Our Witness Post

My road to freedom has involved walking with God. I mean literally walking WITH God along a road near my house—just me and God along Apple Road.  As I walk, I usually take verse cards with me. I pray . . . I cry . . . I talk. 

Colossians 2:6-7 is written on one of those verse cards:

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” NASB

This verse reminds me what it takes to walk with God, to abide with Him.

Apple Road is a quiet road except for the one neighbor in a blue pickup who drives up and down several times a day.  I’m sure he sees me, mumbling to myself with tears running down, holding little white cards in front of my face. Well, I’m glad I can give the blue pickup man something to talk about at the local cafe! 

After walking my path along Apple Road hundreds of times, I was surprised one day when I see spotted something new . . . something I hadn’t noticed before. (Something besides the blue pickup.) On that day, with Colossians 2:6-7 running through in my head, I turned the corner on Apple Road and was given a sign. Not a vision of wonder, an actual SIGN . . . just a little white sign on a fence post.

Witness Post, it read, and below that, the words, Please do not disturb nearby survey marker.  For more information write NE Dept. of Roads . . . . (Oh, and the blue pickup did drive by as I was scrambling into the ditch to get a closer look at the sign!)

Somewhere under the dirt and gravel or maybe in the asphalt at the corner—I’m not sure because I can’t see it—a marker has been set permanently.  It’s a fixed marker, so that if anyone ever needs a reference point, if they need to set a course, if they need to get their bearings . . . they go to the survey marker.

 The Witness Post reminds us of that fixed point.

And Colossians 2:6 reminds me of my fixed point: “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord . . .”

There was one time in the history of time on earth when a survey marker was set to determine life and death.  One man—God’s Son—drove that marker of Truth by giving up His own life as a sacrifice for the sin of each and every person. Never before or since has anyone with the power and privilege of freedom submitted himself like that. 

As Jesus’s enemies taunted Him,

          as the Roman guards mocked Him,

                   as the thieves on either side of Him derided Him

                                       and as the forces of Satan plotted to destroy Him . . .

 the host of heaven waited to rescue Him. 

With one whispered prayer, He could have called the most spectacular and glorious rescue squad ever seen.  Every part of Jesus’s physical being should have driven him to save himself.  In saving Himself, Jesus could prove His power . . . His detractors would be silenced. 

But . . .  in dying, He would become a sacrifice for the sin of the world.

                                    Jesus could save himself OR He could save us.

                                                   He had to choose.

For those of us who have reason to feel rejected or abandoned . . .  

            for those who are unloved or lonely . . .

                   for those who are just tired and stressed out . . .

                                for ALL of us who live bound rather than free . . .

                                                           know this:    

                           On that day, Jesus chose YOU!  He CHOSE you.

When you accept that—when you receive Him as Lord and King in your life—a marker of truth is set in your life.  You begin a relationship with Jesus, the One who chose you. No one can dig it up or pull it out.  Jesus Himself is the authority to hold you steady, to give you a new course in life.

God’s Word is our witness post. It reminds us that a survey marker has been set in our lives.  When we read the Word, God’s Spirit confirms what is true about who God is and who we are.

 “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.”

Pause for reflection:

 How often do you spend time alone with God and His Word?

 What markers has God placed in your life as a witness of His work within you?

 How does knowing Jesus chose YOU affect the way you view yourself?

 

Worship Everywhere

You might be interested to know that worship really comes as naturally to our spirits as breathing comes to our bodies.  You were made to worship—to ascribe worth to something.  In fact, you are probably worshipping something or someone right now.

 The challenge comes in focusing our worship on the only object deserving of it—God.

 Most of us have places where we find it easy to worship God:

            In a beautiful setting surrounded by God’s creation;

            In the stillness of meditation and quiet times alone;

            In a group, praising God with music and passion;

–places where we are best able to say – “God, You’re bigger and greater than anything else in my life!”

Think of such a  place for you and tuck it away for a moment while we look at Matthew 28:16-20 . . . a passage that takes us to perhaps the greatest worship moment in history. 

  • Jesus has risen from the grave.
  • The covenant promise of God to redeem mankind has been satisfied. 
  • Death is conquered; sin defeated.
  • Jesus has invited His dearest friends to a great meeting on a mountain top in Galilee.

What could be more inspiring than that?

 16 Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. 17 The moment they saw him they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally. 18 Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: 19 Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 20 Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”  (The Message paraphrase)

Did you notice the phrase tucked in the middle there? “Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.” What a truly honest thing to say about the greatest worship service ever. 

And yet . . . what’s wrong with these followers of Jesus?!!  Here’s Jesus right in front of them in His glorified body, not as a mysterious figure, but as their companion and friend.  They’ve joined Him on a mountain top, in a place where Jesus has, in the past, performed miracles and spoken great words of truth.  How could they NOT worship in that moment?

Still, the passage states they were “not sure . . . about risking themselves.” What could these disciples have been afraid of risking?

               Their lives?   Maybe, but they’ve lived under Roman occupation and were accustomed to life being a risk every day.

         Their reputations?  After travelling with Jesus for three years, they’ve long since given up their reputations.

No. I think what they were afraid to risk was another disappointment.  They were afraid that what they’ve expected from Jesus all along will not turn the way they planned . . . again.  And they’re right.  Jesus is never who we expect Him to be, is He?

When I read through this passage a few weeks ago, I’ll admit, I identified with the ones who held back.  All too often I’m not sure about worship, about risking myself totally. 

  • Even though my living Savior has given His Spirit to dwell inside me—
  • Even though I have the assurance that I’m God’s child—
  • Even though God’s Word is written out in detail for me to read every day—

I hold back –reserving part of my heart–because I don’t want to risk being disappointed.

But notice how Jesus responds. Undeterred, He commands & commissions everyone, the worshipful and doubtful alike, to go out and train and instruct everyone they meet.  Finally, He leaves them with this great hope:

“I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” 

When I take Jesus at His Word, I worship . . . realizing that He’s bigger and greater than anything else in my life . . . . And my spirit breathes with eternal life.