Deuteronomy 5:33. Stay on the path that the Lord your God has commanded you to follow. Then you will live long and prosperous lives in the land you are about to enter and occupy.
And let’s make this path one of adventure and joy…….
After Easter we took a journey with Jesus and learned to rely on Him. I want to go on another journey, but this time let’s have a real personal adventure – let’s go deeper, further than we have ever even imagined we could go. Let’s take an adventure to win the ultimate prize.
1 Samuel 4:5. When all the Israelites saw the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord coming into the camp, their shout of joy was so loud it made the ground shake!
Many people love to say, “Life is a journey. But life is so much more than that; life is an adventure, never knowing what is around the corner. And on another perspective, “Life is a journey, never knowing just how we get around the corner.” Now, that IS an adventure!
Let’s think about our spiritual life…we are taking a trip and depending on what we decide will become the destination of this trip. The trip is the opportunity to create the destination and that is the prize.
How better to realize and experience the presence of God. Yes, letting God guide you and be your leader, your companion each moment you spend on this adventure, this path. This, then, is the path to the prize.
You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. Psalm 4:6-8
Here we are in the present and living in the moment. If we choose to, we can and will sense the miracles and we can become a part of the great adventure. But we have to live in the NOW to partake of this.
By living in the Now we are allowing ourselves to join with God; and there is one way and only one to continue on the adventure and that is to be one with God. Daily, we need to meditate and pray for the continuing commitment to be one with God, eliminating the separation from HIM. Then we can enjoy the now and the trip because we are in the presence of God. And what an adventure this becomes.
(Lord, I pray you put Your arms around me and let me be one with You, let me join You Now. Let me walk with You)
Ten Commandments are found in the Torah and Exodus. We all know the first commandment: “I am the Lord thy God which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt and out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
The Commandments are the promises of God.
We must make God our One and Only and let no other come between us – that there are no other gods, not money, not a person, not a thing, not a church (for it is a business and a building and a belief systems), NOTHING. We focus on the total awareness of the presence of our God, our Lord. There can be no separations between us and God. He is the one Presence and the one Power – the only Power and Presence.
Jesus explains that His joy is full and that with Him and following Him, this joy will be fulfilled in us. Our adventure now, as we realize, encompasses joy. Now, we are on the path of joy.
Luke 6:23. When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven.
We discover as we move through this adventure that we can experience the presence of God – moving, acting, being, right there with us. How exciting and fulfilling and joyful is that?!! The moment to moment awareness of God becomes the adventure.
Yet, as human beings our adventure will encompass resistance and that will slow down our greatest breakthrough to the realization of the presence of God within this wonderful place.
Resistance is something we do not like. It makes us anxious and feeling powerless. We feel separated from God, and we feel like we are on a slip and slide so we try to push ourselves up and out, to gain our balance by pushing against it. Sometimes, we feel evil pushing us.
Now, we can extentthis resistance this through denial, refusal to confront it, beginning to justify it, hopping on to the blame frame. We can blame anything, anybody, any situation, even the weather. And where does that lead us? It leads us out of the adventure and into the quandary of the either/or dilemma. It is either joy or sadness, hate or love, good or evil, war/fear or peace, in the presence of God and aware of it or out of the presence. Then we are nothing.
We invented this divide, this canyon by which we present our resistance. Can you see that it is really nothing, just our minds making excuses for our resistance, our fear. We must see instead with the focus of the standard of God and draw unto Him.
There is only one presence and one power, and it is equally and evenly present. It is God and it is good. There is one God. “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one God.” Deut. 6:4
There are either joy-producing experiences and thoughts or non-joy-producing experiences and thoughts. Your path can be joy-producing or non-joy-producing-it’s up to the walker of the path. Your adventure, your path is totally determined by you, the one walking on the path. Only you walk on your path. Only you experience your adventure and it can be whatever you choose it to be. Why choose to go it alone with no focus, no relationship with God.
