Dear fellow walkers in Christ, I greet you in the name of Jesus and wish you a blessed new year 2017!
I want to encourage us to trust in Him all the way Home. He is faithful. This is the way He opened for us; He knows every corner, ever stone, every slippery place, every dark valley and every false oasis. He is well able to lead us the whole way. In fact He made Himself a shelter for us; He became a safe Way to us. If we just stay in Him we will be victorious in all those different places.
But we have to do the walking ourselves. And the way is different for all of us. He is the only one who knows your way. But there are some principles which can help us to avoid the worst dangers.
First of all, there are two basic facts in our covenant with God; the truth and the grace. In Jesus Christ we have never ending grace, but it can only be obtained by truth. God is the God of truth and the devil is the father of lies.
Secondly; God is love and there is no fear in His perfect love; so we don’t need fear to tell Him the truth to get His grace to help us go on.
This is a long way and it holds various times and stretches. It’s another matter to run a 100 meter sprint than a marathon. In a long distance run you have to manage to evaluate your potency in order to know how to use your strength in different parts of the journey. We could think also this whole thing as a war. A war consists of many different battles. The longer war the more battles and the greater demand of wisdom for the right strategies.
Carl von Clausewitz’s classic book On War (1832)Carl von Clausewitz’s classic book On War (1832) opened my eyes to really understand the different periods there is in a long war. You have to include to your strategies also the times of recovery between the battles, allowing enough rest to your mind and body as well as refreshment to your soul.
Once I happened to watch some classic boxing matches on TV which had taken place a long time ago. It was interesting to hear how the boxers had succeeded in their career afterwards. To my surprise they had to recover from a demanding match one or even two years depending on how long the match was and how hard they got hit. But after the rest they were again ready for another match! In a long war you are not in a hurry.
It the war that we are in, it don’t mean so much to win every battle. More important is that you are able to recover! Even If you lose most of your battles, but always rise up again and handle your defeat in a right way, receiving grace from God and the fulfilled work of Jesus Christ for your benefit, you are able to win the war. This is a war of faith. By faith you will win and by unbelief you are in a danger to lose your hope and trust. That’s why Jesus told us to keep faith in God. To lose a battle is not even close to lose your war! Take courage! You can learn from every battle for your future victories.
There is something more to take into consideration. Paul told us to stay in the status in our life where we once got saved. If free to stay free, if a slave to stay that way. And let God than lead according His purposes and timings. There is wisdom in that advice. Big changes in foundational matters in our life, especially in basic relationships, means a great challenge to our soul to handle the emotions they bring. Family relationships in our life are more meaningful than we first would imagine, even if they are not so successful we hoped. Breaking those relations may mean breaking our heart, which Lord Jesus told to protect before anything else. So if possible, stay where you are and see how God is giving you victory.
What others do to us is not as serious as what we do to others. Forgiveness in a kingdom honour. Finally when standing before the Lord, we are responsible only for our own acts and responses.
In every situation we better stay in Him, He is the right Way. In Him we will not only share His sufferings but also His victories. If you suffer, you will also rule. In Him we have all the wisdom we need in order to finish our course as a winner.
May this year be a good one for you; enough rest when needed, and a solid fight with a glorious victory when that’s the demand. And of course much joy and happiness in Him with a forgiving heart towards the people.
Let’s celebrate this year expecting the best!