He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. – Isaiah 53:3. Do you think today is any different? In the Book of Luke, Jesus tells us, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” – Luke 9:58.
In my own walk with the Lord, though freeing and truly glorifying, I am fully aware of Paul’s words, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3.
Jesus tells us, “He that forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be my disciple.” As well as, “if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Paul understood the level of sacrifice that’s required, with being a follower of Jesus Christ. And, despite his level of knowledge and understanding, he also knew that his walk with the Lord wasn’t over and wasn’t completed, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”
We are told by Jesus Christ, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48. In our own walk and mastery of self, how is it that we are to obtain perfection? Jesus says, “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.” Also, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.” We see clearly that there is a struggle of our flesh warring against the Spirit. Paul speaks upon this battle, “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
How does one fully let go of the things that are holding us back? How do we let go of everything? Paul continues in Philippians 3 with, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.”
What is it that defines who we are? What is it that refines us as a person? Is it not our suffering, and endurance? “We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly… That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Romans 5. I recommend reading the entire chapter.
As a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, have we done all that we can do to stand? Are we doing as He did? Are we walking as He walked? Are we following Paul’s example, and the examples of the Apostles and Jesus Christ? We are told by The Messiah not to worry about tomorrow, not to worry about the cares of life, and to focus all of our attention on today, on Him and His ministry. We truly don’t know if the Lord will call us Home, even tomorrow. What if He did? Have we done everything that we could?
“We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”
I am sitting here pondering, as I follow along after the Lord, knowing that His return is near. I see myself in a holding pattern above the world, only awaiting His arrival. While doing so, I receive an email with this heading, “Time Is SHORT Here And You Don’t Want To Miss Out.” I have often considered throughout my adulthood, where is the Body of Christ, as existed in Biblical times? Where is the Church that walks as He walked, and teaches as He taught. I have tried the religions, and found them to be liars. I have tried the “prophets,” and found only the same. I have tested the spirits, and one thing rings true throughout them all. If we don’t know the words of Jesus Christ, even all of them, how can we deceive ourselves in to believing that we know Him?
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. – Isaiah 53:3. “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” – Luke 9:58. I pray that we all dwell in the words of Jesus Christ. Because only in Him do we have life eternal.
Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner