For what seemed like ages I had felt empty and flat. A while ago I had given God all my hopes and dreams and I felt as if I had nothing left. God was teaching me what Watchman Nee says, to let go of everything and find unqualified joy in God Himself. I wanted to get to know God better, more intimately, and to want Him above everything else, to find joy and fulfilment in Him alone and to follow where He leads.
Abraham gave God the most precious thing he had. It was something God Himself had given him and now He was wanting him to give Isaac back. All Abraham’s hopes and dreams were bound up in Isaac and he had to be willing to give it all up. I feel the same. God wants me to give up to Him all my hopes and dreams, promises that He gave me in the first place. Abraham must have felt bereft as he raised his sword to kill his son, but God intervened and fulfilled all His promises to Abraham. It was Abraham’s job to obey God, and God did the rest.
Abraham trusted and believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. ‘Will He not bring to fruition my salvation and grant me my every desire?’ (2 Samuel 23 v. 5). He will. These were some of the last words of David. The men of faith in listed in Hebrews 11 welcomed God’s promises and saw them from a distance. They were still living by faith when they died and they didn’t receive the things promised. They were looking forward to heaven. I have been very limited in my thinking. I have focused on the world, on this life so often, on my own dreams. My hope is in God alone and heaven is my real home.
‘They were longing for a better country – a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.’ (Hebrews 11 v. 16)
‘You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.’ (Hebrews 10 v. 36)
‘If the call and commission have come from Him, then the responsibility will be His for all that our obedience to Him involves, and we need never inquire how He is going to discharge it.’ (Watchman Nee)
In April of this year I went with some friends to an evening session at the Spa in Scarborough of the ECG conference. There was a great time of worship, followed by a lady speaker. She spoke on seeing the beauty and wonder on the journey. The Bible passage was from Luke chapter 24 verses 13-35. On this journey the two disciples took they didn’t realise that Jesus was with them. It was only with hindsight that they saw the wonder and beauty that had been with them on the journey. I want to see the beauty that is there each day – I want to see Jesus, knowing He is there.
I had been feeling so disappointed and angry and the reason for that was that my hope had not been in heaven. It had been on earthly ‘success’. God took my hopes and dreams after I gave them to Him, and it had left a big emptiness. God wanted to fill that emptiness with HIS hopes and dreams for me, which are far greater than mine, and are eternal. He is preparing a place for us that will outshine anything that we could ever dream about!
Meanwhile, there are beautiful things to see on the journey, and Jesus will walk with us every step of the way.
Picture a steep rocky mountain. Walking up the mountain is a child, holding Jesus’ hand. At the time of writing all I can see is rock. I can’t see the view from the top, that breathtaking view that Jesus once told me was my future. I almost don’t believe it is there. I daren’t look back or I might fall and I feel I could fall at any moment and I am so scared of that. Like Jesus’ friends on the road to Emmaus who ‘stood still, their faces downcast’ sometimes I feel as if I am standing still, not getting anywhere. All I can see is rock and a difficult climb.
But we need to remember that all the time on that sad journey, Jesus WAS with those two disciples, even when they didn’t recognise Him. He won’t leave us. He will take us to the top of the mountain!
‘I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.’ (Psalm 118 v. 13-14).
‘The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid’. (v.6)
‘The Lord is with me; He is my helper.’ (v.7)
God bless you,