There is so very much more than we are experiencing in and of Christ Jesus. There is so very much more of the Kingdom of God than we know or understand. There is so very much more of life in the Spirit than we are living out on a daily basis. There simply is so very much more yet to do and that needs to be done; I for one, long to know, do and experience the more. I also am haunted by what I have known, have accomplished or think I know. I also understand how tempting, as I get older, it is to remain in what I have come to know and experience.
What I mean is, that what I have known, done or think I know of Christ Jesus and the Kingdom of God, seems at times to get in the way of the more. It gets in the way by having captured my attention, my heart and the battles that were for or needed to contend for it has passed. Yesterdays victories become all too easily today’s excuses. As I look forward to the more, this means more battles, contending, more stretching, more dying, more of that which we already and all too often resist in our growing in the Lord Jesus Christ. This looking forward seems to be less and less attractive when I honestly consider the cost of the past. While I know that nothing of what life and ministry has cost us compares to that sacrifice of Christ Jesus, it still, for us remains a very tangible, real and essential counting of the cost. We have given our all so many times, yet the call remains, to surrender our all yet once again.
We have moved many, many times because of the special kind of ministry that the Lord Jesus had given us over the years. We have lived from east to west, north to south and coast to coast. We have learned to pick up and move as a matter of course. That was until this last move. It was the hardest move we have ever had; not physically but emotionally and spiritually. It seemed as though it was just one too many moves. I didn’t want to go through all of the hassle, work, effort of packing up, changing homes, getting new licenses, new utilities, new everything, etc. It just was harder than any other move. I was and am simply tired of doing this. I really wanted to just stay put and never have to move again. It wasn’t that we didn’t know we were supposed to move. On the contrary, we knew it was of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was just going though all of this, again. Yet, we did it, we moved and it was a battle, it was hard and well, we know that now the Lord is actually calling us to pick up and do it all yet again.
2Sa 11:1 It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. (NKJV)
It was all too easy to send others to do what needed to be done, so David remained at home. He failed to go out with his troops. Was he tired of all the wars, of all the contending and of the Kingdom battles, of the camping out? Was he simply at a place where he figured that he as King no longer had to do the warring, confronting, challenging, stretching, dying, stressing and expanding that was being required of his people or Kingdom? Maybe he thought that he was old enough that he had already paid his dues so let the younger ones pay theirs, after all, David had killed his tens of thousands, right? Whatever his reasoning, he failed to go out and grow forward with his men and therefore his people.
There is this reality of life that must be faced in Christ Jesus and overcome. It is this all too real season of life when we have arise within us, the natural desire to settle down and nest unto retirement. Let’s just walk out what ministry years and life we have left and not rock the boat of expansionism, or the battles of vision casting and application or the spiritual warfare of new ground being taken in the name of Kingdom advancement. Let’s just stick with what we know and not be stretched into something new and unfamiliar. Let’s just leave all of that to the young guys and gals who have the ignorance of the cost and zeal to believe that they can do it all no matter what and genuinely make a difference. Yep, let them take the hits and we’ll sit back and be “available” to help and assist them if they need it; after all, we’ve been there and done that, already, many times over.
In David’s life, we all know what happened next; Bathsheba, the attempted cover up, the murder and then a life full of those consequences. If only he hadn’t failed to follow through until the end, the actual end of his life in the Lord God Almighty. If only he hadn’t quit contending and growing forward. If only he hadn’t failed to battle in the season of warfare, thinking of himself primarily; if only.
Well, I do not want more of the, if only, would of, could of, should of’s in my life. As easy as it as it is to say, I deserve a break today, or for this season, especially after all of the miles, wars, battles, years, scars, etc. As easy as it is to say, I have paid the price of two life times of ministry and now it is time to let someone else do it. I know that I know, that laying up isn’t wisdom; thinking of myself primarily, isn’t wisdom, and failing to go forward in the spring time, contending for the forward moving of the more of God’s Kingdom, isn’t God’s wisdom. It isn’t time to be sitting on the porch over looking what I have attained in the Kingdom of God saying, it is good, it is enough. I refuse to place my hope in the hands of the youth, alone. I refuse to place my hope and the hope of those I serve in the hands of the inexperienced and unseasoned, just because of my miles, scars and years of service. I refuse to quit and take a break this spring season. No! By the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus, I refuse to lay down and quit, settling to simply observe from afar.
