Consecration, Destiny, Eternity, Process, Purpose, The Voyage

This is not in vain // An exhortation 

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:16-17‬ ‭

Don’t give up now, your life has barely just begun. These few short years are but a drop in the bucket of eternity. Our momentary troubles are refining in us real gold – gold of infinite worth that we will only truly see in eternity. 

It’s not in vain, none of this is in vain. Yield, surrender, keep trusting, keep going. Find yourself, again and again at the feet of Jesus. It is the only way to live. It is the only true life there is. 

One day with unveiled eyes we will see all we have built through the foundations of meekness and trust. We will enter into His presence with our heads held high, absolutely victorious in love. We will, with exceeding joy, receive the great reward of our faith – the delight of Jesus Himself. This is the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. This is where all of this is going. 

We must, with diligence, set our eyes on this vision over and over again. Eternity has been written on our hearts for this very reason. To show us where we are going, that we may not lose heart. 

There is a reward waiting for the faithful. 

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Destiny, Musings, Process, The Voyage, Wilderness

Musings of a Wandering Pilgrim

Some nights I wonder if I made bed in the right city. There was once a call I heard. I was so sure of it. In the depths of His presence I saw as clear as day. But it was too big, too impossible. Me? I thought. Who am I? I’m nobody. It can’t be. So I asked for a sign. I asked to be shown. I asked to see what I already knew. How I needed it because I was so afraid. I didn’t believe it could be for me. 

I waited and waited. For so long, I waited. But nothing ever happened, so one day I stopped waiting. 

Did I miss out? I don’t know. But all this time, I just did the best I knew how to. I’ve always done my best. And in the waiting, I lived my life. I’ve made many mistakes along the way, more than I dare to confess. But I’ve also built good things. Wonderful things. Are they God-things? Maybe. Maybe not. He’s been with me all the way though, this I know. And most days that’s been enough to keep me going. 

Still, I ponder on all the things that could have turned out differently, had I not asked to be met halfway. Had I not waited. Had I been less afraid. Had I just jumped. Am I a fool? Maybe. Am I too far gone? Did I miss out? I don’t know. Am I lost? Yes most days I still do feel lost. As if I’m running in circles but coming up short every time. The saddest part is that I once saw it all so clearly. But now it just feels like a distant reality. I feel so far from all He once sung over me. Now I’m not sure if there is even a place for me to go back to anymore.

I asked to be led – but here I am today. 

I try not to ask too many questions anymore because having them unanswered is just too confusing. Everyday I just put one foot in front of the other and hope for the best. What else can I do? I don’t know what else to do. 

Please don’t leave me behind. 

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Consecration, Destiny, Eternity, Process, Purpose, The Voyage

Unshakeable Hope 

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 

For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country.

Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” // Hebrews‬ ‭11:13-16‬ ‭

Only when we understand how it will end will we know how we must live in the now. God placed eternity in the hearts of men for this very reason. (Ecc 3:11) This vapor called life has to be anchored in what is transcendent and of eternal continuity if it is to have any meaning – otherwise we are but mere wandering fools to be pitied. 

Everything else is like chaff – it will all burn away to dust before the fire of His eyes. I can’t even begin to tell you how it is my biggest fear to live a life that counts for nothing. To have built my life upon all these things that seemed so great in the eyes of men, only to stand before Him on that day and have it all fall out from under me. 

I swear, with everything I have within me, that I will live and posture my life in such a way that when I finally enter into His presence, it will not be with shame – but with my head held high, strong and absolutely victorious in love. 

Seasons come and seasons go, and I have many dreams to fight for, but this – this will always be the biggest dream of my heart. 

I will receive the reward of my faith.

“… to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.” /// Jude‬ ‭1:24-25‬

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Destiny, Love, Purpose, The Voyage

Did You Learn To Love? 

“The measure of a man is the measure of his heart,

The measure of a man is the measure of his love.”

Few words have struck me as deeply as these. We cannot define greatness on our own terms, we have to define them by His. Only two commandments did He give to us – the entire Law hangs upon these two simple lines. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbor. 

If all of life comes down to love – if greatness is defined solely by this rightful pursuit of our hearts – then we must learn to do it well. How can we afford otherwise? 

At the end of my days, when I stand before Him I want to do so with a heart that is tender, a heart that has been enlarged by life to love and love well. If this is how He defines greatness, then may I always live up to His standards and not the world’s. The world asks me for my career, my beauty, my status, my fame. But He cuts through all of that and asks me of only one thing – my heart. 

