2 Corinthians 5:6-10 Easy-to-Read Version
6 So we always have confidence. We know that while we live in this body, we are away from the Lord. 7 We live by what we believe will happen, not by what we can see. 8 So I say that we have confidence. And we really want to be away from this body and be at home with the Lord. 9 Our only goal is to always please the Lord, whether we are living here in this body or there with him. 10 We must all stand before Christ to be judged. Everyone will get what they should. They will be paid for whatever they did—good or bad—when they lived in this earthly body.
The Word of God for the Children of God.
Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.
“Life is a Journey, Not a Destination”
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.”
While each one of us on a journey in life, that journey does lead to a destination – either eternal life in heaven, or eternal torment in hell.
But our devotional text from 2 Corinthians 5:7, focuses on the journey.
Paul wrote to the young, heavily divided and struggling Corinthian church and said, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
Whether we are a believer in God, or we do not believe in God, or we are right now struggling to believe or to continue to believe, every individual must now choose which path their journey will take – the path of life or the path of sight.
Walking by faith, living by believing in what will happen as opposed to seeing what will happen is like our leaving our homes, taking journey with a blindfold on, “walking in some direction” and trusting God to get you He’s leading you.
But if you leave your home, look at and pick your own direction, you walk by sight where you want to go, then you see the path and each step along the way.
You see what is before you – you see the potential obstacles, the potential risks and the potholes and the pitfalls – you see them and then automatically avoid.
But, how does all that change if you cannot see where you are going?
If you cannot assess the quality of the terrain and the environment you travel?
You can’t see the raised portions of the side walks which present a trip hazard?
You cannot see the puddles of water sure to get your socks, shoes and feet wet?
Where are the curbs you need to stop at to avoid walking into oncoming traffic?
Walking by what we can see is easy and such listed obstacles and threats to our physical health and spiritual wellbeing are otherwise so very easily avoidable.
Paul understood well this analogy on the Damascus Road when he went from walking by faith and fury after the new followers to sudden blindness courtesy of the risen Jesus when Paul encountered, experienced the very brightest light.
Suddenly and without explanation and with no time for defense of self, he was blinded by the incomparable light of the risen Jesus.
Now he could no longer rely on his vast knowledge of himself, his own survival skills to live and visually walk his own path and road from one town to another.
In an instant he was full of all the self confidence in the world, then reduced to that anxious and fearful someone who needed help with literally everything.
From immediate instant confidence into an immediate, instant helplessness.
He had no idea when or if ever he would regain his sight.
He had to figure out what all that change meant to the rest of his life.
And standing there on that Damascus Road, the risen Jesus left him with no instructions, no road maps, no guide books, no walking sticks, no nothing!
His companions took him to someone’s home and there Saul sat – in Prayer and in Fasting until some response was to come from somewhere, somehow.
The operative thing we each need to see is the choice of responses Saul had available to him and how he how fast and how instinctively he chose prayer.
We read nowhere in the Word of God Saul went into wild, flailing, hysterics.
His first instinctive response was to the spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting.
How about our own most instinctive, most immediate response to any crisis?
Praying and Leaning into God’s Equipping
2 Corinthians 5:7 Easy-to-Read Version
7 We live by what we believe will happen, not by what we can see.
It is always disheartening to feel as though I have reached a significant point in my journey only to ask, “Now what, Lord?”
God has put a desire in my heart to write for Him which I cannot calm.
I wrestle and fight, clawing for any direction or insight or wisdom not my own.
God tells me to listen, watch, do the next thing, and wait.
He reminds me not to worry about the future, but to wait on Him.
Obediently, I try my best to research, learn, write, pursue, listen, follow …and wait.
I choose to trust Who is leading me, even when it feels like I am always walking with blinders on, I have no walking stick to use and I can’t see and cannot know and cannot watch the results of my efforts unfold before me and my own eyes.
God gave me the desire to write and keep right on writing, but it is up to me to raise up every morning to pray and to fast and to study, to put all the work in.
A work He promised to equip me for!
