September 12, 2014 - Serious Struggles

When you are doing what you believe God has told you to do, be prepared for what happens next.


But keep in mind—you can’t prepare for what happens next. This is especially true when that broad, smooth path suddenly becomes a rocky, narrow precipice.

If you end up on a ledge by yourself, many in the church will question the choices you’ve made to put you there. But if your location on that lonely, steep, gravel-covered edge of the world is where God put you, there is no better place to be.

My Christian friends who speak of Godly service in terms of comfort zones often surprise me. The very concept of a comfort zone is foreign to Scripture.

The idea of a God-authored course being the smoothest path is an American concept. I have seen it nowhere else in the world.

But many contemporary American evangelists preach from the pulpit that if your path is filled with trials and roadblocks, then turn away, because God will not give you a road to travel and then fill it with distractions and obstacles. Those adhering to that philosophy are sadly deluded. This is not borne out in Scripture.

For years, the apostle Paul was imprisoned for his faith and outspoken sharing of the Gospel. But in his letters to the early church, rather than apologize for getting himself thrown into jail, he had the audacity to rejoice and see it as God’s hand upon him.

When writing to Ephesus from prison, Paul wrote:

“I am rich and blessed with more blessings than I can even count.” (Ephesians 1:3)

When writing to Philippi from prison, Paul wrote:

“I can rejoice at all times and I can be content in whatsoever state I am in, even when I am in prison.” (Philippians 4:4, 11)

Writing to Colossae from prison, he wrote:

“Christ is everything I need! Christ is my Life!” (Colossians 2:10 and 3:3)

To Philemon (in Colossae) he wrote from his cell:

“Lord, I need to get out of here so that I can start serving the Lord again!”

In society today, we would probably visit Paul and feel sorry that he hasn’t repented from a “Hot-headed, doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut” lifestyle that got him arrested. After all, what good can a man do from his jail cell?

It all comes down to this; if you’re on the path God chose for you, you may be with others or you may be alone. You may be in a frightening place, or a comfortable place. You may wonder at times if the voice you’re listening to is God, since Satan likes to tell you it’s not.

But if that ledge seems precarious, remember that it isn’t a goat standing beside you—it’s Jesus.