To vote or not to vote…whose side are you on?

ballotboxJoshua 5: 13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”

14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord[b] have for his servant?”

Sometime last month, a friend of mine sent me a message (I think it was a group message) declaring his intention to vie for a political post. This came at a time I’ve really been evaluating my position on politics and governance systems of this world in light of how diametrically opposed they are with governance of the kingdom of God , of which I am a citizen.

The need to take a position has been fed by three significant events; the US elections last year, a book I read recently, ‘Jesus Untangled‘, and the forthcoming elections in my resident country this year.

Like it is the case of previous election periods, most of us tend to withdraw from our normal unifying elements, to the enclaves that set us in the camps of “us” vs “them”. In kenya, this is normally across ethnic lines, and to a lesser degree party lines. If you think that the people of God are imune to this trend, you will only need to look at the news to change your mind.

One notices the increased attendance of politicians in churches and them kneeling for prayer so that they would succeed in elections, oh not to mention “prophetic words” of who God has appointed to win, don’t worry that the predictions do not have to be true. Normally these partcicipation in church activities will have significant relationship with who is the leader in those churches and what side of the divide they represent.

My thoughts have been revolving around what position a child of God ought to take in a contest like elections which are more often than not, very very divisive. Is it possible to take a preference for one camp against another, and still maintain a kingdom position of love for all?

I’d like to say it is possible, but I am increasingly being persuaded that it may not be. This has included a possibility of my not participating in the electral process as a personal choice, and leave my role to : “.. making supplications, prayers, intercesssion, and giving thanks…for kings , and all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty.“.

Before I am accused of being unpartriotic, I think it is good to consider that from the perspective of the kingdom of God, to whose King I pledge my allegiance, “I am in this world , but not of it“. That makes me, and every follower of Jesus a foreigner in any nation of this world, and as is normal practice, foreigners do not vote.

Having said that, I do not think voting is a sin, any less not voting counts for righteousness. As you may have already realised, I’m still working this in my mind and heart, and therefore would encourage you not to allow me to confuse you – just follow your heart. Whatever your decision, remember the admonition that,

“supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour”

..and to, as you listen to the Lord, Jesus,

“Do whatever He tells you.(John 2:5)”

Blessings to all that call upon His Name,

Love in Him,
Patrick

“Travel Light.”

Used with permission from theromansblog.wordpress.com

Used with permission from theromansblog.wordpress.com

This should probably have been posted earlier on, but again today could just be the right time.

A very happy new year to you dear reader!

Lazing in bed after a late night or should I say early morning getting to sleep, I am meditating and praying as some expression very clearly comes to mind, “travel light.”.

I am not very big on annual themes and new year resolutions, but if I was to give one to this year, that would be it.


“Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light..”
Says Jesus (Matt 11:28).

“….let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God….consider him who endured such contradiction of sinners against himself , so you will not grow weary and loose heart..” Says the writer of Hebrews (12:1-3)

Let us travel light going forward, His grace is sufficient for us.

Your fellow pilgrim,
Patrick

Christ, our Promised Land.

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“That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Heb 6:12)

Of all the types in the old testament, the one I have found most compelling is the story of Abraham and the promise of God to him, and how that plays out down the generations. I particularlly find the journey of Abraham’s descendants from Egypy to Canaan, the promised land quite intriguing.

The bible in a number of places describes the land of promise as one flowing with milk and honey, indicating a land of plenty and abundant supply.

“And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Exodus 3:17)

The promised land for the natural descendants of Abraham was a place locatable even today on the map of the earth, but what is the promised land for the spiritual children, heirs of the promise according to the new covenant?

This may be elementary stuff to some, but it has been a source of immense freedom, the understanding that the land of promise for the followers of Jesus is of a spiritual nature, not a flesh and blood or natural one.

For many years, I was taught , and believed that the land of promise is the place of life fulfillment in a natural sense, like the good life (power, wealth, and health…). That persuasion caused me to be on an unending quest for the ‘good ‘life, comforts of this life, until a different kind of land was shown to me;

“9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Heb 11)

Abraham was already in the land promised by God, but he did not settle, because he knew that the promise pointed to something greater,

“40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” (Heb 11)

Words simply fail me to describe what I have lately have had my eyes opened to concerning what the promised land is. I am persuaded that the promised land for the saint is Christ, the reason why He’d say,

“4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (Jn 15).

