VIDEO “If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, You’re Going To End Up Somewhere Else” – Vision and The Reality

…to those who are…called to be saints… —1 Corinthians 1:2

Thank God for being able to see all that you have not yet been. You have had the vision, but you are not yet to the reality of it by any means. It is when we are in the valley, where we prove whether we will be the choice ones, that most of us turn back. We are not quite prepared for the bumps and bruises that must come if we are going to be turned into the shape of the vision. We have seen what we are not, and what God wants us to be, but are we willing to be battered into the shape of the vision to be used by God? The beatings will always come in the most common, everyday ways and through common, everyday people.

There are times when we do know what God’s purpose is; whether we will let the vision be turned into actual character depends on us, not on God. If we prefer to relax on the mountaintop and live in the memory of the vision, then we will be of no real use in the ordinary things of which human life is made. We have to learn to live in reliance upon what we saw in the vision, not simply live in ecstatic delight and conscious reflection upon God. This means living the realities of our lives in the light of the vision until the truth of the vision is actually realized in us. Every bit of our training is in that direction. Learn to thank God for making His demands known.

Our little “I am” always sulks and pouts when God says do. Let your little “I am” be shriveled up in God’s wrath and indignation— “I AM WHO I AM…has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:14). He must dominate. Isn’t it piercing to realize that God not only knows where we live, but also knows the gutters into which we crawl! He will hunt us down as fast as a flash of lightning. No human being knows human beings as God does.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

“When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes.  The Highest Good, 544 R


“If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, You’re Going To End Up Somewhere Else” | October 4, 2020

Strange Comfort

Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see. 2 Kings 6:17

The verse on the card Lisa received didn’t seem to match her situation: “Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:17). I have cancer! she thought in confusion. I’ve just lost a baby! A verse about angel soldiers doesn’t apply.

Then the “angels” began to show up. Cancer survivors gave her their time and a listening ear. Her husband got released early from an overseas military assignment. Friends prayed with her. But the moment she most felt God’s love was when her friend Patty walked in with two boxes of tissues. Placing them on the table, she started crying. Patty knew. She’d endured miscarriages too.

“That meant more than anything,” Lisa says. “The card made sense now. My ‘angel soldiers’ had been there all along.”

When an army besieged Israel, a host of literal angels protected Elisha. But Elisha’s servant couldn’t see them. “What shall we do?” he cried to the prophet (v. 15). Elisha simply prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see” (v. 17).

When we look to God, our crisis will show us what truly matters and that we’re not alone. We learn that God’s comforting presence never leaves us. He shows us His love in infinitely surprising ways.

By:  Tim Gustafson

Reflect & Pray

What’s your first reaction when you receive bad news? When you endured a crisis, how did you view God in new ways?

Loving God, thank You for the complete reliability of Your presence. Open my eyes so that I may see You in a new way today.

Remaining Faithful in Persecution

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.

Early Christians were arrested, tortured, and even executed for refusing to worship the Roman emperor and his gods. Perhaps Caesar would have spared their lives if only they’d have been willing to bow down before him and deny Jesus. Today, circumstances aren’t so dire for most of us—especially in countries where Christianity is widespread. Even so, we struggle with external pressures to downplay or deny our faith and may try to rationalize our choices. After all, for his own safety, even Peter denied knowing Jesus (Luke 22:54-62).

Like the disciple, we’re far from perfect. But even though Peter’s faith wavered, the Lord knew he would play an important role in growing the church (Matt. 16:18). In a similar way, we too have the opportunity to repent and participate in the work Jesus is doing to build His kingdom.

Think About It

  • Consider what life was like for early Christians. How would you respond if you faced such pressure to deny Jesus?
  • Why do you think the Lord chose Peter to be a leader even though the disciple would deny Him?

The Bible Still Stands!

“Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” (Psalm 119:160)

Very few books survive very long. Only a few survive past the first printing, and science books especially get out of date in just a few years.

But one book is eternal! The Bible stands! Even its most ancient chapters are still accurate and up to date. Furthermore, despite all the vicious attacks of both ancient pagans and modern humanists, it will continue to endure. Jesus said: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33). Even after everything else dies and all the bombastic tirades of skeptics and secularists are long forgotten, the Word endures. “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8).

