August 1, 2004
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15
The Journey of Life
By Jack Northart
Life is a journey. It can be a fascinating, enjoyable and rewarding journey. It can also be viewed as a journey that one looks back upon with bitterness, regret, disappointment or shame. It depends upon perspective. Too many people think that bitterness, regret, disappointment and shame IS their life. They have been subject to the world’s afflictions and circumstances and that this is how they have become a broken person and must now live out the rest of their existence, filled with sorrow and pain. They waste their lives worrying about failures, living under standards set by others, backed into meaningless lives for fear of the unknown. This is not the proper perspective to have.
Life is a race to be won, a mountain to be climbed. We see the finish line or view the summit with excitement and anticipation. We know that despite the pitfalls and set backs, God gives us the victory.
I Corinthians 15:57
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
God didn’t make any failures; not if His Word is true, for He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. You see, life is not a score card of wins and losses where we are measured, judged and labeled. We, as Christians, have already been judged righteous in Christ Jesus. We have already been given the fullness of Christ. We have already been set apart, yes, sanctified by the accomplished work of Christ. Our lives have been redeemed by his precious blood.
I Corinthians 1:30
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
We never fail in this life as long as we don’t quit. We press on to cross the finish line to the final prize that recognizes a life fully lived, fully explored, fully enjoyed. Of course there are rewarding situations that we have in life, and there are painful situations that we live through. However, we always come out the other side with a valuable lesson learned. We take the information that we learn and use it to make better decisions the next time we encounter challenges or opposition.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before [ahead]. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
We are not the objects of a pin-ball game that God has fun with just to see if we can score higher marks for Him. Our God is a God of love and grace. He is the God of free-will. Our job is to rely on Him and to trust Him for guidance along the way. We look to Him in all things and He will show us how to be successful.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
We must fill our minds with right thinking. If we are dwelling on the past failures or set-backs, we must stop, change, and move ahead with anticipation of the wonderful things of our lives that God has placed before us. We change our minds to recognize the great blessings that our Heavenly Father has given us. We thank God for these joys in our lives, and as we do, we have the great peace that passes all understanding.
Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
It is only a feeble mind that mourns his or her state when they stumble or fall. It is only the weak mind who worries about what others think of their life, their actions, their production. It is only the shallow mind who cries for mercy, who begs for life’s pressures to go away, who bemoans the fact that life is unfair, who has fallen and refuses to get up. Life’s journey is not to be lived this way.
When Moses, the servant of the Lord had died, it was a critical time in the life of a man named Joshua.
Joshua had been with Moses for many years and had watched and learned many things from Moses. He saw the great miracles that he brought to pass as he believed what God told him. However, Moses was dead. Joshua must have felt a deep void in his life. He must have felt as though life was soon to be over for him and the children of Israel. He must have felt his purpose in life had come to an end and that his journey was over. Therefore, God had a little discussion with him to correct his wrong thinking.
Joshua 1: 1-7
Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
The Lord did not sugar-coat the situation. He stated it like it was: “Moses my servant is dead!” The very first thing that the Lord told Joshua to do after this statement was “…arise and go!” Even though for Joshua it seemed like a very good time to feel sorry for himself, it was really a time to get moving. Why? Because there was too much of life that still had to be lived. There were too many blessings that God had in store for them that He wanted them to have. It was time to go claim them. The journey of life was not over, even though their leader was dead. To the contrary, it really had not yet started for them in the Promised Land.
Our lives as Christians can be lived on an even greater plain than Joshua’s. We have been given ALL spiritual blessings in heavenly places. We were chosen before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him in love.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
It is time for us to arise and go and claim the blessings and enjoy the privileges that God has made available for us. Life is a journey that ends in victory and success. Let us press on and move forward to the prize of the high calling of our God.
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