Christ is our dwelling place, and outside of Him, we can do nothing.

My prayer for all saints is that our eyes be opened to our promised land, a land filled with milk and honey. May we ever find strength to keep moving forward, and like our father, Abraham not settle for the type, but keep our vision of the real deal ever alive. He who has called us is faithful, He will not only get us there, but also keep us.

Love in the promised land,
Patrick

Christ, our sufficiency.

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scavenging“Are not even servants in my father’s house eating to their fill, and here I am scavenging with pigs to feed myself? I will go back to my Father….” (Luke 15:17-18)

Three years ago, I left an employment of fifteen + years to be self employed. I figured that with the flexible nature of self employment, I’d have more time to do the things I really want to do, not just the ones I have to do.

Like most things in our lives, that phase did not go as planned/hoped and I found myself very hard pressed even sometimes incapable of putting food on the table for myself and my family. I wish that I can say like some Christian friends that they trusted God entirely and somehow God always provided – but I can’t. Sometimes I had to ask for help from friends. It was a tough two years until sometime earlier this year when I got an 8 – 5 job.

That period, though very trying , had lots of lessons I feel could not have been learnt any other way, but by experience. One of the lessons I learnt, and still learning is to look up to God for my needs, trusting Him to determine the means through which these needs would be met. The means ranged from unsolicited gifts from friends and family , short term work, and sometimes remembering sources long forgotten like some stocks.

By the time my current job came, it was a welcome relief from the anxiety of not knowing where the next meal will come from. A couple of months down the line, I am starting to be conscious of the risk of losing something very precious acquired during that phase of our lives, dependence on God.

…be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. (Deut 6:12)

Like any other place of work, my job has its own kind of challenges, but for us believers, we must be careful not to let our jobs become our source, such that our faith is no longer entirely on God, but shifts to the job.

The question then becomes, “how do I keep my trust in God for my upkeep/provision while I have a guaranteed income?” This is a question I am still grappling with, to which I think we can find some help from the scriptures.

“…., but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you…(Matt 6:33)”

There is a time I thought that our relationship with God helps us succeed in life in a worldly sense, health, wealth, power, etc, but I have come to appreciate that well apprehended, a relationship with God detaches us from the things of this life, leaving it to Him to add them to us as He deems necessary; “He knows that we need them,

Beloved, let us keep our trust and hope entirely in the Lord, not in things, even the ones He has given us; for, in Christ, the Father has given us all we need for life and godliness.

“Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.”(Ps 146:5)

Love in Him,
Patrick

The Battle You and I have to win.

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“3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2Cor 10)

You have had a busy day at work and now it’s time to go home. You board a bus and the FM radio on the bus has this talk show about the latest trending topic in town. You are not interested for all you are thinking is how you can have some quiet and just relax your system. You cannot seem to close your ears to the already too high volume of the bus stereo.

You consider another tactic and this time you reach for your phone and hope you can get some sobering inputs from your social circles. Fortunately the bus has some free Wi-Fi and therefore you do not have to spend your data bundles. The tactic seems to be working when you open the first social media site, until you realize that the last site you subscribed to, has about 10 affiliates that send daily updates to your email. This is depressing as you try to scheme through the now overflowing inbox which you cannot hope to ever read all emails. By the time you get to the house, all you want is a quiet time in your room. Luckily today, the rest of the family is away at the grandma’s place until tomorrow.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matt 11:28)

You put down everything and kneel down to pray. “Phew!”, you think to yourself, “at least I can now have some quiet”, but wait a minute, you might have celebrated too soon. As you try to give some focus to your prayer/meditation, another innocent sounding player in your mind starts speaking, “this would be a good time to fix the sink that has been leaking, or maybe watch that movie that you’ve been postponing to watch because you’ve not had time.”

The ‘innocent’ player moves from one proposition to another, and before you realize, it has been twenty minutes of battling with giving your complete focus to Jesus on the one hand and getting occupied with something ‘more useful’ on the other.

“..men ought always to pray, and not to faint;…..4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me… (Luke 18)

You do not give up because even with these many better sounding use of your time, deep down you know that there is no better place to be any time than the presence of Jesus. With persistence, the alternative thoughts seems to be giving in and you start thinking about the story of Mary and Martha and what Jesus said, “42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10.)”

