Monday, June 24, 2019
In March of 1975 the worst snowstorm I have ever experienced happened while I was living in North Dakota. It was Easter weekend, and my fiancé Denise had come home from college for the holiday. It started snowing on Good Friday, and by the time it was all done we had received over 40 inches of snow along with the famous winds of the plains, causing huge drifts that shut down the entire region for days.
I had not seen Denise for several weeks, and there was no way that I was going to stay at my home and not be able to spend some time with her, no matter what the cost. Her parent’s house was less than 3 blocks from mine, so I set out to walk over there. I put on my boots and snow pants and parka and hat and gloves and went out into the blizzard.
The snowdrifts in the streets were well over 6 feet deep, and they were not heavily packed, so my progress was slow and did not even resemble walking. It was more like stepping, sinking, digging, climbing, and sinking some more. Finally, after almost an hour, I arrived at her home, totally exhausted and covered with sweat. It was the hardest 3 blocks I have ever traveled, but it was made possible by the prize at the end.
If only we could apply the same determination to accomplishing the task the Lord Jesus has given us – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. If only we could have the same compelling of the Holy Spirit that Paul had so that no matter what the cost to personal safety, security, or secular success we would consider His purpose as supreme in our priority structure.
Acts 20:22-24 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”
We do have the same compelling of the Holy Spirit, but we may not have the same surrender of life that Paul had. It is possible that many of us do not have witnessing as the top item on our priority list of things to do today. Most of us have personal goals and timelines in mind. We have jobs, families, bills, and recreation to take care of today, and with the time that is left we may consider testifying to someone about God’s marvelous grace that makes it all possible. How sad, that we give mental assent to Jesus as Lord but live as though we are lord of our own lives.
Paul considered any pursuit of his own life’s goals as worthless and meaningless compared to completing God’s task for his life. Let’s understand that our task is the same as Paul’s. Maybe we are called to carry it out differently, not as missionaries or pastors but as disciples, but the task is the same – to testify to others of the gospel of God’s grace given to us in the Person of Jesus, the Savior of the world.
Let’s rethink our list of priorities for today.