Where Does Real Courage Come From?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer Sale and Freebies

We Must Go
Reflections on Hebrews 13:12-14

 But I don’t want to.

Rather, sign me up for the days of revival. Those days when the Lord visits His church and everything comes alive.

The blind see. The lame walk. The lepers are cleansed. The deaf hear. The dead are raised up. The poor have the gospel preached to them. 1

And the Lord comes down.

Like He did in the days of Moses who went outside the camp. Breaking from the crowd. Breaking from the sin of their golden calf to seek the face of God. And the glory of God came down and the Lord visited His people.

Like He did in the days when He sent His Son to be with us and the people came from everywhere to behold His glory. To see His miracles. To touch His garment and feel the rush of eternal life coursing to every fiber of their being.

Like He did in the days of old when the Church was dead, formal, cold, devoid of the Spirit, and full of corruption, greed and evil practices. And the saints begged Him to come and fill His Church again with Pentecost fire.

And history records those moments when He did. He came down, like the great story of Aslan in Narnia, and everything came to life.

If this is what it means to follow Jesus Christ, sign me up. I’m in.

But don’t sign me up for other.

*       *       *

A man my age calls me and tells me to go with him.

I tell him I will because it’s the right thing to do. But I don’t want to. Of course, I don’t tell him that. I can’t. Because I know what he’s asking of me.

He’s hurting. Deep. There’s anguish in his soul. He’s done his best to handle it but he’s come to the end of his ability and he needs help.

“Will you go with me?”

I’ve been here before. I know this story. And every time I come here I remember my old bishop. He made me come here. He’d call me up and tell me a story of someone in need. In suffering. In pain. And that I was to go and be with them. In their heartache and grief. And not just for a moment.

“Will you go with me?”

Not a flyby. Zoom in. Put on a sad face. Stay a few minutes. Lay hands on the sick. Pray an incredible prayer of power, blessing and healing in Jesus’ name.

And zoom out.

He taught me to stay there. Not just stay there, but to go with them into their story. See the journey through to the end. Always.

“Will you go with me?”

And why, he’d ask? “Because that’s the story. That’s the whole story,” he’d answer. And on he’d go, telling me this is exactly what Jesus Christ meant when He commanded us to follow Him. “This is the road we go because this is the road He took. Never forget that. And never say you won’t go.”

So I went. At first because he told me to. And then because I knew it was the right thing to do. Never say no even though I always wanted to say different.

I don’t want to.

Sign me up for the other.

*       *       *

For the longest time, I thought they were two completely different roads. The road Moses took, outside the camp, which leads to glory, power and blessing.

And the dreaded other. The road the suffering take.

When I thought of Jesus, I only saw the Moses road. After all, He’s the One who leads us into the presence and glory of His Father. Both now and to come.

I didn’t understand it yet.

I didn’t understand that Jesus Christ brings both roads together. That because of Him, the road of suffering and the road to glory are one and the same. And He knew it when He broke from the crowd, forged a path out, turned to His disciples, like He does to us today, and told them to follow Him.

“Will you go with Me?”

He tells us it’s the only way to His glory. And if we wish to go with Him, certain things are required. We must deny ourselves and take up our cross. 2 At first I want to protest. “Come on, this is the road to His suffering. He’s on the way to the cross. It can’t be the road to the glory and blessing of God, right?”

“Will you go with Me?”

But I don’t want to. Not that road. “But that’s the story,” my bishop would say. “That’s the whole story.”

Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
Hebrews 13:12-13

We must go to Him. Outside the camp. Bearing His reproach.

“This is the road we go,” my bishop taught me, “because this is the road He took. Never forget that. And never say you won’t go.”

No flybys. Stay. Stay always. See the journey to the end. And why?

Because that’s where Jesus is. It’s where He always is.

“Will you go with me?”

1 Matthew 11:4-6
2 Mark 8:34

John 15:1-11, the Vine and the branches. "Is He everything to you?