Your previous thoughts about chores and activities you could otherwise be doing begin to be replaced by thoughts on scripture as you remember the story of the unjust judge and the persistent widow (Luke 18.)

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.(1Tim 6:12)

Beloved, what am I trying to communicate? It is my experience, and I believe that of every saint of a daily contention for ‘what is’ vs ‘what seems’. The enemy will use our thoughts, will, and emotions, mostly fed by happenings and circumstances around us to create a reality above what God has established eternally for His people by Christ Jesus.

Christ’s victory over the enemy of our souls is an indisputable, but we on the other hand have to apprehend it daily by faith. Why is this so difficult sometimes? It is because the enemy has some sort of partnership with our old nature (read un-renewed soul) to defeat our new nature (spirit). The battle/fight now becomes one of supremacy, as in who takes charge. Our spirit on the one hand is in tune with the Spirit of Christ and hence has capacity to bring the reality of peace and rest to us, while on the other hand, our soul is in contact with the natural world of troubles and anxiety. This battle we cannot win by our own selves, but thank God for Jesus, for the battle is not ours, it is the Lord’s.

Be encouraged brothers and sisters, for “…Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”(2Chr 20:15)

Love in Him,
Patrick

A body prepared for Christ

Indeed we are His body in our locality.

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community of God Community of Saints

“Therefore, when Christ came into the world, He said, “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am, it is written about me in the scroll, I have come to do your will, O God’” “(Heb 10:5-7).

YesC, indeed, God prepared a body for His Son to dwell in while on earth. He however did not stop there, but also prepared for Him a body on earth to dwell in even after ascending into heaven. You and I are that body for Christ to dwell in, and find expression on the earth. This is not an afterthought, but rather was ordained before the foundation of the earth.

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be…

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“Organized Christianity is an enemy of the Church.”

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orgchartNevertheless what saith the Scripture? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” (Gal 4:30)

When Abraham was called out of his family and ancestral land to where God would have Him, together with the call was a promise for a son. This son however was to come in God’s own way and timing. However, when it took a little more time than both Abraham and his wife Sarah thought it would take, they organized something according to their thinking. Boom, a child was born to Abraham with Sarah’s maid, and there you go, ‘the promise is fulfilled’.

When we read this story in Genesis 16, it is easy to ask, why they could not wait, not realizing that we have done the same thing in our day.

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,And lean not on your own understanding;6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[a] your paths.(Prov 3)

God by Christ Jesus has promised to give a Son, the one new man, the church. This promise He has done and declared by Christ Jesus that He will build that son, the church against whom the gates of hell shall not prevail. We have however not been patient with Him to build it His way, and have built it by organizing the fulfillment of the promise according to our understanding, and there the organized church is built.

That which we have built has become so big, it is a threat to the son of promise. Notice from the story of Abraham and Sarah that as long as the maid was not empowered, she served Sarah. The moment she was given the place reserved for Sarah, she became haughty and felt superior to her. This is the same case with Christianity today, as long as we organize with our natural understanding, that which we build will be a threat to that which God has promised, the body of His Son, built on the solid foundation of the apostles with Christ as the corner stone.

The good news however, is that it is not all lost, for the promise of God cannot be nullified by our organizing something, however big that becomes. All that can be shaken will be shaken and only that which can stand will stand, the house built on the rock. May we all, brothers and sisters be found being built on that solid foundation.

Blessings to all that call upon His Name.
Amen,
Patrick.

How do we set goals for Spiritual progress?

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spiritualprogressAs I notice the dates on my notebook/journal change from ‘2015 2016′ to ‘2016’, I realize that yet another year has started rolling.

Like all progressive people do, I think it a good thing to set goals for this year so that I have something to work towards , lest the days just roll by and December comes with little to show for the 365 days.

Those oriented towards strategic planning tell us that goals have to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) for them to be helpful.

My dilemma however is one; I have spiritual progress in mind as my goal, but how do I measure that? What are the parameters that can help me determine whether I am making progress in my relationship with God or not?

In this dilemma, there are thoughts that we can meditate on to help us out:

1. What it is not.

“23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” (Col 2.)

