A dear friend sent me an encouraging text on the “seek” and “knock” verse. The Greek of seeking and knocking is a verb form called present imperative. This means that Jesus was telling us to keep on knocking and keep on seeking. The wealth of friendships in my life is overwhelming. When I study God’s Word, God reminds me of words spoken into my life by others. He connects it all and deeply touches me.
Since May, 2016 a message was spoken to me–
Keep Moving Forward.
Forward movement keeps us hopeful and, according to Jesus, a practice we should hold true. Keep on seeking! Keep on knocking! This perseverance builds our faith, and God can work in our living forward more than he can in our shiftless indolence.
It’s August 12, 2016. God is still using this message in my readings and prayer time. Closing out Colossians, Paul reminds us to pray diligently, stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude. Paul, from prison, is reminding us to “make the most of every opportunity”. Paul, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, wrote Colossians from prison. He was in prison for telling others about Jesus. Stop and think about this. God’s power and strength were so evident in Paul’s life that God could use him to write the book of Colossians from prison. Prisons in that day were much different–shackles, cold, no lighting, no rules about how to treat a prisoner. Yet…….somehow…..
Keep Moving Forward.
One of his last requests? “And, oh, yes…Do your best in the job you received from the Master. Do your best.”
As I close out Colossians, the next books are 1 & 2 Thessalonians. The Message introduction:
The way we conceive the future sculpts the present, gives contour and tone to nearly every action and thought through the day. If our sense of future is weak, we live listlessly. Much emotional and mental illness and most suicides occur among men and women who feel that they “have no future.” The Christian faith has always been characterized by a strong and focused sense of future, with belief in the Second Coming of Jesus as the most distinctive detail. (The Message, p. 1631)
Sometimes when we read God’s Word we place the stories and happenings in a category of “long, long ago and far away….” We believe in the presence of the Holy Spirit, that His Word is living and active, and that He lives within those who invite Him to abide.
Do you believe that Jesus is still working beyond the stories we read in the Bible to accomplish His Kingdom? Or, Do you live in a sense of a lull before the Coming?
There is no lull or stagnation in the work of Jesus.
We are to “continue living forward in taut and joyful expectancy for what God will do next in Jesus!”
You and I are no different from Paul, John the Baptist, or the disciples. They had a different work in a different time.
Jesus is STILL working.
What will God do next in the name of Jesus in your life?
Keep. Moving. Forward.
I love watching Michael Phelps swim. His story from depression, thoughts of suicide, and the enemy trying to convince him that he had no future to being rescued by Jesus is compelling.
In the immediate aftermath of that DUI arrest, he cut himself off from family and other loved ones and “thought the world would just be better off without me . . . I figured that was the best thing to do — just end my life.”
That’s when a friend came to his rescue: former All Pro linebacker Ray Lewis, whom Phelps considers a kind of “older brother.” Seeing the hopelessness and despair in his young friend, Lewis, an outspoken Christian, told him, “This is when we fight . . . This is when real character shows up. Don’t shut down. If you shut down we all lose.”
Lewis convinced Phelps to enter rehab and gave him a book to read while he was there: “The Purpose-Driven Life” by my friend Rick Warren.
The book changed Phelps’ life. Within a few days, Phelps called Lewis and told him “‘Man this book is crazy . . . The thing that’s going on . . . oh my gosh . . . my brain, I can’t thank you . . . enough, man. You saved my life.’”
As Phelps told ESPN, Rick Warren’s book “turned me into believing there is a power greater than myself and there is a purpose for me on this planet.”
A rock bottom experience
A friend who reached out
A book written that has changed the world
A life rescued
That’s God doing, creating, and working through Jesus. Jesus is right here in this moment. He is loving on you. He adores you. There is no pause button, or rewind. Your mind can do these things, sort of. Jesus? Always there. Always working. Always loving.
What is even more mind-blowing…….
God’s word says that He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is timeless. You can hit rewind and lament, but God’s love is perfect and always working. You are pursued ONLY by his unfailing love and goodness.
Take action today! Are you struggling with addiction of any kind? Consider reading The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren. Call today for counseling or rehab. Michael did not do this alone. He was vulnerable enough to confess, seek help, and do the work.
Do you struggle with low self-worth or depression? Get in God’s Word and keep moving forward in great joy that He will never leave you, nor forsake you.
Praying for you…..