Journal entry July 5, 2018
It has been some time since my last journal entry. Sometimes I want to give up writing in my journal altogether. I am embarrassed of my thoughts, dreams and all my questions. But I realize that I need to go back and reread my spiritual journey to help me remember because I (like all Christians) am cursed with “spiritual amnesia”.
A few weeks ago I watched the Ten Commandments movie with Penelope. There was a scene when the children of Israel were up against the sea and the Egyptian soldiers were on their other side ready to attack. God opened up the sea for his people to cross, and in the film they ran across holding all their belongings. Some, with the weight of their possessions stumbled and fell, some dropped things and ran back to grab them, meanwhile the soldiers were racing toward them in their chariots.
It seemed so burdensome to me to watch this scene but it reminded me of how I am so like them! In my haste in life I hold onto things; my earthly treasures, hopes, desires, my pride, things that bring me comfort and here I am; crossing the sea or the flooded river Jordan or escaping my enemies.
Coincidentally at the same time I am reading a book; studies in the book of Joshua, my dad gave me called Victorious Christian Living by Alan Redpath.
Here’s a few excerpts from the book that really struck a chord with me, Alan writes;
A few years ago in England at one of our great yearly missionary meetings, a missionary returned from China was giving her testimony. She said that before she went out into the mission field a friend of hers said to her, “what on earth are you going to bury yourself in China for? You’ll never stand the climate, you’ll be dead in six months.” Cheerful advice to give a missionary! But the missionary turned to her friend and said, “my dear girl, I want you to know that five years ago I died. When Jesus called me to China, I bowed my head at the cross and died to everything except God and China.”
And I happened to know that this girl died to the possibility of a husband, a home, children, to her family, comfort, pleasure, luxury, all of which were within her grasp.
Now, I imagine that many of you have visions of some great project that you are going to do for God, but you are always planning a scheme and thinking out a method by which you can win souls to Jesus. Very good, but it is only second best. God‘s best for you is to die! For God has nothing else whatsoever for the most refined, educated, business man or woman, or on the other hand, the most profligate sinner. He has nothing for any of us, out side of Christ, except judgment and death; it must be Jesus only! The thing that God is calling on some people to do, people who want to do big things for him, is to die with Jesus.
What does the cross mean to you? It would be well to pause and ask ourselves that question. Before God raises his people to victory, to the glory of his kingdom, he takes them down, down to the bedrock depths of Jordan. He asks them to be willing to die, for, said the Savior, “except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abide it alone but if it die, it bring it forth much fruit.” John 12:24.
Let the Holy Spirit apply this question to your heart: “have you died with Christ?” Have you died to your reputation? To your point of view? To your self-esteem? Died even to some of the precious normal, natural things of life, but which are not God‘s will for you?
[After the Israelites crossed the river Jordan, they reached a place called Gilgal] Gilgal is a place of resurrection, but it is resurrection only in the measure in which it is remembrance. It is life only in the measure in which it is death. It is victory only in the measure in which I have been humbled. It is triumph only in the measure in which I have gone down with the Lord Jesus to the grave.
My spiritual amnesia takes over...
This morning I was in our office looking for something and I came across a notebook from a very pivotal time in my spiritual journey. It was a notebook from a class that Jason and I took at our church we attended right before we left Egypt... errr um I mean California. I strongly felt that God did not want us to leave California until we had taken this class. It was called Rooted and God used this class and the group members in it to strengthen us spiritually for the big departure.
I flipped through the notebook and saw my own writing on the inside cover. I wrote these words at the very last day of the class ...