Thursday, July 2, 2009

Follow The Lord's Lead

When you are faced with the fears of every day life---and we all have them---what is our natural response? We tend to ask or plead or pray that they are removed. There is a real fault in that kind of thinking and action.

There is a need for all of us to grow up into a deeper Faith with Jesus. The whole 'thing', if you will, is based on a relationship that was planned from before time started. We are asked to walk in a way that is worthy of that calling. Not push it away. Not ask that it be changed. This does not mean we can ask for different things during this walk of faith but it does mean we need to look at what "life" is dishing out to us and thank God for it all.

We tend to want the easier road.

We tend to want it all filled with the promises of God.

We all tend to think that life should be better than it has become.

But, it will not change unless our hearts toward the One who calls all the shots change. He is God and we are not.

Simple but we forget it all the time.

I know I do.

Here I am, in the second half of my life and ministry. Soon, I will be 60 years old. I look back over my life and on one hand, I stand in awe of what the Lord has allowed me to do and see. People He has brought into my life. Situations He had placed before me. The ministry doors that He had opened. Contacts with a number of people who He has allowed me to touch—and for them to touch me.

One such couple touched me years ago and I don’t even remember their names. I remember that they had been missionaries in a hot war zone. Their group had planned to stay even when things got really bad. The enemy was out to kill them and those who followed the Lord with them. They not only stayed, they went deeper into the highlands and dug in. Feeling that if they left, the tribes’ people would be all alone. They had spoken to them of the Lord’s Hand on their lives. They had shared the Gospel and their lives with them
. How could they leave them now? They stood with them—even at a possible loss to their own lives.

Because of such a stand, the people group there STILL has a deep and personal Faith. Life’s hard times worked in them to make them to be better Followers of Jesus. When ‘they’ came for the leaders, one would come forward and be taken outside the village and shot. Thinking the Church now had not leader, ‘they’ would leave. On their return, a new leader had stepped up to lead the Fellowship. They too were shot. All the time, once a leader was removed, a new leader would take the leadership spot…knowing full well that they would be killed. It really did not matter. Jesus had called them to serve and serve they would.

The couple shared that with me during that early time in my ministry. It had stayed with me ever since. I wonder if the new leaders ever thought that it was not worth it. Death was at their door all the time. I believe because of the teaching they received from the missionaries, they not only believed the message but also would stake their very lives on the promises of God.
Even when it was hard to do.

The easy road? Not the one the Lord wants us to walk on. Even when I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, He is with me. Even when it is hard. Even when it does not make any sense at all to me. Even then, I must keep my Faith in Him. He knows. He cares and He is walking with me.

That does not mean it feels good all the time but the challenge is to look beyond the pain…beyond the situation and see His Face. Feel His smile and know that a life of obedience pleases Him---Big time.