I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. [Philippians 1:20]
IT all starts here. Before you can go any further you have to understand this one main point. Ready? From this point on EVERYTHING COUNTS.
Everything you do, do as a servant of God. Everywhere you go, go with God at your side. Every person you meet, greet them as a child of God. You have to be willing to give the whole sha-bang of your being to this journey, or else you’re just reading words. Got that? The one thing you have that no one can ever take away from you is you. No one can ever take it—but you can give it away. That’s hard. But once you give all that you are to God, you will begin an adventure like nothing you’ve ever experienced.
OZ says: An overweening consideration for ourselves is the thing that keeps us from that decision, though we put it that we are considering others. When we consider what it will cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He does not now what our obedience will mean. Keep to the point; He does know. Shut out every other consideration and keep yourself before God for this one thing only—My Utmost for His Highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and for Him alone.
JUST BETWEEN YOU AND GOD When you pray ask God to use all of you—all your talents, all your mind, all your heart. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally. Ask God to use all of you so that no part of your mind, body, and soul will go unused. Ask—and then listen.
Abraham…obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. [Hebrews 11:8 ]
TOSS the map. It won’t do you any good on this journey. Journey? This is more like an adventure. Pack light ’cause you don’t know what you’ll need. You are venturing out on the 100 percent grace of God. You don’t get to know where until you get there. You don’t know what you’re going to see until you see it. Is that a scary way to travel? For some, yes. For others, it’s the only way. On this particular road trip it’s essential.
OZ says: Each morning you wake it is to be a “going out,” building in confidence on God…Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is. Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you go out in surrender to Him until you are not surprised an atom at anything He does? Suppose God is the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him—what an impertinence worry is! Let the attitude of the life be a continual going out in dependence upon God, and your life will have an ineffable charm about it, which is a satisfaction to Jesus. You have to learn to go out of convictions, out of creeds, out of experiences, until so far as your faith is concerned, there is nothing between yourself and God.
JUST BETWEEN YOU AND GOD When you close this book—say a prayer and give something to God. Start small. Simply hand over one thing that’s been on your mind for a while. Give it to God, then stop stressing about it. It’s in God’s hands. He may not solve it for you right away. He may show you how to solve it on your own. But it’s God’s now. Let him help you with it.
Clouds and thick darkness surround him… [Psalm 97:2]
THESE are more than just words. Jesus was more than just a really nice guy who told nice stories about nice things. There comes a point where the words become real, and then the very real sense of just who this man was settles into our minds. It’s like a storm that’s out there someplace and we are just beginning to hear the thunder or smell the wind. We come up with all sorts of ways to deal with our understanding of Jesus. We paint pictures and write songs. We create wonderful visuals of Jesus standing with his arm around our shoulder. Jesus as our friend is only the beginning. There’s so much more. The sheer awesomeness is a light so bright it could knock us to the ground. (That actually happened to a few people in the Bible.)
OZ says: The only possibility of understanding the teaching of Jesus is by the light of the Spirit of God on the inside. If we have never had the experience of taking our commonplace religious shoes off our commonplace religious feet, and getting rid of all the undue familiarity with which we approach God, it is questionable whether we have ever stood in His presence. The people who are flippant and familiar are those who have never yet been introduced to Jesus Christ. After the amazing delight and liberty of realizing what Jesus Christ does, comes the impenetrable darkness of realizing Who He is.
JUST BETWEEN YOU AND GOD Offer a prayer. Maybe you can even get on your knees for this one. See him as more than a buddy. He is your only God. Did you create a universe; put the stars in place; dig out the space for the oceans and mold the mountains? When you close this book and pray, remember that you are praying to the one who did all these things.