Saturday, October 24, 2015
I don’t get the opportunity to preach very often and I would not call this preaching but it is a ‘holy’ rambling meant to encourage you on the journey you may be on in your quest to follow Jesus. The road you may be trodding might not be a desirable one if you are thinking of leaving your group or on the road of recovery from influences that had called themselves ‘the way’ but turned to be nothing more that perhaps ones’ personal vision of God and it replaced yours. Here Is a story of one who replaced his own vision for Another’s and in his life it was the right choice. The moral is it is okay to give up any man’s vision -your’s of someone else’s for His. No guarantees but perhaps the chance for a memorable life.
In the Counting House
When Jesus’ shadow crossed over Matthew, he spoke two simple words: 'Follow Me'. There was no retirement plan, 401K, or any guaranteed future. What followed Matthew from that time forward was that the road was never easy and mostly uphill but it was a trail of shimmering glory he followed and he logged his time with Jesus. What he saw, smelt, heard, felt and tasted prepared him for the sixth sense: ushered into a world of the eternal where he set his eyes , heart and will. He logged and traveled many miles to parts east of Jerusalem and took the message of who he followed and who permeated his life. At the end, it is said he died a martyr in an Ethiopian drama played out to the end. No doubt he was a founder of the Coptic churches in Africa when the One he followed called him home. Those churches are still alive today and their beliefs and writings are a look into the ancient past when the Apostle was among them.
Was Matthew’s life easy and victorious? Well of Paul’s commentary about his life is any inkling as to the life of Matthew, then it wasn’t easy or victorious in all practical and temporal perspective. But that is not what he was aiming for at all and that should not be our perspective either. There is a sixth sense most definitely and in the life the Holy Spirit has graced, it is more real and allows one to see farther, go farther and arrive at places they would not have planned or expected. We are put on a road to the Holy Mountain where the city of God and angels shines all the brighter with each step.
We can make the decision to stay in the counting house immersed in its culture and plodding along while others rule our life with their own version of the Sanhedrin using the law to rule and lord it over others. But if we can peer as Christ did, we see the humanity in them and allow ourselves to think that we are not be fashioned into their image but Another’s. Christ may be saying or has said already ‘Follow Me’.
If you have just heard the words, then you are at a point of decision and it is not an easy one. In my case, He literally dragged me off my seat metaphorically as Old Testament analogy of pulling the lamb from the lions mouth. Others still in the counting house gasped and said what a loss. In that process I lost all honor in the eyes of my family and friends and my ministry. Now, I look back and have no regrets. I was a brand plucked from the fire. In the years that followed up to the present time, the road has been more dark than light but I have pressed on because I no longer lead but follow wherever He leads. I no longer have expectations on this earthly life. But there is hope there and it shines brighter every day.
If it has been awhile since you heard His words to leave the counting house and you in fact did, then I am sure the road has been much like mine. If nothing else, this is a confirmation that you’re decision to get up off your ‘pallet’ and walk was the right one. It is the path of all those who escape the counting house. We are exposed, shipwrecked and beaten in a metaphorical sense but whether in the proverbial prison or cast into a raging sea, we will see the piercing light and the clear trail of the One who leads us on.
In either case, my prayer is the when you, as Matthew either look up and see the Man of the shadow now over you, you hear whispered perhaps the most beautiful words ever spoken or perhaps heard years ago and reminisce at this moment while catching your breath, you will have the satisfaction that you heard and acted on His word and that is the very purest definition of trust and more specifically: faith