Isaiah 55:8-11 Easy-to-Read Version
People Cannot Understand God
8 The Lord says, “My thoughts are not like yours.
Your ways are not like mine.
9 Just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways,
and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.
10 “Rain and snow fall from the sky
and don’t return until they have watered the ground.
Then the ground causes the plants to sprout and grow,
and they produce seeds for the farmer and food for people to eat.
11 In the same way, my words leave my mouth,
and they don’t come back without results.
My words make the things happen that I want to happen.
They succeed in doing what I send them to do.
The road and the devotionals can be can be long and precarious, and often we don’t know the destination … what God is going to do with them, but God does.
He will equip us when we don’t feel capable or worthy of His calling on our lives.
Our calling is to do the work He has assigned us, wait for Him to clear the way.
I am learning to take each day as it comes, trusting Him to lead and guide my steps and my writings.
I try to plant my boots and my roots in securely into His ways and His truth.
I am too often overwhelmed with all the roads I could veer off onto, but He quietly reassures me with each effort that He alone will guide me through.
I feel dwarfed among thousands of Christian theologians, commentators and writers, but He gently tells me He’ll help my voice reach who it is intended for.
It may not be the masses; it may only be intended for one.
It may be for someone tomorrow; it may be for someone years down the road.
Philippians 2:12-13 Easy-to-Read Version
Be the People God Wants You to Be
12 My dear friends, you always obeyed what you were taught. Just as you obeyed when I was with you, it is even more important for you to obey now that I am not there. So you must continue to live in a way that gives meaning to your salvation. Do this with fear and respect for God. 13 Yes, it is God who is working in you. He helps you want to do what pleases him, and he gives you the power to do it.
God did not call me nor anyone and everyone else into something big only to leave us hanging and struggling on the side of some ditch to figure our life out.
He is not reliant on our human ability to pick the right road.
He works within us.
It is our calling to fully rely on God instead of ourselves.
It is our calling to fully relay on our Savior Jesus instead of ourselves.
It is our calling to fully rely on God, the Holy Spirit instead of ourselves.
Even when the road ahead of us is full of seen and unseen fog, seen and unseen potholes, pitfalls, stumbling blocks we can keep our both eyes fully on Jesus.
Psalm 121 The Message
121 1-2 I look up to the mountains;
does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God,
who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.
3-4 He won’t let you stumble,
your Guardian God won’t fall asleep.
Not on your life! Israel’s
Guardian will never doze or sleep.
5-6 God’s your Guardian,
right at your side to protect you—
Shielding you from sunstroke,
sheltering you from moonstroke.
7-8 God guards you from every evil,
he guards your very life.
He guards you when you leave and when you return,
he guards you now, he guards you always.
Even if we cannot nor ever see the words of the Psalmist before our eyes;
We can 100% trust Him with each day, task, and notion to do things for Him.
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Lord, You have placed a desire and calling on my life. I have heard Your voice and know the direction You want me to go. However, I am overcome by discouragement. I can’t see the road ahead and need Your strength to keep moving forward. I need Your sight, Lord, and Your leading. Forgive me, Lord, for taking hold of things that do not belong to me. Forgive me for striving in my power to try and manifest things that were never intended for me. Help me to see clearly what You have for me. I surrender my calling to You and place it securely in Your ever more wise, ever more capable hands. Reveal and inspire me with Your Holy Spirit. I trust You to equip me for all You want me to say and to do. You did not call me to do Your will because of my ability but because of my willingness. Take my worry and strife and turn it into glory-filled work. Give me discernment when I start to go down the wrong path.
I rebuke the enemy and the distractions that he is placing in my path. I pray for strength against laziness or complacency. I come against the lies that enslave me, telling me I am not good enough, I don’t have what it takes, or that I will never get to where I want to go. I stand firmly on the truth and promise that You are with and will never leave me. I surrendered all my heart’s desires and ask You to lead every moment of every day. Thank You, Jesus, for Your everlasting love, and the many treasures of life You have stored up for me in the heavens I have never, ever seen.
Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.