Commit to the Journey

Commit to the journey

September 2016.
Golden Ears Mountain. Maple Ridge, BC, Canada.

This photo was taken in September of 2016, newly married, and almost about to summit my first mountain with my husband. I have a huge smile on my face for many reasons. 1. conquering a mountain 2. overcoming my fear of heights and 3. sharing it with my husband. But right before this moment, there was an intense portion of the climb for me. It started to rain. A rope was dangling ready for us to use to tackle a steep section of wet rock. Trembling in doubt and then fear, I told my husband, “I don’t think I can do this.” My husband’s response, in his calm, cool, and collected manner was, “you don’t have to”.

Committing is a Choice

I am reminded of that moment because being on the trail is a choice. It is a choice to follow Jesus and to commit to changing your ways to knowing and becoming more like him. It is a choice because it is also a relationship.

Because of the relationship I have with my husband I trusted in my ability because he was there with me. I overcame my fear that day and finished the treacherous climb of Golden Ears Mountain.

One Path – Different Journey

There is only 1 path and its the same for all who commit their lives to Jesus. But two individuals on the same trail can have different experiences, perspectives, and strengths just like my husband and I that day. It was stormy for me, and not for him. A hard slog for me, and not for him. Comparing our journeys with other believer will keep us stuck, frozen and unable to move forward. Commit to your own journey with Christ and ask God to remove the temptation of comparison.

Prayer

I pray that you continue to step forward in your walk with God. Despite the fear you face and the lack of confidence you’ll have. I pray you will still persevere knowing Christ is with you.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life

Follow the Trail

I have been a follower of Jesus since I was around 4 years old. I cannot remember the exact moment of giving my life to Christ and at the same time I also cannot remember ever doubting His existence. Sure, I’ve questioned His presence in my circumstances, current situations or struggles throughout my life. But never doubted His existence of being my Saviour and Creator – “being the way, the truth and the life”. There is something very faithful about God in that. He never left me believing He was “not there”. I always knew deep within my soul that he was there and alive with me. Jesus is the way, the truth and the Life. I believe this to be true.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6

Commit to the Trail

Committing your heart to Jesus means to repent of your sins and opening your heart to receive Jesus as your Saviour – forgiver of your sins (past, present and future). As well as, receiving this certainty of His existence and presence. This never leaving presence that is always in pursuit of you and your heart. The more I turn myself upward to God the more He turns INWARD to me. To gain more of God’s presence you must first believe that Jesus is the only Way, the only Truth and the only Life for you. Rejoice that there is a trail and Jesus created it for you to walk on. So you can have a lifetime of faith in His presence.

Jesus is our way to God – allow Him to mediate in your heart so you can have daily communion with Him. Despite what you encounter, endure on the trail you can rest in knowing you are never alone. The ever powerful, all-knowing, full of love and the creator of the world: God, is always with you. For me, this has always been true and I walk more boldly, more confident and more in peace knowing He abides in me.

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.

John 14:1

Man Forgets, God Remembers

As I was reading in Genesis the Lord brought to my attention how easy it is for us to forget. We are human and more likely to think about ourselves more than others. Man forgets, God remembers. He remembers our pain, affliction and cries. When you feel forgotten OR are the ONE who forgets – know that you are not alone. Seek God because He remembered and forgave you when you’ve forgotten Him. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). He remembered us even though we didn’t deserve to be remembered. He bore our sins by dying for them. Man forgets, God remembers. Seek him in all things – especially in loving others.

“Yet, the chief cup-bearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.”

Genesis 40:23

Joseph Interprets Prisoners’ Dreams

Joseph loved the Lord and found favor with Him. So when Joseph was deceived and thrown into prison for a crime he did not commit, the Lord was with him and “gave him favor in sight of the keeper of the prison (Gen 40:21).” The cup-bearer was thrown into prison by the King and had a dream that Joseph interpreted from the Lord. After Joseph shared the cup-bearer’s dream meaning he said to him, “only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house (Gen 40:14).”

Man Forgets Joseph

Then later we read in verse 23, after the cup-bearer’s dream came true and he was returned to his duties to the King that he, “did not remember Joseph, but forgot him”. Joseph remained in prison.

Oh How We Forget

Man will forget, hey – man will fail just as we fail and forget others too… Just the other day I was so emotionally distraught and thinking about just getting through the day that I forgot my daughter’s backpack to preschool. The MAIN THING you NEED to remember for preschool!!! I, of course, remembered to bring mine… just not hers. We are selfish. We care more about our own agenda than our family’s. We care more about how we feel than how others feels. Oh how we forget!!!

