Soldier of The Cross, remember that while you are seeing a tremendous victory, it belongs to the Lord. It came from Him and goes to Him. He gets the Glory. One of my most treasured possessions is a note I received from Elisabeth Elliot. The note says: ". . . accolades and false accusation should be both be received in the same manner. . ." Our greatest victory will be when the Race is over and we are at His feet. Yes, you have worked hard. You have prayed hard. You have pounded the pavement and you are seeing the fruit. But remember that unless the Lord builds the house, the builder builds in vain. We do not work for temporal reward. Some of the best and most noble efforts will only see the victory in heaven. Now, we see the victory with eyes of faith. We rejoice and revel in His victory - never in something we think we have brought about. Freedom in Christ means, His is the Victory.
It is easy to assume the Lord must work within the limits of time. Soldier of The Cross, you have chosen to live the life of an adopted Son. You have said that you would put your weight down on His Word. Do you not know that He can turn things around in a second? Put away the frantic thought life. Stop trying to get everyone to agree with you. Concentrate on the things that must be done. Pray according the the Promises in God's Word and not according to either your experience, or the way things look. Leave the plan to Him. Look up and move on!
Have you learned that He can do the impossible? As an attorney I have had a number of cases that have seemed impossible. I have learned to take them to the Lord first, and in so doing, I am always reminded that I am not doing the job alone. The Bible says that is true. That when I have made the decision to serve the Lord, I follow Him. I never lead. Are you leading? Do you think it is up to you to fix things? Are you concerned that if X, Y and Z do not happen, things will fall apart? Soldier of The Cross, you have crossed The Line. You have said you would leave all behind to follow Him. You have told Him that He could do anything with your life. And, you meant it. So, let Him. It does not get you off the hook. You must still give your all and you must be a craftsman at whatever you are doing. It means that you have the assurance of things being done behind the scenes because of prayer. It means that you must set your mind on things that are above, even while the storm is beating on everything you see. God's Word is more real than the way that you feel, His Promises are far more certain than the impending threats. Tell the Lord you know He is in control. Tell Him that you know He will be faithful to his Promises. Tell the Lord you will watch and wait for Him. Tell Him aloud.
You have a choice. You can control your mouth and you can control your thoughts. That is what God says in His Word. Further, He commands it. Soldier of The Cross, anger is a cancer in the life of any Christian. The issues must be left with the Lord in prayer. It must be aloud. It must be specific. I do not believe that anyone has ever been able to confront the Maker aloud and stand on the opposite side of The Line. We have to consider that the Bible addresses anger specifically. No follower of the Lord should be harboring resentment, offense or irritation. It is assumed that even the casual reader of the Bible would agree that the text forbids a temper tantrum. Why do we have the saying "blinding rage?" Because the one who is so angry is not able to see the situation as it is. Soldier, do not indulge yourself. Go to The Word. Deal with the matter in prayer. Aloud. Do not be stubborn. Do not be defensive. Do be obedient.
Soldier, if you are asked today, are you able to state your determined purpose? Does your agenda take precedence over His?
There is ample warning. All of the books of the major and minor prophets lay out God's priorities. There can be no messing around. He is available to love and restore anyone who will look at Him and listen to Him. It does not matter what the history has been, or what the damage has been. He is available. Love has opened His arms. Love has issued the warning. Love has given His life and the date has been marked by history. Love can not compromise. But, Love will open His arms and receive the one who will rush to Him. It is never too late.
Great release is experienced by those who know that they are heaven bound. There are some who know they are saved, but there are others who live, knowing that heaven is more real than time. To those Christians, the Lord is more real than what they touch and see. The Indwelling Holy Spirit gives an assurance of salvation and opens our eyes to things that are beyond the visible. We are being prepared for heaven. Investments must be a heavenly. Those who are laying up treasures in heaven are not worried about money. They can have much and they can have little. Neither is better than the other, for they realize that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and the wealth in every mine. There is nothing wrong with being wealthy and there is nothing wrong with investment. But in prayer, The Soldier of The Cross must be sure that he is not clinging to any of it, and that he is still praying in his daily bread. It is so easy to live as though none of the promises are true. But, they are true. No one can travel very far while carrying baggage. and, certainly no one will be taking any baggage to heaven. Make sure hands are clean and free. Lifted up in anticipation of what is to come.
I have been a pastor's wife for many, many years. In the course of those years, I have had numerous women come to me and ask me to correct my husband in various habits displayed while preaching. One of the first was a request that he preach with emotion instead of teaching a scholarly instruction resulting from intense study. I have been asked to tell my husband to cease from rattling the keys in his pocket during preaching. I have been asked to tell my husband to look people in the eye instead of looking at the back wall. I have been told in no uncertain terms that I must tell my husband to cease from ever looking at his watch. I have been told that I must tell my husband to speak more quickly. I have also been told to tell him to speak more slowly. I have been told what kind of tie he should wear. I have been told that he should not be preaching. I have been told that he should preach more. I have been asked to see if there is some way I could make my husband look more sincere when preaching. I have also been asked (with tears) to tell my husband that he must visit the house of every church member each week. I can honestly say that in being a preacher's wife for 27 years, I have never passed on a single request. Why? Because it is not my business, and most especially it is not the business of any of the women who have made the requests. And, every request or criticism has come from a woman. Soldier of The Cross, you need far more that you can ever ask for. You need anointed preaching that exceeds any description you could ever offer. How then could you possibly hope to influence any aspect of the preaching of physical presence of the man God has appointed to be the spiritual authority over you? Back off. Let the Holy Spirit have His way and in His time. As soon as you offer a suggestion, you cripple the Servant in the very area you longing to change. And, the chances are, the changes you long for are merely suited to your own preferences. The most powerful message I ever heard was offered by a man who had Multiple Sclerosis. It was almost impossible to understand him. He was curled in a ball, barely remaining in a wheel chair. It required significant effort for him to formulate even the most simple words. But, he was God's man. I do not think I understood all his words. But the Lord was there. He could not look up. He could not be clear. He could not stop jerking. He sang Victory in Jesus, and it was not in tune. But God had His hand on the preaching and it was God's business. It was tremendous. Soldier of The Cross, Do not put your hand to the falling Ark. Mind your own business. Do not improve or attempt to correct the ministry of others unless you are a pastor or an elder. Attend to your own business. Honor the Lord's appointment. The worst thing you can do is try to correct the leadership by criticism of small issues. Look up. Move on. Do it aloud!
Those who follow the Lord must follow one step at a time. "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. . ." Soldier, one of the most dangerous traps that awaits the Christian is, the longing to know what lies several steps ahead. We have not been told to lead, we have been told to follow. The flesh always wants to make things more complicated. The flesh always wants to be in control. the flesh always wants to have the experience of winning. Consider The Cross. Consider The One Who gave His Life as Ransom for Many. Consider The One Who is preparing a Place for you. Consider His Love for you. One step at a time. Obedience has nothing to loose.
When a loved one dies, there is a necessary grieving process. It is not appropriate to tell the one who left behind that he or she should not be suffering a loss. It does not help to say all the right things. That is why the Proverb says that we should grieve with those who grieve, and weep with those who weep. Death is a confrontation. It is never easy. And it leaves a vacuum. In is not possible to live, feel and think as though it never happened. For we who have Hope, the pain is sweet. For those who have no hope, it is a yawning abyss. Write a letter or make a call. Offer to pray for comfort. Offer to be available. Share verses of comfort, not verses of correction. Pray privately for the grieving one - aloud.