Those who walk with the Lord know what it is to partake of His Life. His Life far exceeds enthusiasm or fervor or bent. His Life is always present where He is allowed to be. This means that when the Soldier of The Cross is available, the Lord is ministering through that Christian. This ministry if beyond anyone's personality or ability. It is supernatural. The Life of the Lord is resurrection Life. It is described as "rivers of living water" that flow out of the one who is in unity with Him. Soldier, there is nothing you can do to minister the life of the Lord, except belong to Him, cling to Him, Love Him and obey Him. You can't improve your personality. You can't take a course. You can't practice. You can't sacrifice to get it. You can't imitate. You can. just know Him. Then, He will reveal Himself through you.
It is not difficult to have a relationship with the One who holds the stars in place. All He requires is your availability. There are many things that can stand in the way: Intellectualism Sophistication Personal plans The desire for the approval of others The need to be in control Longing for success The need for comfort Religion Soldier of The Cross, be like the leaf on the tree in the Fall. Wait for Him. He longs to communicate with you. Tell Him you are available. Tell Him today. Aloud.
If you find change difficult, you need to get some things settled with God. Traumatic change is never easy. Death, debilitating illness, an unwanted move, a broken relationship - any of these will be tough. However, as Soldiers of The Cross, we have chosen to serve Another. That means we must allow the deep work of the Holy Spirit in order to be able to follow the Lord. If we are available to be changed by Him, we are available to the changes He brings into our lives. Concerning many things, we have free will. There are changes we can choose not to make. We can resist the gentle leading of the Spirit. In so doing, we miss God's best for us. Nevertheless, there is choice. If we follow him, there is Glory, transformation and freedom. There comes a time when God allows change, or brings change that the flesh hates, simply because of the level of discomfort. These changes should not be traumatic. These changes are those that are a natural part of the supernatural course. As an attorney, I see many people who do not have a choice. They are heartbroken and would have done anything to avoid the situation in which they have found themselves. As a member of the Body of Christ, I see those who fear a loss of control. I see those who are so afraid God will let them down, that they deliberately and knowingly refuse to live by biblical principles. Soldier of The Cross, are you really His? Humility is a requisite to having any relationship with the Lord. Why did Paul say less of me and more of Him? All you know is what you know. In fact, you do not even know all of the things that are "common knowledge." How can you possibley know what is best for you? For that reason, we have His Word. He has asked you to wait for Him. To trust Him. To take His Word over what you see with your eyes. He has asked you to let Him lead you. He wants to be your Shepherd. Put the baggage down. Be ready to move. Those who are ready in Christ are able to work with total concentration, regardless of the circumstances. Those who are ready in Christ are able to live in the moment. Those who are ready in Christ are aware of the needs of others. Those who are ready in Christ are eager to serve. Those who are ready in Christ have a world vision. Those who are ready in Christ are not easily offended. Those who are ready in Christ are able to love the unlovely. Those who are ready in Christ are stable. Those who are ready in Christ are like Him.
Soldier of The Cross, there must be a genuine delight in His way and His time. How can this happen, when there is an urgent need and it seems that He is not doing the thing that cries to be done? How can this happen when it is already too late? Soldier, you must put your weight down on God's Word. Have you, in fact, made the decision to live by the Word of God? Is there any other way to live? Where is there a greater value? This must be addressed in prayer. In the accelerating swirl, or in the eye of the storm, He is the same. Everything is the same. It only appears threatening by sight. I reality, it is not so, because He has said so. Soldier, speak to Him about this matter in prayer. Simply be honest. Address the issues to Him instead of letting your mind repeat the same circles over and over. Let it go in prayer. Do it now. Do it aloud.
It strikes me that the Lord always brings heavenly surprises and special presents at the times least expected. What a glorious thing it is when someone meets the Lord. And when it is the one you thought you might never see come to Him, it almost unbearably pleasurable - except that it is so right. He who has encouraged us to pray for all men every where, knows how to delight the faithful with answered prayer! To the honest heart, it is possible to say that when we get to heaven, we will see prayer answered that we never knew about on earth. But while we are here, there are enough evidences of His listening, that no faithful prayer warrior can be anything other than energized by the sweetness and the creativity of answered prayer. I have often prayed for things that I knew He could do and might do, but had never heard He had done before. Some of those things have exploded into sight in the way that only He can do - spectacular, yet altogether in the course of things. For thirty-two years I have brought people before Him and most of them have not met Him yet. At the same time, I have prayed on occasion for some, and I have watched them come to him in just a few weeks or months. It is His call. It is His business. It is His Kingdom. And, it is His work. Pray. For the night is coming.
We know that this world is not home. We are sojourners and Pilgrims, and it is critical to keep that fact in the forefront of our lives. There is so much to distract. The gravity of comfort is louder than the confrontation of age or loneliness. The older we get, the louder the call to settle in and resist growth or change. The faithful taking in of God's Word inoculates the Soldier of the Cross against putting roots down in to this brief life. At the same time, the Bible brings Light to the prayer time and brings perspective on all things. This means that the Christian who is in the Word and is prayerful, is free to enjoy everything. He can enjoy even the smallest things with a greater freedom than the person who knows he is heaven bound, but just can't let go of control. Freedom comes from sight. Sight comes from walking in the Light. Walking in the Light comes from being in the Word and in honest prayer. Look around. What do you see that will not decay? Is there any human relationship that will not change in heaven? Do you know where your Treasure is? Soldier of The Cross, we are to live each day with the assumption that He is coming for us immediately. We must attend to those around us. We must have clean hands. We must be full of His Word. We must be about our Father's business. We must be looking for Him.
Soldier of The Cross, it is not your job to deal with those who would distract. The book of Nehemiah teaches us that when there is any rebuilding of The Wall, there are those who are always threatened. They will rattle sabers, advance gossip, give false reports and do absolutely anything they can do to subvert God's Work. Sometimes the enemy is seen and sometimes unseen. All of the time, there is opposition to His Work. It He who makes the way. It is He who prepares a Table before us in the presence of our enemies. It is He who anoints our heads with oil. It is His rod and His staff. He is the Shepherd who leads us beside the still waters. Are you a Soldier of The Cross? Have you decided to follow Him? When you become aware of the swirl, take hold of The Word. You know where it comes from Set your face like flint. Look neither to the left nor to the right. Gaze upon the Lover of Your Soul.
The old song is accurate; It is no secret what God can do. Soldier of The Cross, I know I have told you before, but I am reminding you - do not pray according to what you see, what you know, or what you can imagine. You must pray according to the Word of God. That means, the Lord can do far beyond your concept in prayer. I have often heard people pray that person A would not speak to Person B. Or perhaps that they would speak. Or that this one would get a particular job. Or that another one would find a mate. We so often undershoot what the Lord can do. And, it is not a small thing. We who have been born into the Kingdom of His Dear Son, have the privilege of praying through Heaven's agenda. Prayer absolutely must not be limited to the things that are possible by human concept. We serve the God of the impossible. In fact, what Bible story can you recount where God did the thing that was predictable, or that anyone could have done? Soldier of The Cross, press the limits. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you in prayer. What do you have to lose?
If you are available, you will receive all the Lord has for you - His best. It is easy to want the things that last only for a lifetime - financial security,comfort, admiration and all the things the world defines as components of happiness. There is something that must happen; there must be a deliberate decision to trust Him. The Lord seems to take us through seasons. There are seasons of waiting, seasons of plenty, lean seasons, and often there are times when nothing seems to go well at all. For those who "walk according to His purposes," it all adds up to the same thing in Glory. The problem lies with us. Physical pain is not something that can be ignored. The loss of a loved one is borne throughout life. Persecution must be endured. There is a Place where the Soldier of The Cross can honestly thank the Lord for all the things that He has allowed. How could Paul say he had learned to be content with much or content with little? How could he say he would learn to take pleasure in dealing with so many of the things that the flesh hates? He trusted God. He believed God. He lived for no other purpose than to love and serve the Lord. There is no freedom like the freedom in letting the Lord have His completely way. Tell the Lord today that He can have His way with your life. Tell Him aloud.
All of Elisabeth Elliot's books have wonderful titles: "The Liberty of Obedience;" "Keep a quite Heart;" "Through Gates of Splendor;" " Love Has a Price Tag" and many others. My favorite is her biography of Amy Carmichael, "A Chance to Die." What a glorious name for the life story of one who is determined to be a living sacrifice. In her study, on the wall that is most close to the ocean, Elisabeth placed the brass cross that Amy Carmichael had on the wall at the foot of her own bed during the years of her crippling illness. The cross was placed strategically, so that Amy Carmichael would be constantly reminded that the illness was a love gift from the Lord. There is a process to the ". . . less of me and more of Him. . ." and it is The Cross. The Cross is the place of the death of the flesh. The place where the Lord deals with self. Where He deals with the things that seem to be impossible to shed. The Cross is taken up willingly. It is taken up because there has been a realization that there is only one life, and it is to be lived in obedience and in complete submission to the Lord. This process is not possible without a supernatural work. It is not possible until the Christian Soldier has presented himself in prayer. It is not possible until there is a longing to be a disciple. To be with Jesus. To follow Jesus. To know Him, and the power of His Resurrection. There are many who simply will not take up The Cross. The religious aspects of Christianity are beautiful to them. Being right is beautiful to them. Being comfortable is beautiful to them. Being admired is beautiful to them. Perhaps they long for financial security. There is often a worship of family. There is always a desperate need for control. Is He beautiful to you? What are the things you love about Him? He wants to make His likeness in you. Do you want that? There must be the work of The Cross. When you tell the Lord you are willing to be a disciple and that you are willing to take up the Cross daily, He responds beyond human comprehension. He longs to show you infinite treasure and Glory. He longs to sit and sup with you. He who is preparing a place for you is not calling you to a gauntlet of hardship. He is leading you into intimacy with Himself. He who gave Himself for you is not waiting to pounce in order to make visible victims of all those who will follow Him. He wants you to put your burden down. He wants you to stop feeling guilty. He wants to free you from the flesh. From the self-life. He wants to to know the love of the Brethren. He wants to lead you through his Word, so that you can see Him clearly. He want you to know His touch. He wants you to lead others to Himself. He wants you to see Heaven. Soldier of The Cross, He has asked you to take up The Cross daily because He wants you to know the freedom that is in Him. For God so loved the world. . . Soldier of The Cross, He longs to reveal himself to and through you. This is not a one time thing, although there is a beginning to the Cross Life. It is a daily matter. Tell Him each day that you will take up the Cross. Tell Him you are willing for His deepest work in you. Tell Him you will not count the cost. Tell Him He can do anything with your life. Tell Him aloud. Tell Him today.