Pray

Lord, as I walk along this trail I remember YOU who blazed it for me. Not because you wanted to control me and my life, but simply because you loved me enough to save me from my own sin of selfishness and fleshly desires. I pray that you will teach me to remember others and to think of others more highly than myself. Just as you thought of me when you died for me.

Man forgets – God remembers. You are not forgotten.

But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.

Genesis 8:1

So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.

Genesis 19:29

Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb.

Genesis 30:22

Stay Curious, Not Confused

God is calling us to trust Him despite what we do not know. In Proverbs 3:5 it says, “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding“. I believe by changing our mindset from confusion to curiosity begins the process of trusting God. Let’s take a look at the difference between confusion and curiosity and why we should stay curious and not confused.

Confusion

Confusion arises when we lack the wisdom of understanding. For example,“why did this happen to me?” Circling around the same problem hoping for a different outcome. By definition confused/confusion means, “lack of understanding; uncertainty” and “unable to think clearly”. If we allow ourselves to stay confused, unable to think clearly, we become angry. This anger can grow into bitterness. Bitterness towards God because of our own lack of understanding and lack of trust. This not only effects our faith but our attitudes towards those around us.

Curiosity

Curiosity by definition means, “eager to know or learn something”. I may not understand why something happened to me, but I can learn more about God through it. Curiosity gives traction to God while confusion distracts us from God. What is good for us is not to know everything, instead, we aim to know God who does. Let’s start with learning to lean on Him through a curiosity of His character not a confusion of our circumstances.

Conclusion

I trust in God and lean on His understanding because of what I lack. I may be angry and I may have questions. But, I do not let that stop me from pursuing God. Especially, since I know God gives and takes away, Job 1:21. I accept the hard truths even if I don’t understand them at the time. For who knows more than God? So, why would I assume I know better than He? I am curious of who God is despite my struggle, suffering and unknown plans of my life.

I stay curious about God through the uncertainty of my circumstances.

Trust in the Lord for He is good His love endures forever.

Psalm 136

Bring Back the Bracelet

WWJD? – What Would Jesus Do?

Answering this question takes understanding in….

  • The Character of Jesus – who is He?
    • Studying His actions and decisions through reading the Gospels
    • Praying and silently focusing on Jesus Himself – who is He in you?

The WWJD question cannot be answered if we don’t know Him. For example, sometimes when I want to make a decision I ask myself, “What would Landon do?” (my husband), because I respect him and know he is a man of integrity so I trust his actions. I can assume what his answer would be because I know him well.

  • Trusting the integrity of Jesus – having faith that He has every answer
  • Knowing Him well enough to make decisions (big or small) in a timely manner

To better understand the character behind the bracelet we bring back our Bibles for answers.

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
2 Peter 1:2

God’s Presence over Performance

Luke 5:15-16: “Yet the news about him spread all the more. So that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

When Jesus began His ministry on earth at the age of 33, he began teaching through His authority as Christ and healing the sick wherever he went. Word spread and people would swarm him with illnesses asking him to heal them. I love what this passage says in verse 16, “But, Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed”.

There is a reminder here for everyone and especially for those leading in ministry.  Perhaps your ministry is overwhelming and your time is limited with higher pressures and responsibilities. The only time you get to be alone with God is when you are asking Him to prepare a teaching, a meeting, a presentation, or to deliver a biblical response to the public. Even though the pressures to heal and teach were part of Jesus’ ministry, He purposely withdrew to pray alone and he did so often.  He withdrew while there were masses of people still crowding Him asking him for healing. If Jesus needed to withdraw to spend time with God, then we ought to as well.

In one of my books called, “Hearing God Through Your Dreams” by Mark Virkler and Charity Virkler Kayembe, I found this remarkable response by Dr, Billy Graham…

Larry King interviewed Billy Graham, a famous Christian evangelist who saved many lives around the world through his preaching of the Gospel.  Shortly after his 80th birthday, Larry King said, “It must be rewarding to you to look back on your life and not have to live with regrets.” Yet Dr. Graham’s response was surprising, “I am the greatest failure of all men. I was too much with men and too little with God. I was too busy with business meetings and even conducting services. I should have been more with God, and people would’ve sensed God’s presence about me when they were with me.”

Spending time with God was the main reason He got you this far and perhaps now that there is growth in your ministry the responsibilities and pressures are even higher. So the focus has become more about your performance and less about God’s presence.

If Jesus often withdrew to pray then we must too. There is freedom in saying no to the world in order to be with God. It is through Him that works through us anyway.  Even if you are not leading in ministry this should still encourage you with any vocation you’re in. Have you let personal performance become more important than seeking God’s presence? Make time in your day to pray. Do so often.

Bible verses about Jesus praying