The Journey: Position yourself for more
It doesn't matter who we are, we are on a journey ... life is a journey. It's all about how we walk it out, what we learn along the way, and how we position ourselves for greater things.
Just personally, I feel like I've talked about this a lot over the last few years - it's become a big part of my language. I guess I believe that the life journey I am on has had such a varied range of landscapes and lookouts, bumps in the road and some amazing smooth highways to go seriously fast on (please note, I am not talking literally :-)). The one thing I am absolutely sure of is that I know that I don't want to journey anywhere without Jesus.
When our kids were all little, we were generously given a week's holiday down south near Batemans’s Bay. We decided on one of the days that we were going to do a walk up Pigeon House mountain. The climb from the car park to the summit is 490m vertically, and the track was 2.6 km long, which doesn’t sound that big of a deal, but with 4 little people that was significant. We had Bek, who would’ve been about 6, Sam, 4, Aran was about 2 and Ethan about 6 months old. Aran was in a backpack carrier on Dave's back and I had Ethan in a backpack carrier on my back.
It was a nice walk, hard at times, but we took plenty of stops and had lots of water. However, we came to the last part of the climb before we were to experience the spectacular view and I seized up. In front of me, I saw a series of vertical steel ladders nailed into the rockface - I reckon they added up to about 15m in total. Fear gripped me! We had come all this way, but when I saw these ladders I felt like I couldn't go any further. But I didn't want it to beat me; I didn't want to miss out on what I knew was at the top. So we started up these ladders and I was so nervous... having two of my kids climbing above me and then having a 6-month-old on my back, it was all I could do to hold on and just keep climbing. I knew I was carrying something that was precious and I needed to be very careful with each step. After what felt like 20 hours (probably only 10 minutes), we reached the top and the vista was stunning - what I would've missed out on if I'd let the fear take over.
Just in this one experience, I learnt some valuable life lessons:
we must have endurance for the journey, we need to walk with persistence and stamina, and commit to it for the long haul.
don't underestimate what others around you can bring on this journey of life (younger ones, older ones etc) - I was blown away by the stamina of my kids, they just kept going.
we need to know what we are carrying (the love of the Father, the grace of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit) and how incredibly precious that is.
Don't let fear stop you ... EVER! Press through the fear because breakthrough is coming and the view will be spectacular.
God is always looking for opportunities to grow our character, our faith and our skill set - our giftings are designed and given to us to be used for His glory. He wants to expand our supernatural skill set in order to walk in the power and authority that He paid for with Jesus' life.
In our society today everything is IMMEDIATE. We have Netflix where we can watch a series in a matter of hours rather than being disciplined to let it unfold over weeks, or if you get bored of what you're watching, you can just stop and change over to another movie/programme. We have the "Nimble" ads where the message is "you're in a financial bind, quick grab your phone and you can get an instant loan".
Jesus is interested in us going the distance ... Staying the course and doing it with others. He wants us to position ourselves to experience more of Him, to know that there is a greater wave of power coming.
My husband, Dave is a surfer - when he speaks about the surf, he speaks about left-handers, good clean face, south swell, offshore wind ... but for me, I just see a stack of surfers out there in the ocean waiting for the next set to come. If there’s lot of them, then I assume it’s a good surf because they all know it's the place to be. They are getting ready, positioning themselves, taking note of what's happening around them and getting ready for the wave that's coming.....
I believe this is what happens in the spiritual realm too. God is wanting us to position ourselves for more of Him, to get ourselves ready and to get ready to ride the wave of supernatural power with Him. I know for those of us that aren't surfers find it hard to relate.... But I know that when Dave or my boys catch a great wave in, they are beside themselves! They feel like they can take on the world!
That's how it is in the spiritual world. All God's power is available to us - he wants us to be ready for all of it.
Luke 9:1-5 (Msg) says: “Jesus now called the Twelve and gave them authority and power to deal with all the demons and cure diseases. He commissioned them to preach the news of God’s kingdom and heal the sick. He said, “Don’t load yourselves up with equipment. Keep it simple; you are the equipment. And no luxury inns—get a modest place and be content there until you leave. If you’re not welcomed, leave town. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and move on.””
Mark 16:15-20 NLT says: “And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptised will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.” When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honour at God’s right hand. And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.”
It's there in black and white, Jesus said it! It's truth. The journey includes believing what Jesus says, speaking out the good news, seeing the miraculous, speaking truth, having an expectation for healing and deliverance, walking as an heir in the Kingdom and positioning ourselves for more. This is what being a disciple, a follower, of Jesus looks like.
The journey is about embracing the lessons, choice, stamina, positioning, endurance, prayer, worship... it’s faith, it's obedience, it’s being ALL IN! I say, bring it on!