Being from the awesome state of Missouri and the most excellent town of West Plains, I had the great privilege of traveling down asphalt highways and dirt roads while growing up. During my early driving years I would treat both road surfaces the same, until one fateful day when I was speeding down a very loose, dirt road, just outside of town. I was fishtailing down that dirt road, and not giving away any speed as I drove down a straightaway that was about a mile in length and then it happened. I encountered a curve…. This is where the asphalt road and the dirt road’s differences took shape. On an asphalt highway I would just brake slightly and power steer around the curve without slowing down. The dirt road demanded a much different way of doing things. As I approached the curve, I pumped my brakes to get my speed down to a more controllable speed and negotiated the curve, sliding a little as I went around it. As I came out of the curve I floored it and spun around one time and landed in a ditch. If I had just kept the same control I had going into the curve while coming out of the curve, everything would have been fine, but I didn’t and it caused a wreck. Fortunately there was minimal damage to my 1968 Mustang. I learned a good lesson that day about making choices in different situations. As I look back now I can see that my journey was the same, but the roads were different. I was still moving in the same direction, but the surface of the road was much more slippery and loose than the asphalt I had become accustomed to.
Jesus gave his disciples some great instructions about handling the journey He was sending them on. In those instructions He seemed to take away all the comforts of home like no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic, etc. In Luke 9:1-3 you will find his instructions for his disciples and it is pretty amazing how He forced them to be dependent on Him and His power. In fact, in verse 1 he says it all.. “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases.” In verse 2 he had two reasons for them going and they were “preach the kingdom of God and heal the sick.” It doesn’t mention the disciples looking at each other saying “Is he kidding?” because it didn’t happen. In verse 6 it tells what they did. “They set out…” Oh to have that kind of faith for our journey!! You can bet they had some good roads and some bad roads on their journey. When I say road, I mean the experiences that met them as they traveled forward for Christ. I’m sure there were some very easy roads they traveled, but I’m sure there were some very difficult roads as well. The thing that really made the difference for them was “they had the power of God!!” In fact, they were so bold and directional in their attempts at ministry he also told them whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.” So they were very sure of their direction and message going into the town and when they left, they didn’t spin out and crash because people rejected their message. They kept moving forward on their journey.
Our lives are much like their’s in that we have the great commission to go…go…go and we have been given the power through the Holy Spirit to go in God’s Spirit. Part of the going is believing God will take care of the details when you go and your mind and focus will be on the journey and not the side issues.
In Hebrews 11:6 the writer says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he will reward those who earnestly seek him.” When we step out on this journey God has sent us on He is on the journey with us. His power and his direction are there all along the way to help us. Our faith in Him is rewarded with His supply of everything we need. No spinouts because no matter what surface the road may be made of, he is there. Remember Phillip meeting the Ethiopian eunuch, and the conversation that followed? The eunuch became a believer and Phillip was at just the right place at just the right time. That is full testimony of God being there through the journey. A big part of Phillip being there was the Holy Spirit sent him there and then he continued on his journey. (Acts 8:36) We are all on a journey and God is on that journey with us, so our faith in Him being there to help us is vital. We must trust God and have faith that He is guiding us and empowering us on that journey.
Have you accepted your marching orders? Then now is the time to listen up and let God lead you on the journey he has planned for your life. Have faith and follow God and he will be there with you because he also is Along for the Journey.
The Pilgrimage continues….