Skip to main content

Where You Do Not Want to Go

“I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” John 21:18 NIV

The following verse indicates that this was a prediction of how Peter would die but Oswald Chambers uses it to discuss two stages in a believer’s life: The new believer who still determines her own course and the mature believer who has submitted her will and all of who she is, does, thinks and says to God.

Immediately before this verse, Jesus has just finished asking Peter for the third time if he loves him and, when he says yes, for the third time tells him to “Feed my sheep.” His words immediately following this verse are, “Follow me.” Could Jesus be saying, “Feed my sheep and follow me even though this will lead you to where you do not want to go”? I think so.

We live in an age of individual independence but Chambers says “We are built for God, Himself. … Since we became disciples of Jesus we cannot be as independent as we used to be. … He expects nothing less than absolute oneness with Himself.” I certainly can’t be one with Jesus if I’m going in different directions from him, can I?

I like adventure. There is something about facing the rarely done and/or the seemingly insurmountable and succeeding. One of my favourite things to do is to get into the car and drive for days on end, alone, through states and provinces: going places I’ve never been before, doing things I’ve never done before and visiting friends I’ve never met before. Although I grew up and live in the flat emptiness of Manitoba, I love the challenge of finding my way through the maze of highways and exits in places like Chicago, Kansas City and Dallas (I haven’t been to the east or west coasts of the US yet) and when I take a wrong turn I love the challenge of finding my way back to where I belong.

Following Jesus is such an adventure. Chambers says that God “will plant us down amongst all kinds of people and give us the amazing joy of proving ourselves ‘a living sacrifice’ in those circumstances.” We will find ourselves going places and doing things we would never have chosen on our own and discover the thrill of succeeding with the seemingly impossible.

Have you discovered the thrill of obedience?

Father, I want to go where you lead me and do what you tell me even though it often seems to go against everything I want. Please help me to remember always the joy and pleasure I have experienced in the past when I go your way instead of mine and keep me ever in your will.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Monogamous, Homosexual Unions--My Position and the Story behind it

I've been asked to be one of two participants at church each representing opposing views on the matter of monogamous, homosexual unions, moderated by the pastor.  In preparation, I have written the following.  In the comments, please do not post any vitriol--from either side. If I think any comment is hateful, I will delete it. Respectful disagreement or questions are welcome, however.















My Position and Values:
I believe that sexual relations between two people of the same sex is contrary to God’s will.I would like to say otherwise but I find nothing in Scripture that allows me to do so.BEING homosexual, having a longing or desire for someone of the same sex, is not condemned in the Bible.  We all have desires that are contrary to God’s will.  The sin occurs when we feed those desires, like Jesus talks about when he calls lust adultery (Matthew 5:28).Much cruelty to LGBTQ people has happened because of the stance of the Church. We have not acted with love, compassion and listening ear…

In My Prayer Room

Oh God
You surround me with your love,
with memories
of who you are
of what you've done
of promises you've made
of who I want to be
of who I am because of you.

You give me hope and joy,
peace and gratitude.
You convict me
and teach me
encourage me
and remind me
of what it means to follow you.












You listen to my prayers
and grant my requests
in your time.
You give me insight
and knowledge
and words to write
to share your presence
your goodness
your love
your admonition
with others.























You expand my love
to pray for friend and foe
near and far
family and stranger
people as pins on maps
clustered and scattered
who know you and reject you
for those in need
and those too full to need.


















You draw me close
and then release me
to bring you close to others
to serve
and love
and give
all I have received.

You fill my heart with joy
that warms
and glows
and bursts
into laughter,
song
and even dance.

You wrap me in your arms
and tell me
"You are mine"
with intensity that burns
and smoul…

What Is Separating me from the Promise?

This is the question Andy Wood asked us each to consider this morning at the end of his sermon and it hit me like a thunderbolt.

Imagine the Jordan River on the eve of the Israelites crossing it into the Promised Land.  The river was at flood stage, so it was moving quickly (even the Red River here in Winnipeg moves quickly during flood season) but this particular stretch of the river near Jericho is narrower than the rest so that as the rushing flood waters reached the point where the people were waiting--all two million of them--it became even more turbulent.  Anyone who's witnessed a flood knows that it doesn't just carry water; there is debris like fallen trees, parts of sheds and houses and perhaps even animals unable to escape the river's grab.

Back in the days of Abraham, God had promised the land of Canaan to him and his descendants but during the days of Abraham's great-grandson, Joseph, the whole family had moved out of the Promised Land to Egypt because of f…