Nearer the Cross!
Hold on! That’s what I heard just before I was pressed back in the seat from the rapid acceleration. I said I was ready for this. You told me I was ready for this. Here ‘this’ is!
As the heart races to the fevered pace of change, there is only one place that preserves and keeps us. It’s Nearer the Cross!
The employment front has been fairly stagnated despite submitting resumes for literally hundreds of job opportunities.
I remember back to my conversation with the Lord as I walked out of my office a little over two months ago.
Lord, here I am again. Yet more changes in store and the only thing I know for certain right now is that I want whatever you want for me.
I don’t know what that may be, but I do know, whatever it is, that it needs to be in your service regardless of who I find myself working for. I want beyond all else, to be the light and salt you call us to be, regardless of if I am familiar with my next task, or you are leading me into something new entirely.
I’ll leave it in your hands. Lord Jesus, you lead, I will follow. You’ve plotted this course for me and yes I am ready if you are. Amen
Then crickets, until this week, until yesterday.
I’m now flooded with a myriad of ‘possibilities’ ranging from the mundane to the ones that sound nearly impossible to accomplish. All these are compressed into a small span of time. Meanwhile, the bills pile up. I’ve prayed for a solution and now that it appears to be coming, I now wonder just how it is possible, to make it through this.
But He Doesn’t
Yes, the enemy plants doubt in our minds in challenging circumstances. Yesterday afternoon, with my head swimming in details and considerations, I was hearing ‘are you sure this is what you should be doing?’, ‘this isn’t possible!’, ‘what makes you think you can pull this off?’, ‘God would lay it out in a much neater fashion if THIS was HIS will!’, on and on.
I want to tell you something. When we are placed under enormous pressure and can not see the way forward for all the clutter that is surrounding us, we may not see that way and think that this is impossible to manage, God doesn’t see the impossible, He sees exactly where He wants us to go.
Yes, there may be false leads proffered by the enemy, but if we are open to allowing God control over our destination, we don’t have to know the entire route. For that matter, we don’t even have to know what the next step is until He makes that clear to us.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (CSB)
In All Your Ways Know Him
We don’t have to know. The only thing that we absolutely must know, is Jesus Christ. “Do not rely on your own understanding“. Now that is a relief!
There is a simple quote from Jesus that most of us have heard more than once, yet, I have to question just how much stock we put in it at times.
Yes, I believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, that those who penned the original texts were dictated every single word of it, from God’s heart to ours via the Holy Spirits direction to the authors of those 66 books that are the Bible.
If I believe that, then when I encounter these ‘situations’ where I can’t comprehend how I am going to get from where I am to where God is leading, I don’t have to see. I don’t have to because He does.
If He is my Lord and Master, then I don’t have to comprehend, perhaps for a season, perhaps not ever. I may see nothing but disorder in my path but He sees clearly every obstacle and challenge and has plotted my course through to the point He desires for me because I trust Him. I know Him!
When Jesus was talking about the difficulty that the rich man has entering the Kingdom of God, His disciples asked Him, if it was so difficult, then how could anyone be saved? Jesus responds with simply this.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Matthew 19:26 (CSB)
Man, you have not got a prayer of doing it! But with God, nothing is out of the question.
So as the day was ending yesterday, I found peace in all this confusion as God is beginning to provide the solution to my dilemma. My dilemma only because, even though I trust, I don’t trust quite as much as I should.
I believe the Word of God. That book isn’t just a book. It’s God’s own heart being poured out onto those pages so that we can know Him and come to Love and Trust Him with everything. Trust Him with our lives, our fortunes, our health, our very souls; we can trust Him.
It was never His intent, that we be fully autonomous. You see, if He is truly sovereign, if He is Lord, if He is Master and Savior, we must surrender our sovereignty to Him. Yes, He gave us free will. That free will can be a blessing or a curse. If we exercise that free will to Love God in response to His Love for us, this is the ultimate blessing. If we choose not to surrender to God and insist on going it alone, it becomes a curse of desperation and brokenness.
Nearer the Cross
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (CSB)
The nearer the Cross we stand the more distant the struggles of this world appear.
I mentioned earlier that I found peace last night, despite all this going on, and I did. I rested very well, considering the accumulation of issues by weeks end. Wrestling with the challenges that came up through this week, you would have thought that I would have had too many things occupying my mind to go to sleep.
But the song kept floating through my mind like a gentle wash, peeling away the dust and dirt of the day. It wasn’t long before I was in slumber. Then this morning, the first thing I heard was that song still floating through my now conscious mind.
Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain—
Free to all, a healing stream—
Flows from Calv’ry’s mountain
In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.
Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and Mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me.
Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day,
With its shadows o’er me.
Near the cross, I’ll watch and wait
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand,
Just beyond the river.
Frances J. Crosby
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, keep me near the cross, for there is a precious fountain, which is free to all, this healing stream, that flows from Calvary’s mountain.
Difficult to see the problems when we ‘know’ Him who makes our way. Jesus take me ‘Nearer the Cross’!