The ancient path to victory today…

Henri Nouwen’s writings have helped me more than any other since I took unwell. I am grateful for his insight into the Passion of Jesus Christ: the word Passion means “undergoing” and is related to the word “passive.”

Have you ever noticed that Jesus’ glory burst forth at the point where he was betrayed and bound? From that point in the story onwards there is a change. Prior to this Jesus was the one who did things: he healed, he delivered, he taught, he took the bread and likewise the cup, he handed over the sop to Judas, he took a basin, girded himself with a towel and knelt and washed his disciples feet. But now he is the one who has things done to him, all of them unjust. He is the one who is betrayed, wrongly accused, flogged and crucified. He could have called legions of angels but he did not and would not, for his delight was to do the Father’s will. Jesus knew this was the beginning of the Father answering his prayer to glorify him that he might glorify the Father. At the precise moment that his Passion, his undergoing, his passivity begins, His glory is revealed in a mighty way. He announces that He is “I AM” and the glory of God is made manifest causing all around him to fall back, fall down.

This day you may be undergoing things you would prefer were different. Can you believe as you walk trustingly and obediently to the God who is working out His will in your life, even using the wickdness of man and the hatred of the evil one to do so, the glory of God can break through in you in a way visible to all?

Did you pray a prayer for the glory of God to be revealed in your life? Well Jesus prayed that prayer too. But remember how the asnwer unfolded for him…

Perhaps you and I will need help from heaven this very day to receive this truth and live in its victory.

God Bless

Kenny

Addiction to sadness?

Was greatly helped by God through a simple word from His Word this morning. Yesterday was a glorious day, weather wise, as warm and bright as mid summer . I was thanking God for all His blessings as I walked on a beach, when a familiar shadow began to settle on me. I am not sure if it comes from being a pastor for many years and hearing so many stories of people’s struggles and pains or if it is just an awareness of the injustices that so many face throughout the world, but from time to time the thought of human pains seem to settle upon me in a way that makes it difficult to continue rejoicing: it would feel selfish, unfeeling, to continue with happiness, enjoying the beauty of the moment.

To cut a long story short, I asked God to help me. Today I picked up David Strutt’s book, “Sanctuary” and turned to the back pages to find the Scripture reading for the day. It was Acts Chapter 9. I read this word: “Meanwhile…” My prayer on the beach was answered. I was helped. Acts Chapter 8 tells us the story of a wonderful move of God in Samaria and a conversion on a desert road that opened up the possibility of the gospel spreading to another nation, namely Ethiopia. Glorious spiritual sunshine! Then the word, “Meanwhile…” At the same time as the glorious events in Samaria and a desert road, there were still murderous threats being breathed against the church.

“Meanwhile’ reminded me of the “Already here but not yet” of the Kingdom. Blessing and struggle, deliverance and waiting, well, they are like parallel tracks on the bigger scale and in the bigger scene of the worlds’s happenings: they seem to go hand in hand. There is always the “meanwhile” of conflicting experience to my own happening somewhere. Indeed, even in our own life, there can be an experience of “meanwhile” happening; great blessing in one aspect of life but great struggle in another area at one and the same moment. There is almost always a “meanwhile” going on. It is the way it is…

I resolved this morning, to live the moment with God and receive God’s good gifts with joy and enjoy them fully. Sunny days, both in the ordinary sense and in the spiritual sense, are good  and should be enjoyed fully and without guilt. If for some reason you are someone who feels for the struggles of others in an acute way, remind yourself you are still allowed to know joy and laughter. Don’t get addicted to sorrow and sadness. When happiness from God knocks at the door, don’t push it down. Allow it in. Let it run riot in every room and rush after it and play with it in the sun.

At times our “meanwhile” will be “Out of the depths I call to Thee…” at other times it will be, “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.” It is the same for others. Live your “meanwhile” well, and help others to live theirs too as you have the opportunity. Remember though, you are not their Saviour and they are not yours.

God bless

Kenny