“I am with you! My presence will precede you. I will personally be your rear guard. I will build a hedge of protection to your right and to your left. Though your path may be strewn with challenges at times, I will make them straight as you turn to Me. Nothing shall harm you. I will guide you with My right hand. I will be your covering. You are called to do My will. Proceed with My plans. You cannot fail! I am with you!”
2 Chr. 16:9 NIV
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him...”
Psalm 18:1-2 NIV
1) I love you, O Lord, my strength.
2) The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield…
Psalm 20:6-7 AMP
6) Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.
7) Some trust in and boast of chariots and some of horses, but we will trust in and boast of the name of the Lord our God.
2 Cor. 2:14-16a NIV
14) But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.
15) For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.
16a) To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.
The life of Jesus was a stark contrast to the stagnant religion of the self-important, pompous, segregated, and aloof religious leaders of that day. Ordinary people were free to love Him because He loved them first, something never equated with things that were called “godly” up until that time.
Honest, longing people enthusiastically chased Him everywhere He went to hear more about and experience His kind of love. They chased Him until they themselves were caught up in the wonder of eternal life.
Have you ever wondered about the situations and conversations that Jesus had with His chosen twelve that were never chronicled? Have you ever thought about the jokes they played on each other, and the fun they must have had together? Remember, the guys that Jesus chose to be with were “from the street.” They were all very worldly and full of typical “guy stuff.”
It’s easy for you and me to forget that He was on a “God-designed” mission of love, His Father’s deep kind of love. He was fellowshipping first hand for the first time in the wonder of those He had actually created.
When Jesus walked on the earth, God was physically present with His creation for the first time since the Garden of Eden. His “adventure” allowed Him to experience the joy of those He loved first hand, while expressing His love to them, and at the same time birthing His Father’s kind of love in their hearts.
He may not have spoken a black ’57 Chevy convertible with fender skirts and a continental kit into existence for their entertainment or anything like that; but when He left their immediate presence, He sure had a bunch of devoted people to carry on His work. They were crazy in love with Him - crazy enough to enthusiastically set a passionate enough life course that would probably lead to their deaths.
After they understood the full impact of what they were called to do and were empowered by God to do it, they embraced their mission heartily. They chose an all-out, fully committed, enthusiastic denial of self, and embraced the life of the One who showed them what love really was. Their passion set the world on a course of change, just as yours could in this day. In fact, that is exactly what you have the privilege of doing.
The kind of adventure that the first century church embarked upon didn’t begin in them because the Lord simply preached good stuff, exhibited a sour countenance to hearty fishermen, or compromised His teachings while in private. They followed the example of a life worth following, a life worth dying for.
By Your power, Lord, help me to do the same,