, Paul’s life is about living for Christ and fulfilling his purpose in Him. We all need to get a greater revelation of how Paul lived his life. Most of us still see our lives as being mostly about us. In that place of giving life to self there will always be things that we are struggling with that will touch us through our emotions, feelings, mind and will. Things that we struggle with because we are rationalizing them with the natural mind and understanding. For the person that is truly dead in Christ all that really matters is that Christ is fully living through them. Rather good or bad, it His will and destiny that directs their lives and gives them the purpose for living and being. The body and earthly life are but a tool in the hand of God to work His greater work and will through. We are the callused hands of His working in the earth to make a difference in the lives of those He touches through us. We are also the gentle touch of compassion and grace that leads others to repentance. We are His precious hands and feet to bring the kingdom of God into the earth and we do that as He lives and has expression through us. The more of self that is in the way, the more of that purpose is hindered and His true nature is polluted.
Bad things do happen to good people, Bad things happened to Jesus, the Son of God and bad things can happen to us. It is not the bad things that happen that define our life, but rather the goodness of the God that lives within us. We don’t always see the ultimate and long-term purposes of God. The disciples couldn’t see the purpose and goodness of God when Jesus was crucified. When, we, like Jesus are willing to pour out our lives for others then we can have assurance that God will take the seed of sacrifice that we planted and bring forth a harvest. Let us not be so concerned about this current life, but rather living out of the eternal life that inhabits us. Fear God and not the things you may suffer, for as Paul says in Romans 8:18, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” All of this is the preparation for the revelation of the sons of God who will set creation free. Our rest is in our death and His life, so when this life is spent it only gives place to a greater place of glory. It is not the physical death that we must fear, it is the spiritual life or death with which we must be concerned. The purpose of our life is to perpetuate that spiritual life. No matter what confronts us we live out of His life and not our physical strength and being or natural understanding.

Blessings,
#kent

Ascending up into the Golden Mount of Life

Life is a gift given by God, an opportunity to discover His purpose and will and a journey to develop, mature and grow in His likeness. Many in this world will never truly understand the meaning of their existence beyond the natural realm of just living life, breathing, surviving; seeking security and happiness that meets or exceeds the needs of their natural person. There are those, who in the course of life, have an encounter with the living God, through Jesus Christ. If they venture on to really know Him, beyond just a religious tradition and into a true personal relationship, then here is where the ascension of a spiritual journey truly begins.

All of humanity travel down the road and the seasons of life. The broad way, the way most traveled, is tread by those content with this world or ignorant of anything higher. Some actually have the knowledge of a higher, but it proves to be too steep and challenging so they exit off back to the more comfortable and less challenging way of life. Here they will be content to live and do things their way or in just religious way. They still may aspire to knowing and professing a relationship with God, but are regulated by a mixture of flesh and spirit. A path one might term, “lukewarm”, but not a temperature highly favored of God. Yet, there remains the high road, the road less traveled. It is not taken because of its ease or because the fruit of its path is readily seen with the natural eye. It is a path of faith, of commitment, obedience and promise. It is a path that is adventurous, but full of challenges and difficulties, trials and tribulations. It is a path whose way is not always readily discernable and understood. In order to travel this way the affections for self and the more immediately gratifying ways of life must be left behind at the “Cross Road”, where the two paths separate. This high road is a road of promise that must be traveled by faith in the God that called us to it. It is an ascending path to glory, but whose glory is often not much seen until its completion. The ascending path to the Golden Mount is one that will test us, try us and bring us to our end, but for the glory that lies before us we fix our eyes upon the prize of the high calling and hold fast to the Christ in us that has promised to be with us to the end. Upon this ascending path we walk each day through life, finding our way and our strength with the guiding presence of the Holy Spirit. As we ascend this path, each day we become less and He becomes more. We find that it is not in our effort and struggle that we ascend, but in our rest in the finished work of the cross. In that place, through trust and obedience, we have confidence as we learn to fellowship and worship in His presence. His Word provides the road map for our journey. As we study and meditate upon it, it provides us with our identity, position and purpose in life that supersedes the life that we live in this body. We find our bodies are the instruments, the vehicles and the temple through which the kingdom of God is planted and dispensed in this earth as we travel this road.

It is not to say that we won’t and don’t have our stumbles and setback along the way. This ascension along this elevated path is not an easy one, but it is a progressive one. It is pathway into the maturity and perfection of Christ and as we know from our childhood, we made our share of mistakes, wrong turns and poor decisions, but that was a part of our maturing process. No one walks this path perfectly, for we don’t walk in our own righteous, but by faith in the righteousness of Him who went before us to show us the way. The further we travel the more we realize that this is not a path of religion, tradition or of works. It is a path of losing ourselves in the identity with Christ. As we travel this path, many may stumble for a time and lose their way. They may lose their vision and their stamina of faith, but if we are truly called of Him then His Spirit, through our spirit keeps wooing us and calling us back to this upward path we first began. As the saying goes, the prize is not to him who starts the race, but to him that finishes.

As the years of life go by and we have run our course, let us have no regrets that we didn’t follow our destiny and calling as we ascended into the Golden Mount of Life. May we not settle for less, even if we haven’t lived our best, we can give God the rest. As long as there is breath, there is hope and if we have been idle or distracted or misdirected, it is never too late to pursue this path that leads home.

Yes, as the years of life go by and we see the end of this life before us, let us lift our eyes with ever more fervent desire and commitment of faith to ascend beyond and above the gates of death and to ascend upward on this path that leads us into the Golden Mount of life.

Blessings,

kent

%d bloggers like this: