When making an earthly journey we have a destination to reach. A long journey can involve passing through cities, tunnels, maybe traffic jams at times, or other restrictions along the way. The beauty of the countryside can be a refreshing, calming experience after the stress of traffic congestion in a city. Knowing you are travelling in the right direction of your destination, it makes sense to enjoy the journey.
Compare the above with our spiritual journey. It began at our new birth in Christ and continues until we pass from this earth to our heavenly, eternal home. Our destiny is sure and steadfast, but our earthly journey consists of multitude joys mixed with trials of faith, as our heavenly Father uses all circumstances to teach us His ways and conform us into the image of His Son. The important thing is to enjoy the journey. When clouds cover the sunshine of God’s smile and I lose the awareness of His presence, stop considering the greatness of the difficulty, but look to the greatness of our God. The clouds are but the dust of His feet. His promise stands sure that He will never leave nor forsake us. As the song goes, “Feelings come and feelings go, but feelings are deceiving. My warrant is the Word of God, nought else is worth believing”.
Travelling forward on our spiritual journey we will encounter resistance along the way. Satan hates our fellowship and relationship with the Lord and ever seeks a foothold to trip us up. He will use circumstances and other people to persecute us and destroy our enjoyment of the journey. Only as I keep my eyes on the Lord, confident that He is Lord of all my circumstances, will I continue to travel through the trial, assured of His ability to continue to make a way forward for me. When trials and difficulties come my way, it is vital to get God’s perspective on them and allow Him to guide me through the passage, using them to form another measure of the stature of His wonderful Son in me. The resurrection life of Jesus Christ lives and flows through me when I don’t resist Him. I shipwreck my life when I refuse to surrender my will to Him, resulting in gridlock, going nowhere, on my journey. It can be likened to being in a broken down vehicle stuck on the hard shoulder of the motorway, watching the traffic zooming past. Breakdown! The only way out is to get on the hotline to heaven for a rescue truck! When you are going nowhere it is impossible to enjoy the journey.
As our journey continues with the Lord and we go deeper with Him, persecution will surely come. “The servant is not greater than his Lord” Jesus said, John 13:16. Jesus was persecuted and hated by the religious people of His day because of the truth He declared. His light revealed their sin. Persecution can be likened to God’s “income tax”. If we are being persecuted we need to be assured it is for righteousness’ sake and not for our own foolishness.
Truth in all it’s fullness is the glory of God and the glory of God is found in the face of Jesus Christ, (2 Corinthians 4:6). Jesus was the full expression of truth when He walked this earth. When God gets a person to walk in truth, God will vindicate the truth that man stands for, (not the man), because truth is considered precious to God. In Him is no darkness at all.
If I identify with much truth there will always be conflict. If I identify with little truth, there will only be little persecution. If I have no truth, then I have no persecution. The more truth I embrace and declare, the more persecution will follow, just as it was for our Master……but that did not deter Him from His mission. There will always be someone who will want to stop our enjoyment of the journey, they are just a pawn used by Satan, as that is his life mission.
I must not be pompous and arrogant thinking I am better than others, but if I choose to walk in a truth God has revealed to me, He will enable and equip me not only to walk in His paths, but also to enjoy the journey. Joy and peace are the hallmarks of His presence, independent of any trial or circumstance. The abundant life Christ has promised and gives, is a life worth living. To know Him is to love Him.
Enjoy the journey!