January 15, 2015
[Jhn 12:24 NKJV]
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
[Jhn 12:25 NKJV]
“He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
[Jhn 12:26 NKJV]
“If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him [My] Father will honor.
Do you ever get that feeling that there is more to this life than what is right in front of you? Do you feel a sense of burden that there is more that the LORD wants you to do than what you are doing? Have you ever thought about what might happen if you were to step out and trust that the LORD was going to use you in a mighty way simply because you were faithful to step out and trust?
I imagine how Peter must have felt when he hung his legs over the side of the boat. The waves crashing around him as he stood in awe of the LORD coming towards him walking on the water. You know there must have been that instance where Peter was “all in.” That moment when he let go of the side of the boat. Then in those miraculous moments when the laws of physics were abandoned to faith, Peter walked to the LORD on the water! Astounding!
When we think of this event we are quick to dog on Peter because he ended up sinking like a lead weight and had to be rescued by Jesus, but how many of us have ever walked on water? Even for a brief moment? The fact is that Peter had to abandon himself completely in order for him to meet the LORD on the plain of the miraculous.
So it is with us, when we are willing to die to ourselves that God is able to use us in mighty and wonderful, even miraculous ways. We have grown so accustomed to the status quo in our lives that we scarcely die to ourselves, and as a result we miss out on the wonderful opportunities that the LORD has provided for us to “walk on water.” I think that we are too concerned with the crashing waves around us to muster enough faith to jumpÂ ship, much less embrace the LORD in the midst of the raging seas. Yet, when we die to ourselves we know that our abandonment of the things of this world will empower us to bear much fruit.
The fact is that believers are pilgrims in this world. If you have that sense that there is more to this life, and that the LORD would have you do more for His glory, then you are on the brink of witnessing a miraculous life. Pilgrims are by nature, on a journey to another land. Our destination is one that our LORD promised us. Jesus said in John 14:2-3:
[Jhn 14:2 NKJV]
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
[Jhn 14:3 NKJV]
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, [there] you may be also.
The only thing that will remain on this earth from our pilgrimage is our footprints. What kind of footprints are we leaving behind us then? The reality is that we should leave none. We should be walking in His footprints all the way. As pilgrims, we have learned that our lives are not our own. We understand that we have been bought with a price. Our sole purpose on this earth is to glorify the LORD and enjoy the life that He provides us with, as we seek to serve Him. It is the pilgrim that finds enjoyment in honoring the LORD through service.
It is our role as pilgrims to follow in the steps of the One who went before us. We are to emulate the things that we saw in Christ. We are to model our lives after His life. In doing so, we find that we are daily being conformed into His image. It is in serving Jesus that we find ourselves stepping where He stepped. When we follow after our LORD, we end up where He is. And as we serve Him, we discover that the Father honors our service.
Peter was willing to lose it all (and he eventually did) for the sake of following after Jesus. Even though there were moments in Peters walk where he left his own set of tracks, it was his devotion and love for the LORD that caused his tracks to blend succinctly with the LORD’s to the point where his footprints lead him to a cross as well. It is at the cross that we all die. But then at the cross the journey has only just begun for the believer.
When we set out to use the gifts of the Spirit to minister to one another we bring the delight of the LORD upon us. We find His favor and His honor in serving Him. The footsteps of Christ lead through many areas of difficulty, trials, and persecution, but His steps lead to eternal life. When we set out to walk in His footprints, we are setting out to die. Now I am not talking physical death, that is a given, everyone will meet his or her mortality at some point. But the death that I am referring to is the death to self. This is a painful thing. But if we are willing to lose our lives for His sake, then we will gain it and so much more!
And so I ask again, does it feel like there is something missing from your life? Do you feel that there is something more that God wants you to be doing. It could very well be that your feet are hanging over the side of the ship. Are you ready to say, “I am all in?” Perhaps your footprints will be in His upon the water.
I was so pleased to hear the excitement in my wife’s voice tonightÂ as she recounted the events that took place earlier that evening. She had met with some women in our fellowship and she told me about how the Spirit had moved in the conversation that the ladies shared. She told me about all the LORD had put on her heart and I sensed that zeal for the LORD being lit again in her heart. For the longest time that flame had seemingly lay dormant as we have been struggling to find continuity in our marriage and our home. As I have mentioned before, my wife and I have been counseling with our pastor and his wife to improve our communication. We have also been partnering with some of our dear friends to share the day-to-day happenings and to encourage one another. In a very short period of time I have seen much fruit in my own life and in hers. Â To a large degree we have been willing to die to ourselves and serve one another. Through this process, I have seen that spark return in my wife’s eyes. I have seen that refreshing calm return. I have seen that vigor revived, and I look forward to the days ahead. Somewhere along the way, we had started leaving our own footprints in the sand. We deviated from walking in the footsteps of Jesus. Much like the poem, “Footprints in the Sand,” I have seen how Jesus has carried my wife and I. It is an exciting journey to say the least. I am so blessed to have the wife that I have. She was truly made for me and I for her. I am quite content walking beside my bride, hand-in-hand, the three of us!
Jesus, I am so glad that You have given me such a faithful and loving wife. She has had to put up with me for so long as You have been working on me and conforming me to Your image. I wish that I could say that I have arrived, if only for her sake, but I know that I have a long way to go. I am just so glad that You are working in me to accomplish the thing You have set out to accomplish. I want to lift my wife up to you. I ask, LORD, that You would continue to fan the flames of her spirit and that she would be an inspiration to those she serves, first to her family, and then to others in the Body. I pray that You would work in her to accomplish Your will as she ministers to those that You have given her. I see so much in her that I am thankful for and I owe it all to You LORD. Your craftsmanship is amazing, she is so beautiful to me. I praise You for my bride and I know that together we have a wonderful life of service before us. Help me, LORD, to be a better husband to her than I am. Let her see You in me.Â Â -Amen