The three weeks of my preaching stint come to an end on Sunday. The time has been characterized on the one hand by great revelation and deepening understanding of His Word, with a warm response from the congregation and on the other hand a sharp reminder and experience of Satan’s opposition and the spiritual warfare we are all involved in. When I have experienced Satan like I have the last three weeks in the past, it has always been a sort of encouragement, because he is only interested in attacking something which he feels is threatening his grasp on the world. Thank you all for your prayers which all form a united front against him and the glory for any fruit must go to God and Him alone.
This morning as I settle with the Lord the word “seek” keeps coming up. “Seek – yes continue to seek – My kingdom and the right ways I am leading you on. Do not look back except to remember previous answers to prayer and previous revelations of My grace – previous victories in Me – don’t focus on the negative and the opposition. So seek to follow My way ahead – the opposition you have experienced has been for the benefit of the growth of your faith. Move forward, you may feel stuck at the moment and unable to build relationships especially new ones – but that is being taken care of. Continue with the blog, there are a number of people on your side who are benefiting from it and enjoying it”.
At the same time I have a strong sense that the Lord is saying to me that I must relax and just enjoy Him. Enjoy every moment I have here on earth to glorify Him – rejoice – rejoice in the Lord always!
Having finished Luke’s gospel I am continuing with his second book – “The Acts of the Apostles”. (Or as some have suggested it should be called “the Acts of the Holy Spirit”.)
Today my passage is Acts 1:12-26. Behind this is the powerful opening passage, which many of you would be familiar with. The reminder there was the key passage in vs 8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth”. This sets the tone of the whole book and follows and rests on the reports of many witnesses to the resurrection, described earlier in the text, following on Jesus’ crucifixion and a reminder of Jesus continued intention to bring in the kingdom of God. The movement up to now has been towards Jerusalem, from now on it will be away from Jerusalem.
I felt Jesus was pointing me specifically to the following things:
- The Disciples were told to return to Jerusalem to wait (v 4b). It must have been a great temptation to get into action, or maybe even flee, but they obeyed. This is a stark reminder that I can only be a true witness for Jesus if I am being obedient to what I believe He is leading me to do.
- The instruction to wait and the sense of inactivity in the face of the majestic events they had experienced, must have been difficult to cope with. Yet they did it, apparently happy and used the time effectively in prayer. At a time when I have been sort of confined and in a way waiting, it is a strong reminder that the Lord brings times like that into our lives and that I can still be used by Him and grow despite this.
- As they waited they were guided by the scriptures at their disposal as to what they should do (elect a replacement apostle). The reminder to me is how important it is to study the scripture carefully and follow what the Lord is revealing to me in them.
A sad post script I read in a SU. commentary came from Pilgrim’s progress concerning Judas: In vs 25, it states that “he (ie Judas) turned aside to go to his own place” – that is the place he had chosen for himself. And God confirmed him in that dreadful choice. “Then I saw that there was a way to hell even from the gates of Heaven, as well as from the City of Destruction”.
Let us keep our love together and keep praying for each other, and especially for me for Sunday. Great news of answered prayer with Roger.