I begin with part one of my Reveille series although it might serve more as an extended introduction; I’m calling it part one anyway. Please feel free to share comments in the comments section of this post or you can send them to me through email. I am interested in any thoughts, comments, and discussion.
“Lord, make me see thy glory in every place.”
“Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I accomplish.”
I continue to sense a discontent in my spirit. I am not downcast, I am not discouraged, but I am not satisfied. I read the pages of God’s Word and see people invited into something miraculous and divine and I want it. I sense the Spirit of God alive in me; hungering for community with similarly awakened souls. I feel the unction and commission of God to spread this Good News; that God has invited us to share His Spirit…He desires to dwell within us, and give us resurrected life in the present and in the now. I speak these words to people today and hear them affirm the words, but discern doubt in their heart. While this may sound judgmental, I am inclined to examine the fruit…and where there is none or there is little, I question the veracity of the root system and the soil of that individual’s life.
I am determined to live the life taught in the gospels. I am determined to build upon the foundations and teaching of the apostle-disciples and I will not be quieted. A curious phenomenon has emerged during this season of my life; when I talk or share my thoughts about this brooding of my spirit, the most common response from others is to encourage me or try to “fix” me. The problem is I don’t see myself as the one needing “fixed” or “encouraged.” You see, I know it is God, The Holy Spirit, who has “broken” me and I don’t want this brokenness to be fixed. God has placed a hunger for Himself in my soul and nothing less than overflowing portions of HIM satisfies. For this reason, I am mystified when I encounter others who profess love for and relationship with Jesus, but seek their satisfaction from worldly endeavors. I don’t get it.
I know the call to follow Christ is one that demands everything. I know that once we have given our life to Christ, we are given to the mission of Christ. Therefore, any agenda other than the mission of God is anti-Christ (see Matthew 12:30).
I am just ending a 60-day meditation in the Gospel of Matthew. Some things I take away from it are (1) the incredible life that Jesus offers to us; both on this earth and in this physical life and the immortal-eternal life spent (physically) with Him in the new heaven and new earth, and (2) the incredibly narrow path and high bar that life calls us to be accountable to until Christ returns or our physical life ends.
Highlighting the fifth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus begins to teach the precepts of His Kingdom; for living now and tomorrow-eternal. I believe, in my own words, the Beatitudes, which depict true followers of Christ, can be summarized as follows:
- True disciples are dependent upon God
- True disciples are discontent with the sin nature
- True disciples are confident in their Christian position
- True disciples desire to reconcile and restore God’s Kingdom
- True disciples are compassionate, patient, forgiving, and merciful
- True disciples are innocent and childlike in their purity of heart, not cynical, skeptical, doubting, flippant, and/or selfish
- True disciples are “reconcilers” (and this should not be confused with compromiser)
- True disciples willingly release their rights and/or lives for the sake of and salvation of others
Indeed, Jesus raises the bar for those who answer the call to “follow him.” Jesus makes it very clear (Matthew 5:13-16) that our Christian faith and our ability to reflect the image of God (Imago Dei) is a non-negotiable. Jesus says we will truly reflect His glory, or we will be “thrown out.” He says our acts of mercy, justice, healing, and righteousness should illuminate our world (community). He goes on to make clear (Matthew 5:17-20) that we “do not misunderstand why he has come…” Jesus says; “Unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Ouch. If these words do not convey accurately his intent; I find these closing words difficult to argue with; “You are to be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
I have been reading from the letter of Paul to the Colossians and from the prophet Jeremiah this morning. The following passages captured my attention:
Colossians chapter one –
- vs 1: “…chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.”
- vs 6: “This good news is bearing fruit everywhere changing lives…”
- vs 9-10: “…God to give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit.”
- vs 25: “God has given me the responsibility of serving His church by proclaiming His entire message to you…”
- vs 27: “The message; CHRIST LIVES IN YOU!”
- vs 28: “…so we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect (mature) in their relationship to Christ.”
- vs 29: “That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.”
Jeremiah chapter one –
- vs 7: “You must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you…”
- vs 9-10: “Look I have put my words in your mouth! Today I appoint you to stand up against nations and kingdoms. Some you must uproot and tear down, destroy and overthrow. Others you must build up and plant.”
- vs 17: “…Go out and tell them everything I tell you to say. Do not be afraid of them, or I will make you look foolish in front of them.
I do not know what this next season is on the horizon and I’m not sure when it will fully break into the “now,” but I am very aware that God has been stirring me for a long time and the next season will bring change. I vow faithfulness to Jesus, my Savior, my God. I know, in my heart, I trust Him implicitly.
“The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”