May I exchange my vain ideas and empty ambitions for what truly counts before the throne of God. I want to build my life upon this one and singular firm foundation, because I know that everything else will one day burn away before His eyes of fire. 

You don’t measure me like man may see, You’re looking at my heart; the core of me. When it’s all been said, when it’s all been done, when the race is run – it all comes down to love. 

“Did you learn to love?” is what You will ask of me. 

“Did you learn to love?” not about my ministry. 

“Did you learn to love?” not about my money. 

“…Did you learn to love?”

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Destiny, Eternity, Intimacy, Process, The Voyage

Through it all. 

Maybe destiny isn’t so much a place we are going to, nor a task we will set out to do – but more of the person we will become through it all. 

Every fire, every trial, every form of testing refines our hearts in meekness, faithfulness and humility before God – if we respond rightly. 

And every joy, every victory, every single fight won molds our hearts in understanding of His nature – that we may delight to love Him more.

I think destiny is the complete fullness of a heartbeat thriving in oneness with Jesus – that having done all we may stand, and stand victorious before the One we know and love. 

– pilgrim on a journey home. 

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Destiny, Musings, The Church

Faithfulness 

I think sometimes we overromanticize the notion of “going”. But more often than not, faithfulness looks like staying. It looks like tending to what we have been given in the here and now. It looks like investing in the lives of the people around us. It looks like showing up in the mundane day to day. It’s not as glamorous, nor as exciting, but faithfulness never is. What it is though, is necessary. Yes, there is a whole world out there full of the broken and hurting, and maybe there will be a time and season to “go”. But there are broken and hurting people right in our own backyard. In our families, in our communities. We barely notice because we are too selfish and caught up in our own lives and ideas in the sky. We pretend not to notice because it is not as glamorous to get our hands and feet dirty in the ordinary. 

But that’s where it really is. That’s where Love is needed the most. 

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Consecration, Destiny, The Voyage

The Road Not Taken

Someone once told me that nothing ever happens like you plan for it to. I should’ve listened. It would have saved me so much heartache. I had so many notions and dreams of my own – all these plans for what and when, and how and who. And o the strife and confusion that happened in this little heart of mine. There were moments when I fought when I should’ve rested, and moments I drew back when I should’ve fought. In hindsight, I really didn’t know any better though. I had always just done what I thought was best at the time.

But that is what happens when you strive after selfish little dreams that aren’t His.

Unrest.

Because He holds me to my vows of being completely His and not my own, everytime I start to build castles that aren’t His, He steps in to fight me. Mostly gently, but sometimes with much fierceness (how great and terrifying those moments, I can never forget).

But this is the path I have chosen – His will and His story, above mine, now and forever. I am not saying that there are not woeful nights when sighings overtake my heart and I wistfully yearn for the things that could have been had I chosen another path. There are. So many of them. Even so, I no longer wish to strive for petty dreams, even the big ones, because every dream that isn’t His is ultimately rendered petty, no matter how good and fulfilling they seem to appear at first to the undiscerning human spirit.

And such is the life I will live. The one of always choosing His will, His dream, and His story above my own. No matter how painful. No matter what it costs me. And it has cost me a lot, yes even now, even in my tender youth.

“Occasionally, weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face. Trust God. And embrace the life you have.” // Piper 

Surprisingly enough though, there is a fulfillment that comes with giving yourself over to a cause higher than yourself. It is deeper than anything I’ve ever known. When you die to yourself so that you can say yes to God, the strangest peace will overcome you.

And perhaps there is a place where His dreams and my own can meet. Perhaps there will still be an unraveling of a life so much more beautiful than what I could have ever planned for on my own.

Is He not a good Father after all? He is. I know His heart.

So I say yes to all His ways.

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Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, 

And sorry I could not travel both 

And be one traveler, long I stood 

And looked down one as far as I could 

To where it bent in the undergrowth;          

Then took the other, as just as fair, 

And having perhaps the better claim, 

Because it was grassy and wanted wear; 

Though as for that the passing there 

Had worn them really about the same,         

And both that morning equally lay 

In leaves no step had trodden black. 

Oh, I kept the first for another day! 

Yet knowing how way leads on to way, 

I doubted if I should ever come back.         

I shall be telling this with a sigh 

Somewhere ages and ages hence: 

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— 

I took the one less traveled by, 

And that has made all the difference. 

– Robert Frost // The Road Not Taken.         

 

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