Note the oft-repeated testimony to this same effect in Psalm 119. In addition to the comprehensive promise of today’s text, this great “psalm of the word” also contains these affirmations: “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven….Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart….The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting:…Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever” (Psalm 119:89, 111, 144, 152). Founded forever, inherited forever, settled forever, lasting forever! God is eternal, and His Word was true from the beginning.

People may, in these last days, arrogantly think they can “take away from the words of the book of this prophecy” (Revelation 22:19), but such presumption will only “take away [their] part out of the book of life,” and the Bible will still stand. “The word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Peter 1:25). HMM

Keep the Strings Tuned

Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

—1 Timothy 4:14-15

I have been forced to admit that one of the things hardest for me to understand and try to reconcile is the complete aimless-ness of so many Christians’ lives….

Probably the worst part of this situation among us is the fact that so many of our Christian brothers and sisters have unusual gifts and talents and capacities—yet they have not exercised this discipline of girding up the mind and spiritual potential in order to make the necessary progress in the Christian life.

Why should a pastor have to confess total failure from year to year? Why should he have to go from one church to another, starting something, trying something—only to admit failure again?

I don’t think he has ever really girded himself. He has abilities but they are not disciplined. He has a fine mind but it is not girded up. He is like a man with a treasured Stradivarius violin that has never been put in tune. He has never taken time to sit down and tune that priceless instrument, therefore he gets no melody and harmony from it.   ICH142-143

Lord, help me today to gird myself in the Holy Spirit’s power; to discipline myself to faithful service; to gird my mind to excellence. Amen.

Needed: a Radical Shift

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…unto him be glory.

—Ephesians 3:20-21

The truth received in power shifts the bases of life from Adam to Christ and a new set of motives goes to work within the soul. A new and different Spirit enters the personality and makes the believing man new in every department of his being.

His interests shift from things external to things internal, from things on earth to things in heaven. He loses faith in the soundness of external values, he sees clearly the deceptiveness of outward appearances and his love for and confidence in the unseen and eternal world become stronger as his experience widens.

With the ideas here expressed most Christians will agree, but the gulf between theory and practice is so great as to be terrifying. For the gospel is too often preached and accepted without power, and the radical shift which the truth demands is never made. POM020-021

Anyone can do the possible; add a bit of courage and zeal and some may do the phenomenal; only Christians are obliged to do the impossible. WOS012

The Sanctity of the Family is Paramount

Acts 16:30-34

It was Felix Adler who described family as “the miniature commonwealth upon whose integrity the safety of the larger commonwealth depends.” Pope John XXIII said simply, “Family is the first and essential cell of human society.” The breakdown of marriages and, therefore, families has a cumulative effect on the larger society.

Our families shape our value systems, hand down a religious heritage, create our work ethic and model how we view marriage and raise children. It is because of this that Salvationists commit themselves to uphold the sanctity of marriage and family life.

We speak of “the family of God” as an image of the Church, and of a “bridegroom and his bride” as a picture of Christ in relation to His Church.

The greatest evangelical potential is found in communicating the gospel through the family. Paul knew this when he promised the Philippian jailer:

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household” (Acts 16:31).

By viewing marriages and families as a “sanctity” to uphold, we are saying that there is a holiness about these relationships. They are a gift from God and must not be profaned.

Our families are the communities of faith to which we first belong. Devotions, mealtime prayers and bedtime benedictions bind families together with spiritual strength. The International Spiritual Life Commission calls Salvationists to “restore the family to its central position in passing on the faith, to generate resources to help parents grow together in faithful love and lead their children into wholeness, with hearts on fire for God and His mission.”

In a world of shifting values, it is good to be reminded that the witness of a family is not passe. As Shaw Clifton writes, “Happy and successful marriages outnumber those that eventually break down. Marriage is as popular as ever.”

Fathers have a significant impact upon how their children will perceive God the Father, and mothers are without equal in influencing children to faith. Marriage and family life have a sanctity that must be protected.

If ever there is a fight worth fighting, this is it! This is the battle for the home. Let us fight the good fight with all our might.

Richard Munn, The War Cry