Is This It?
      Not long ago I heard a genteel southern lady in her early 60's tell of how she had felt led of the Lord to start up a ministry in her home for recently released female prisoners as a means of helping them transition back into society as well as ministering to their souls.  She said that the beginning years of this ministry were extremely difficult, far beyond anything she had expected.  She had always believed that the Father had a destiny for her, but found herself asking Him, "Lord, is this it?"  I can identify with that question.  I'll wager you can as well.
     I've seen several articles of late detailing the great number of pastors who are just up and leaving the ministry. A number of reasons are given, exhaustion, spiritual burnout, depression, and a good number besides.  Ultimately, they feel they have no other choice but to step out, to resign. I make no judgement.  As a minister, I know well all those factors and a few more besides.  More, I don't believe one has to be a "professional" in the Kingdom to have those same type of feelings as concerns life in and for Him.  There are so many who want to resign their current place in life, and all that goes with it, their marriage, their job, their family, even their walk with Him.  Turning aside, turning away can so often seem like the only option, the only choice left to us.  Yet there is another, if we'll but allow Him to open our eyes and hearts to it.  In the midst of the pain, the disappointment, discouragement, even despair, He can do it.  He will do it.
    The wonderful evangelist Vance Havner once shared a message that was directed to pastors, but I think speaks to all who find themselves wanting to give up in the midst of their walk with Him.  He said that we would choose one of three options; the first being just out and out resigning, giving up, walking away.  He said that many will do just that.  He said the second choice will be made by an equally great number; they'll stay where they are, putting on a good face, acting like all is well, carrying out their day to day responsibilities, but all the while, they are dying inch by inch each day.  Then there was the last group, much smaller than the first two.  These he said would not resign, but re-sign.  They would re-sign their names to the covenant of grace, written in His blood and sealed at the cross.  A covenant that guarantees the power to live the resurrection life He gives us.  His signature on that covenant never fades, but ours can and so often does.  When that happens he said, we need to re-sign it once more, put our names to it anew, and anew, receive the fullness of His life in living it out day by day.  When we do this, we find, as Dudley Hall said, that He not only lives in us, but for us.  As Paul said, the life we live is Christ, and that is a life nothing can touch.  We can so easily forget that, but He never does, never will.
     Paul wrote in Romans 8:29, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined, to be conformed to the image of His Son."  This is the true destiny of all who are His.  Everything in this world, and all the power of hell is set against us in seeing it come to pass in the lives of His people.  We may ask in the valley of death, "Is this it?", but we will find, if we hold on, if we look once again at that precious covenant signed in His blood, and at our name that is affixed there as well, that yes, it is, as He uses that place to bring us ever deeper into life in the image of Christ.  And we are not resigned, but re-signed to the covenant, and the journey we travel in it.  Destiny fulfilled.

Pastor O 
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   May 2019   
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