Before we die

Psalm 73:23,24

As we ate supper at a fast-food restaurant we looked out the window to the cemetery across the street and I pointed out to Jason and Philip (just kids then) that people were just dying to get in there… bahaha, they thought it was funny then!

Speaking of dying…

“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.  You guide me with your counsel, and afterward, you will take me into glory.” – Psalm 73:23,24

I love the assurance of this Psalm

You have hold of my right hand (God’s care) v. 23

It is a wonderful image, a great assurance, that no matter what God has hold of us. There are lots of great examples of how God does this but none better than the story of Peter who steps out of the boat as recorded in Matthew 14:22 – 33. For even there, when Peter’s faith begins to wane, Jesus takes hold of his… HAND. Yes, the good Lord has us even when we feel pulled by doubt.

I think it’s true that we live in the tension between hope and despair. Blue skies with clouds on the horizon, the push and pull of the tides.

And in that tension, Jesus still offers to take our hand, to provide assurance and His presence.

And in that what does he offer? He offers direction, guidance and strength.

You guide me with your counsel (God’s counsel) v.2

The prophet Isaiah puts it this way….30:19-21 “this is the way, walk in it “

And how do I do it…

God gives us His Word, the Bible, and most actively His Spirit. He actually talks to us, prompts us, nudges us. I can’t tell you how many times I have acted because I felt that it was what I needed to do. Why? Because I sensed God’s leading – His nudging.

In July 1976, Israeli Commandoes made a daring rescue raid on an airport in Entebbe, Uganda in which 113 Jewish hostages were freed.  In less than 15 minutes the soldiers had killed all seven kidnappers and set the captives free. 

Undetected they had glided their plane into Ugandan air space and right to the airport where the hostages were being held. Then they quickly and quietly approached the terminal.

As the Jewish commandoes entered the terminal, they shouted in Hebrew “Get down, Crawl !! “  The Jewish hostages understood and dropped to the floor while the Gorillas, who did not speak Hebrew remained standing.  Quickly the commandoes shot those left standing… one hostage died as he remained standing even though he heard and understood the command.

Here’s a short video of the event.

It’s a fascinating story which was made into a movie. My point and you get it, is that obedience is essential. When you hear the Spirit speak, when you feel the nudge, when you sense the direction given, don’t hesitate. Not that you’ll be gunned down, but that there’s wisdom in listening and then acting.

It’s one of the painful parts of being a parent. Letting your kids fall or fail so that they can learn a lesson. So too, God won’t force your submission, but He will let you fall or fail so you’ll learn.

I think over the years I’ve learned this one thing, and no I’m not always good at listening but it makes sense to me– ‘this is the way, walk in it.’

The goal of the Christian is not to get to heaven when you die, but to have heaven get into you before you die. – Dallas Willard

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