Our human lives are meant to be a growing experience, with each challenge and blessing meant to change us, and as we absorb all that happens to us, we are still learning and growing until we die. The same is even more true with Christians, because the Lord has a plan for each of us to live out that will take us—if we follow Jesus—to the fulfillment and purpose of our lives. Each step along the way, whether it is challenging us or blessing us, has a purpose in the long journey that is our lives here on earth. The more we are willing to follow Jesus through thick and thin, the more we can surrender to what comes to us, the more we will grow into the vision that God had for us at our conception.
It all starts with our believing that Jesus is the Son of God and giving ourselves over to loving and following Him. We really have no idea where He would lead us, but we are willing to go along with His choices for us. We can use the Apostle Paul as our model of how we are to live this life. It’s not that each of us will be shipwrecked and jailed and harassed during our journey with Jesus, but that we will be willing to follow Him wherever He would lead us. Each of us will experience the challenges that best prepare us–when we adapt to them and learn from them—to fulfill the purpose God has in mind of each of us. There will be challenges as we take up our crosses, and there will be blessings, but the number one blessing that each of us will experience is that God is always with us, supporting us, protecting us, blessing us and carrying the burdens of our purpose. For our job is to follow Jesus, but the responsibility for our success with spreading His word and love and forgiveness in this world lies with the Holy Spirit.
Here’s how God explains how His word works in Isaiah 55:10-11:
“As the rain and snow come down from heaven,
and do not return to it without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Then He describes how carrying His word to the world will affect us in v. 12:
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,
And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
His purpose is fulfilled as He desires it, as we work to bring His word to the world.
It’s not on us to be successful with His word; our job is to be obedient to Him. He makes sure that it is heard. In everything that we are called to do, the Holy Spirit is helping us, amplifying our efforts. And we can feel the blessing of doing His work and our gratitude, for following Him, for all of His grace and gifts to us. And we live in that grace and those blessings. The challenges don’t stop us, because we know He is at our side. The blessings don’t settle into our egoic minds; if anything, they make us more humble. We are changed forever as we follow Him.
- I am giving away a 10-week journaling guide to Jesus’s Two Great Commandments. If you are interested, email me at email@example.com and I will send it to you, free of charge.
- My latest books, “Called to Help the Poor and Needy” and “A Study Guide to the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount” are now in bookstores and on line. The first is about the more than 2,000 verses in the Bible which detail God’s instructions for caring for those in need. The second is a journaling/pondering guide to Jesus’s most complete sermon.
Questions to ponder over the week: Am I a believer in Jesus and do I follow His suggestions to me? Can I actually hear His “still small voice” in my mind? And obey them? Have I really turned my life totally over to Him?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who believe in and follow Jesus wherever He would lead us. May we surrender our lives to Him and be true to what He asks of us.
See more blog posts and offerings at patsaidadams.com.
Check out my other website, deepeningyourfaith.com for information about spiritual practices and more writings about the spiritual life. New posts every month. 3.14.22’s is entitled “Our Lives as We Follow Jesus.” Sign up to receive these as monthly emails at the website.