Just to make this adventure fun and a little more insightful, I’d like to quote to you from Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet.” These little pronouncements are all part of the adventure in joy producing paths. To become one with God, these statements can not be ignored. These can end the resistance if we read, meditate, and think strongly about each one. The italicized (__) are my comments to add to your deliberation.
“And one of the elders of the city said, ‘Speak to us of good and evil. (Commitment and resistance)
“And he answered, ‘Of the good in you, I can speak, but not of the evil. For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst? (Resistance)
“‘Verily, when good is hungry, it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts it drinks even of dead waters.
“‘You are good when you are one with yourself.
“‘Yet when you are not one with yourself you are not evil. (nor joyful, one with self, one with God)
“‘For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only a divided house. (sad and true, divided in many ways)
“‘And a ship without rudder may wander aimlessly among perilous isles yet sink not to the bottom.
“‘You are good when you strive to give of yourself, yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself.
“‘For when you strive for gain, you are but a root that clings to the
earth and sucks at her breast. Surely, the fruit cannot say to the root, ‘Be like me, ripe and full, ever giving of your abundance.’
“‘For to the fruit, giving is a need as receiving is a need to the root.
“‘You are good when you are fully awake in your speech; (and aware of the Truth)
“‘Yet you are not evil when you sleep while your tongue staggers without purpose.
“‘And even stumbling speech may strengthen a weak tongue.
“‘You are good when you walk to your goal firmly with bold steps; (your adventure, your journey)
“‘Yet you are not evil when you go further limping.
“‘Even those who limp go not backwards. (great truth)
“‘But you who are strong and swift, see that you do not limp before the lame deeming it a kindness.
“‘You are good in countless ways, and you are not evil when you are not good.
“‘You are only loitering and sluggard.
“‘Pity that the stags cannot teach swiftness to the turtles. (swiftness not always the way)
“‘In your longing for your giant self lies your goodness, and that longing is in all of you. (longing for the Oneness with God is our goodness)
“‘But in some of you, that longing is a current rushing with might to the sea, carrying the secrets of the hillside and the songs of the forest.
“‘And in others it is a flat stream that loses itself in angles and bends, and lingers before it reaches the shore. (what a great analogy)
“‘But let not him who longs much say to him to longs little, ‘Wherefore are you slow and halting?’
“‘For the truly good ask not the naked, ‘Where is your garment?’ nor the houseless, ‘What has befallen your house?'”
To sum it all up: 1 Peter 4:13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.
Isn’t that wonderful? We have this opportunity to look at where we are on this adventure of wandering in these strange and amazing ways. Whether we stop or whether we forge forward – is not evil. We may not reach our destination as quickly, our adventure may take a twist and a turn, but we are not evil, and we are not lost forever. Our resistance lasts only as long as we give it our focus.
But let’s focus on the Good and start moving again. Let’s resolve the resistance, not deny or excuse it away. What we do is invite God to be part of it all. A spiritual person is a person of positive actions.
So let’s get these positive actions moving forward. The longest, most difficult way back to the “Father’s house” is the way of experience. The short-cut is in being receptive and obedient to the leading of God in thought, word, and deed; putting God first in your life, becoming one with Him.
When we renew this faith in us that God can transform these points of resistance and fear (the struggle of good and evil?), we can then go on moving forward and put action into the awareness of the presence of God. At this point the adventure begins to be exciting, fruitful, and rewarding. That silly old fear/resistance is leaving us, and we are feeling the presence of God within.
We can have lots of fun with this and open up more avenues of our lives to let this be our own true experience. On the path, when we meet resistance, we can welcome it as an opportunity to transform the old belief system, and have another place where we can allow God to be a very present experience in our lives.
Jude 1:24. Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.
The adventure never ends until we are at the end of the path, walk into the light, and sit on the lap of our Lord, the Holy One.
God bless you!