“23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. ” (Matt 23)

““Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.””(Mat 15:10b,11)

For many years , I did all I knew to do that to my understanding constituted God’s requirement for spiritual progress: I tithed faithfully (10% of my gross salary); I attended church meetings anytime they were called; I tried to be as nice as I could to all I interacted with; etc. It never seemed to be enough. There was a constant sense of feeling like I needed to do more.

In this current consideration of what constitutes parameters that measure spiritual progress, I have concluded that the things we do or not do are not the ones that make us but rather they are a fruit of who we are within. That is helpful in giving us a hint on where our focus ought to be, within, and not without. When the within is in order, the fruit will consequently be good.

We do not focus on the fruit, but rather the plant that produces the fruit.

2. The starting point.

“..You must be born again.”(John 3:7)

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (John 4:23)

Jesus speaking to Nicodemus, a teacher of the law, on the way of progress in the kingdom of God, told him that before anything else, he must be born again. This is a good self check for all of us before we put a lot of energy and effort to making progress in a journey we may not even have started.

Speaking to the woman at the well, Jesus again told the woman that God is seeking for those that worship Him in Spirit and Truth.

This in our current meditation points to the fact that our relationship with God is spiritual. We have to be first alive to Him (by way of spiritual birth) before we can talk about making progress. This is by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as the way God the Father has provided for the restoration of that relationship that was broken between God and man at the fall in the garden of Eden.

The question then each of us has to honestly answer to is, “Am I born again, made a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth , and the life?” Another equally important question is, “Do I live by that Life or not? Gal 2:20

The answer to these questions is very important in determining the way of progress.

No amount of tilling land, manuring it, and watering it will produce fruit until there is a seed planted on the ground, or for a branch whose connection to the tree is already severed until it is reconnected.

3. Spiritual Parameter (s)

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”(Luke 10:42)

Having established that we need to be first and foremost alive to God to be able to consider our relationship with Him, we go on to consider what the parameters that constitute spiritual progress are.

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. (Gal 5:)

The list of these good things that a progressive person would desire and possibly work towards may look at first like qualities one can acquire on their own efforts.

On a keener consideration however, one realizes that they are fruits , in a sense the results of a growing Life within that expresses itself outwardly through these various forms.

4.The measure of progress, Christ.

2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.(1Cor 2:)

Natural analogies are limited in illustrating spiritual realities, but I will attempt with an illustration using a mango tree. It is mango season right now in Kenya and I am looking at a mango tree as I write this.

What comes to mind are three things that can indicate the growth of the mango tree; stature, health, and fruitfulness. All these are as a result of increase in the mango life in the tree. This increase comes from the nourishment in the soil, watering, and photosynthesis through the leaves.

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.” (1Cor 3:6)

When I consider myself as one of those branches on the tree, having been joined to the Vine, Christ, I realize how my role has been reduced into one thing, abiding in Him. Unfortunately for me, unlike the branch, I can of my own will disconnect from the branch.

My conclusions are that for the mango tree to bear more fruit, the branch has to remain on the tree, and the mango life has to increase. Similarly for the christian, it is the life of Christ that has to increase in us for us to make spiritual progress in our relationship with Him, and for this to happen, I have to remain in Him.

The conclusion for me therefore becomes that the single parameter (so to say) that measure spiritual progress in us is increase of stature of Christ.

…so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Eph 4)

The gifts each of us in the family of God has been given are to be applied towards this end, building the stature of Christ in one another

Let us therefore beloved encourage one another in reckoning ourselves dead to the old man that pulls us back to the dos and don’t s , and reckon ourselves alive in Christ by the new man, the inner man of the heart.

The Spirit give us understanding and willingness to abide in Him, Christ in who alone is the Father well pleased, and hence the only measure of true spiritual progress.

Together in Him,
Patrick

Why do you love the one you love?

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“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”(Jn 13:34)

Sometimes towards the end of last year, my wife, Virginia and I were invited, together with some others to a Couples’ seminar. We were first unsure whether to attend, having not been to one for a couple of years, but we finally decided to give it a try. We are glad we did as new mutually beneficial relationships have been formed, but that is a story for another day.

What I have in mind as the subject of this post is something that came out in one of the sessions. We were each asked what we love about our spouses, and how it has helped keep our marriage together. Fortunately, I was not the first one to respond, because that would have been disastrous. I have found out that in such forums, people tend to pick a queue from the people who answer first to formulate responses that seem to be expected, and I was not sure what was expected.

