Heart Thoughts - Journey Music

 "Simon, Simon, satan has asked to sift you as wheat. I have prayed for you Simon that your faith may not fail." Luke 22:31-32....Do not let your failures define you. They are not how God measures you. In fact, they are how the enemy wants to measure you; that's why he asks to sift you. Don't trust his measurement. Trust Jesus. He has prayed for you." Chris Tiegreen

 

I wonder just how much attention we pay to this conversation between Jesus and Peter? Jesus spoke these words to Peter before he was to deny Him three times. We know that. What we so often miss is that satan's desire to sift him was not refused. It was allowed, and in the allowing, Peter failed....terribly. Yet his failure was not final, and in the next verse Jesus says to him, "And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." In our walk, our journey with Him, failure will happen. It never need be final, and it certainly must not define us. Those who are His are on an extremely perilous journey, filled with traps and snares all along the way. He has never promised that they would not be there. Indeed, He allows them. Yet in their midst we can take heart in the truth that He has prayed for us to come through them all in victory. A final victory that can be ours even if we have in some or multiple points, failed Him. His prayer is not that we just sail through life problem free, but that in the journey, even if we should stumble and fall, He provides grace, strength, and perseverance that we should get up, press on, and finish the journey....in Him.

Mark Batterson said that sometimes, our lives may seem like Paul's, filled with "shipwrecks and snakebites." Shipwrecks and snakebites allowed by Him. Shipwrecks and snakebites that the enemy means to destroy us with, but that He means to use for good. The devil meant to kill Joseph in his prison cell. He meant to destroy the ministry and work of Paul, Peter, John, and all the apostles and followers of Christ many times over. All suffered hardship, setback, and "shipwreck and snakebite, " but all went on with and in Him. They finished the race....in victory. And so can we. So must we....even if we find ourselves today face down in the mud.

As I contemplated all this while driving yesterday morning, a song by the Jesus movement group Dogwood played on my CD. It simply stated that he would sing his "journey music," to all his fellow travelers on the way, especially those who felt they could not go on. That is what we who are His are to be doing as well. The ones who have been sifted yet found Him totally faithful and more than sufficient, can sing the journey music of victory to those being sifted right now. Do our lives sing such journey music? Are they singing it now?

There is one other element of the sifting that we are so often unprepared for. We may understand shipwrecks and snakebites. Killer storms and mighty earthquakes. But what happens when we are seemingly adrift on a motionless sea of glass....going nowhere at all, and with no end in sight? In this we are sifted as well. In such a place, the temptation to give up may be the strongest of all. Yet, if we will listen, we will hear the journey music. If not from voice of a fellow traveler, than most assuredly from the heart of His Spirit. The journey music of the Kingdom. Journey music that will take us all the way home...to and with Him.

Blessings,
Pastor O

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