It seems that when we are not focused upon the things of God, today, our eyes begin to wander. I also believe that this is why we are challenged to set our eyes on things above and not on the things of the earth (Col 3:2 NKJV). I believe it is imperative that we set our eyes and keep setting our eyes on the things of heaven and not on the things of the earth and or ourselves. I believe that whatever or whoever has captured our eyes, has captured our ears and therefore has captured our hearts. I do not want my eyes to wander onto that which will become for me a seduction into that which no longer advances the Kingdom of God and brings glory to His Name, but rather becomes a hindrance to it. I also believe and know that this isn’t easy. In fact it is all too easy to do the opposite, to find our hearts and minds set on earthly things, natural and indeed simply the normal things of life and living. I don’t mean outright sinful things, I mean things that take us away from where our eyes and focus should be, in Christ Jesus; that take us away from remaining under His having captured us, having captured our eyes, ears and hearts for His Kingdom advancement, in and through us.
As I have already stated, there are times when we find it all too easy to let others do the warring, battling, advancing forward into the things of Christ Jesus and his Kingdom realities. Sometimes it is all too easy to say, you all do the stretching forward and then after you have won the battles, come home and impart the spoils of your victories to us that we might share in them with you. I find it all too easy to have these feelings and or even thoughts, yet I, we as must we all, remain vigilant against them in Christ Jesus, by the Power of the Holy Ghost and Living and Alive Word of God.
Yes I must, in Christ Jesus, recognize these feelings, thoughts and weaknesses and cry out for the living strength, power and stamina that are His. I must keep my eyes focused upon my Lord and King, Christ Jesus and his Kingdom purposes. For in truth, I know that apart from Christ Jesus I can do nothing; yet, in Him and through Him, I can do all things. We may be naturally in the Fall Season of our lives, however, it is actually God’s Spring Season when we His people go to war, afresh and anew. It is His time for battles to still be fought and won. It is spring time and it is time for advances to be made in the things of the Kingdom of God. It is springtime and the enemy camp needs to be over run. It is spring time and we must awaken from the slumber of the fall and winter of life, rising up into the battles of the breaking forth into the new and fresh season of the Lord Jesus.
We need this freshness of the spring time season. We need to see, smell and experience the freshness of the winter of death being overcome by the springing forth of the New Life of Christ Jesus, His freshness of fragrance and His workings anew in, to and through us all. We need to move forward and not remain withdrawn in the snuggled warmth of the passing winter seasons. It is not the winter of our existence in Christ Jesus, no matter how many our years have past or the miles we have traveled or victories and or defeats we’ve known. No, the call is to arise and shine for your light has come, yet again!
Isa 60:1-2 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. (NKJV)
Yes, we must arise and go forth in to all that the Lord Jesus has intended for us. No holding ourselves back from the day, the new dawning and the new morning star arising. This is not the time of self preservation. This is not the time of self reflection and looking backward over the many miles and years of prior service. This isn’t the time of resting except in the Lord Jesus Christ. This isn’t the time of looking out for number one or the two of us. It isn’t the time for remaining behind and waiting for others to do the hard work of advancing the Kingdom of God. No! This is the time to arise and shine forth leading the charge! This is the time to recognize the Glory of God in the midst of the battle and of our moving forward into all that the Lord Jesus has chosen for you, for us. It is the time to arise and shine forth, in the midst of the obvious every increasing darkness, that the True Light of His Spring may break forth for all to see and know. It is indeed, the time to arise and shine with the light of Christ in us the hope of Glory, that through us all, the Lord Jesus Christ will genuinely be revealed in Glory.
Are You Ready? It is the Season of His Springing Forth and Arising Once Again. Let us therefore arise and shine forth, advancing the Kingdom of God yet again!