When my turn came, I said several things among them that Virginia is God fearing, patient and caring. On her part, she said quite a number, some of which were surprising, but suffice it to say that all who spoke painted positive images of their spouses.

Thinking since the meeting on my own, I’ve felt that something did not settle very well with all those reasons for loving each other, and wondered what it is. It is just lately that I’ve thought what the reason for unease could be:

“ 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, (Eph 5)”

As a spouse, I think it is okay to love ones partner because of the qualities they have that are likable, but as a follower of Christ, though one may start there, one ought not to stay there. The Christian, like the Lord loves not on the basis of what the subject of the love offers, but rather on the basis of the love they have in their hearts. In a sense it is a responsive love toward God, and a proactive love towards others – offer to others what we have received from Him.

“19 We love because he first loved us. (1John 4)”

“the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.…(Rom 5:5)”

Blessed be God who gives us capacity to love one another.

Together in Him who is Love.
Patrick

Embracing the cross and why we need to pray for one another:

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“..Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.…

” (Mark 8:34)

It is A W Tozer in one of his writings who advising believers on the way of spiritual progress said, “..Be hard on yourself and easy on others – carry your own cross and never lay one on the back of another..”. This I have tried to take seriously since I read it.

In the last one year or so, there are words I’ve been hearing repeatedly in my heart, “Listen and trust”. At first, it never was anything more than thoughts to ponder on and then move on to the next thing, but when they kept on coming again and again, I decided to take them seriously. It is then that I thought that perhaps they had some specific significance to my life in relation to what the Lord is working on in me. The more I thought about the words, the more I started linking them to some character weaknesses in me and I concluded that they could just be my cross for the season.

In my zeal to share my opinion or perspective in certain matters of faith, I’ve found myself sometimes not listening to what others are saying and hence the need for crucifixion of that aspect of my self. It may be a small thing to others who do not have a weakness in this area, but trust me when I say, “it is hard to listen to another while you are burning inside to tell your side of the story”.

As I have exercised myself in carrying this cross, I have been thoroughly humbled and blessed at the same time while hearing the voice of our Lord not only as He speaks from inside of me, but also through others He dwells in, and His creation all around us. On the one hand, for me to hear significantly, I have to listen, and on the other hand, trust the voice of the Shepherd that I hear.

In the spirit of Tozer’s words referenced above, I am not sharing this as a general word for everyone, but rather to encourage you to embrace your own cross in whatever form it takes.

God’s end for the cross:

3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.(Rom 5)

In whatever form the cross comes to our lives, it is never easy for it means death and death is painful. It takes a revelation of God’s way of dealing with us to appreciate that the cross, whether in form of life circumstances, or an express instruction from God that looks impossible to us, is always for the good. God has pleasure in giving us the kingdom (Luke 12:32), but has also designed the way into the kingdom as through the cross. The cross will crucify everything that is not of Christ and allow the enjoyment of the Kingdom to that which cannot be shaken, Christ.

This perspective allows us to see what God’s goal in allowing the dealings of the cross in us, “the decrease of us, so that Christ may increase.” This for sure is for our good even though it does not seem or feel like that when we are going through it.

Corporate concern:

Sometimes when going through a very hard situation or circumstances, one may feel very alone, but it’d help for each of us to keep perspective of the unifying nature of Christ’s work in preparing His bride:

“15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;(Eph 2)

Each member of the body of Christ is important, so much so that the examples we have of men and women of faith (Heb 11:39,40) could not be completed without us who come later. It will take each member growing to maturity to fit in their place for a full functioning of the body in full stature (Eph 4), an objective that even the gates of hell will not prevail against.

While it may not be possible for each saint to be informed about the circumstances of all other saints, I’ve found the Holy Spirit faithful in bringing to our hearts different members of the body at different times, and I am learning not to take any of these nudgings lightly.

When the Lord brings another saint to your heart, it is always a good thing to pray for that person. While saying that, the question arises as to what or how one would pray for when they are not aware of the situation the saint is in? One brother that God has connected me with has always wondered on this and his conclusion has been, “I pray not that the cross be taken away, but rather a sufficient supply of grace be made for God’s end to be furthered through the situation.”

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”James 5:16

Let’s pray for one another,
Patrick