Thought for the Week - 27th OctoberVanda Hopkin
Matthew 7: 13-14
Everything I’ve read this week seems to have been in relation to a journey. Even our New Year Word for 2019 was about a journey:
See, I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you safely to the place I have prepared for you (Exodus 23:20)
Similarly, my Daily Reading (by Sarah Young) was:
“Come to me when you are hurting, and I will soothe your pain. Come to me when you are joyful, and I will share your joy, multiplying it many times over. I am all you need, just when you need it. Your deepest desires find fulfilment in me alone. This is the age of self-help. Bookstores abound with books about “taking care of number one”, making oneself the centre of all things. The main goal of these methodologies is to become self-sufficient and confident. You, however, have been called to take a “road less travelled”: continual dependence on me. True confidence comes from knowing you are complete in my presence. Everything you need has its counterpart in me.”
There’s a poem called The Road Not Taken, written by Robert Frost, an American who visited the UK. It reads:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
As Christians, each of us had the opportunity at some point in our lives, to take one of those two roads. As Christians we are all on a journey. We have come to that place in the woods where there’s been two roads – one road is where there are millions and millions of people, and the other is where there are very few people. Like we read in Matthew above, there are far less people on the narrow road than there are on the wide road.
It’s the narrow road that leads to peace, joy, Christ, and eternal life. Wide is the road that is full of fun, full of laughter, and full of many many people who will join us on it. But that is the road that leads to destruction.
Every single one of us is on some sort of journey. Every single person on the earth is on a journey, from the moment they’re born until they die. We’re all on that journey together.
This journey that we’ve chosen to be on will make all the difference in our lives. We can see the difference this journey has already made in our lives. When I asked some people in our church what difference being on this road had made to their lives, compared to the road they were on before, this is just a sample of what they said:
- Sound mind
- Encounter with God
- Assurance of the future
That’s the difference of being on this journey of hope that we’re on! That Christ has called us to be on, and we’ve chosen to walk with Him on it. That journey means we’re continually moving – from point A where we first started, to point B our end goal, our eternal life with Christ. Christ is walking with us, every step of the way.
Sometimes we’ll get side-tracked. Sometimes, we’ll get ambushed by the enemy. Sometimes, there are things going on in our lives that take us off track. Or there are obstacles in our way that try to push us off. Sometimes we’re full of life, the Holy Spirit, and God. Sometimes we’re very dry, and we can’t feel God, the Bible doesn’t speak to us, and meetings don’t speak to us. The important thing is that is that we continue on this journey.
It’s not like an airport escalator, where we just stand there and expect God to take us. There is an element where we have to put some work in. If we’re not forever going forward, we are in danger of going backwards. It’s important for us to go forward. There’ll be new battles to fight.
We may feel that sometimes that the journey is going too slow or too fast. We must remember that God is taking us on our journey at the pace that suits God – the pace that suits you better than you know yourself. God knows best. He knows the things that are coming against you, He knows what suits you best, and He knows the pace that will keep you safe. So it’s important for us to open our hearts fully to God, so that He can fully come in. We carry on and we ask God for that strength to keep moving forward. He knows our weaknesses, He knows our failings, He know our feelings, and He’s there to help us every step of the way. He wants us to cry out to Him and He wants us to learn how to trust Him.
We need to open ourselves fully to God so that He is in control of every aspect of our lives. The self-help books would tell us how we need to be in control of our own lives. But can we control our own lives? Can we do what God can? Can we heal ourselves? Can we sort our own problems, minds and difficulties? Did we create the world and put the stars into space? No we didn’t.
That’s why God wants to control every single part of our lives – everything that we are and everything that we have. All of our past, all of our future, all our present worries and troubles. He’s there on this journey for us and He wants to have control.
We might be fearful to hand over control to someone we don’t know. You may know Christ in part, and so you may wonder how can I hand this over? What will He do with it? How will He work it out? I can only reassure you that if we leave God have control over every aspect of our lives, our lives will be transformed. Our lives will change in an instant.
In prayer meeting we are seeing instant answers to prayer. We are seeing instant changes to lives! And it’s not us – it’s God changing things. He has a heart to change! He doesn’t want to leave us where we are or how we are. He wants to change us. He wants to transform our lives – inwardly and outwardly.
We’re on a journey. We’re on a road where God is with us. Why wouldn’t we want to leave Him have control? Why do we want to hang on, adamant that it’s our lives and that we want to do what we want to do? Especially when we know that, up until we’d given God control, we’d made a right old mess of things.
It’s not all smooth, and there will be pain. When God puts His finger on something it can hurt, especially when it’s something we want to keep. We need to give it to Him all so that He is Lord of all. Let Him take it, let Him change it, and let Him turn that situation around. He does it miraculously. The joy that will come because you’ve handed it over, because He’s transformed things, and because He’s in control!
He’s a miracle working God!
Ask Him to show you His face. Ask Him to show you His love for you. Ask Him to show you the things He has for you. Ask Him to show you the glory that you will see. He is a God that is worthy to be praised!
Our past, our present, our future will hold us back. But give it all to Him. When we come to the cross, it is a level playing field. We are all equal before God. That cross is there for every one of us. There is no sin too great.
You may be sinning. You may have sin in your heart. You may be filled with apathy. It doesn’t matter what you’re feeling or what you feel like – Christ is here for you and He’s come to change you! Open your heart and ask Him to change you.
You are a child of God! You have the strength, because Christ is your strength! He is over everything! God sees you as a precious stone, a diadem in your hand. The light of Christ in you will be shown to all of the world. You are a child of God. He’s fought the battle for you.
You are on this journey with Christ. Don’t let anyone, any circumstance, or the enemy take that away from you. Stand up straight and be proud that Christ has chosen you.