It goes without saying that things are heating up in the world. We have wars and rumors of wars. We have false economic stability with certain people making millions while economic disaster is hanging over the head of the world. In America we have a government gone wild and a media that cannot be trusted with even telling us what time of the day it is.
Things are moving so fast that many feel like they are on a roller coaster ride that won't stop. It seemed like fun the first 30 seconds but now the heart and head can't take any more thrills and uncertain free falls.
What about the Christian in all this? What are we to think and feel in all this chaos and uncertainty? There are many “growth areas” and “growth stages” within the life of a Christian. But there is a place that one can go in the Lord that the believer sets his face like a flint and in his heart he settles the issue once and for all. It is the place called “I can’t go back”.
Isaiah 50:5 ESV The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward.
Isaiah 50:7 ESV But the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
THE PLACE CALLED: "I CAN’T GO BACK"
We know from studying the Scriptures that many believers will fall away from the faith, (2 Thess.2:1-3, Matt.24:10-13). However, there is a place and a price to pay to get to the place where we become disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ and we know that we can’t go back to the world or the ways of old Adam.
The place called "I can't go back" is not a secret place that is hidden by our Lord. Although one who think so because it is seldom spoken about and even less practiced among believers. I guess then the only right thing for me to do as a Pastor would be to reveal the Scriptures describing the place.
In the Scriptures we will see the place and the price of the place. If we settle this in reality of our inner most man we will set our face like a flint before the Lord and nothing or no one will be able to cause our heart to faint away. Then we are in the place of "I can't go back".
Luke 14:26-27 ESV "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. (27) Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:33 ESV So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
We cannot lose what we do not have or own. If we have it or own it and we place great value on it, then it will draw our heart away so that we don't lose it. There is no room for anything else when we are cross bearing and living in the place of "I can't go back."
If we cannot find the place of "I can't go back" then I only have three words left to say...
'REMEMBER LOT'S WIFE".
Trials are never pleasant within themselves and sometimes difficult to process. Each trial carries its on degree of mental, emotional, financial, physical and relational pain, whether it's a personal sickness, the death of a loved one or some other personal trial. In facing trials we should do so like anything else, and that is we should begin with the end in mind. What should we expect to be changed in us on the other side of the trial?
The end result of trials should be that they produce faith, purity, Christ-likeness, and steadfastness within us. The path of trails is never easy to follow. This is the path that our Lord Jesus Christ calls all of His DISCIPLES to follow. This is the path of true OVERCOMERS. First I want to say that there are no shortcuts. We all have faced the same things, are facing the same things, or will face the same things. There is nothing new under the sun. However, some will fall away from the faith because of the trials, tribulations, and persecutions.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13 ESV (12) Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (13) No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 ESV (9) What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. (10) Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"? It has been already in the ages before us.
We live in a society that tells us to get rid of pain and discomfort as soon as possible. We have a pill for almost anything that can attack the body, the mind, or the emotions. It is only “natural” to want to escape discomfort. But in life there is no real way of escape discomfort. Many have fooled themselves by wrapping their pain and discomfort up in a package of drugs, alcohol, sex, work, entertainment, family, or anything else that can used to “MEDICATE” the body, emotions, and thoughts.
Trials will come to the saved and to the lost person. Trials come to those who are Children of the Most High God and trials come to those who are children of the enemy. Our Lord Jesus said that God causes the rain to fall on the righteous and the unrighteous.
With that I can only leave us with this thought. ANYONE CAN COMPLAIN, IT DOES NOT TAKE TALENT TO COMPLAIN: we are called to REJOICE in and through our trials. We need to trust God that we stand through the trials so that we grow in faith, instead of seeking temporary relief as we seek to escape the trials. My new book "FAITHFUL?" addresses how to stand fast in the coming trials. Jesus was about to leave the disciples to go to a cruel cross to die. He spent a lot of time, which is recorded in John 16, preparing the disciples for His departure. The two areas that He keyed in on with the disciples were; (1) That they would not fall away from the faith and (2) That they would not be overcome with a sorrowful heart. Click link to order your copy and learn how to walk as an overcomer. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1650184034/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0
James 1:2-3 ESV Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, (3) for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV (16) Rejoice always, (17) pray without ceasing, (18) give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Romans 5:3 ESV Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
2 Timothy 2:2 ESV and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.
The role of true Biblical Leadership is not to see how big of a ministry one can obtain, but to locate, train, and release leaders to take over the ministry in their areas of influence.
What purpose is it to train and raise up spiritual leaders if they are not allowed to lead or have not been given a place to lead?
It has always been my goal and model in life to "Give my life away for Christ," and to "Give my ministry away to others, who have been found faithful."
Our Lord Jesus Christ taught the 12 for 3 and half years and then turned the most important ministry, doctrines, teachings, and eternal lifestyle over to 11 people. Here we are today to talk about it. The 11 did a pretty good job in developing the next generation who trained the next generation.
I remember going into specialty shops that sold very expensive fine China. There were signs everywhere asking people not to touch the merchandise. There were also signs everywhere that said, “You break it, you buy it”. It was a reminder to us by the store owner that the contents of the establishment were of great value and that for those who were just looking around, should be careful doing so.
This is a great picture for me concerning the precious things of our Lord that He has entrusted to my care. Being faithful is “being dependable, trustworthy, true and believable”, but it also means to “handle with care”.
I have moved many times across the USA and Germany. In fact I have lived in Korea, Virginia (twice), Texas, Colorado, North Carolina (twice), Nevada, Florida (five times), California, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. Most of those times I packed my own belongings and moved myself. With each move I can hear my wife at some point saying, “Be careful, I am trusting that you packed those things correctly”. She was counting on my faithfulness to do the right thing.
We are called to be stewards of the gifting, the talents, the possessions, and the callings which the Lord has entrusted to our oversight. I call hear His call, “Be careful, and be found faithful”. For all the Elders or Pastors in ministry I want to say that we are to be careful and be found faithful stewards with the precious lives that the Father has placed in our hands.
1 Corinthians 4:1-2 ESV (1) This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. (2) Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.
Luke 12:41-44 ESV Peter said, "Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?" (42) And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? (43) Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. (44) Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.
The Lord is looking for the faithful man who will teach a faithful man who in turn will teach a faithful man. The Apostle Paul was a faithful man. He in turn taught Timothy who was a faithful man. Paul told Timothy to teach faithful men who will tech faithful men.
2 Timothy 2:1-7 ESV You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, (2) and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (3) Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (4) No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. (5) An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. (6) It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. (7) Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
It is obvious that being faithful is a major priority with our Lord. It is sad that faithfulness is a trait that is so lacking within the body of Christ, which reveals the need for believers to become Disciples. I firmly believe the Scriptures teach if we are faithful in small things we will get larger things, and if we are faithful in another man’s field we will receive our own field.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.