Movement

Numbers 10:13: They set out for the first time at the command of the LORD by Moses.

abstract-140231_640For forty years the children of Israel made a journey through the wilderness. Our life too is a journey. From the time of birth to the time of death we are on journey. And even death is the beginning of another journey- a journey into more and more of God.

Our journey in heaven is determined by our journey on earth. We are told there will be rewards in heaven. There are crowns to be got, there are mansions to live in (John 14:1-3). The reward was so important to Paul that he said he will watch his life so that after he had laboured intensely on this earth, he would not be a cast away, losing his reward (1Corinthians 9:27). The reward was so important he wrote to the Corinthian church that workers need to be careful how they build because fire will test their work of what sort it is (1Corinthians 3:11-17). Wood-like work will disappear, as if non-existent, and therefore unrewarded.

Ezra

Ezra made a precarious journey (Ezra 8:21-32). He was with some people as he conveyed precious vessels to the temple in Jerusalem, from the land of captivity. He prayed and fasted for a safe journey.

Life being a journey also has dangers. The devil wants to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). He is the god of this world (2Corinthians 4:4) (we are passing through his territory), and we wrestle against his cohorts, principalities and powers and the spiritual wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:10-12).

However we are called to cast our care on the Lord knowing that he cares for us. We are not alone in the journey of life. Ezra by calling for a time of prayer and fasting committed the journey into the hand of God, he cast his care to God. We are told that we should not lean on our own understanding, but acknowledge God in all our ways (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Joseph

Joseph made an unwilling journey into slavery in Egypt. It was a strange place but later he discovered that he was there on God’s reconnaissance mission to spy out the land for the rest of his family to come later, for a firm foundation of a nation (Genesis 37).

His brothers who sold him to slavery thought they were doing evil to him, they wanted to silence him. His brother did not even sell him directly to Egypt, he was resold by the original buyers to an Egyptian. It was as if he was a victim of circumstance, but God was working everything in alignment with his own plans.

He though he was going to the pit, but when all is said and done, he ended up in the palace. While he started off as a victim, he ended up a victor.

The journey started with Joseph screaming his voice hoax (Genesis 42:21) begging his brothers not to harm him, it ended with his brothers apologising to him.

He later told them that not only had did he make a sad physical journey from their family home several years before, he had also made the mental/emotional journey from that point.

He was not stuck in the past. He forgave his brothers for the harm. So a journey is not just physical, it can also be spiritual or emotional. We need to be healed of past memories, it is not healthy to continually fixate on a painful words spoken in the past. The bible says: do not pay attention to everything you hear, lest you hear your servant cursing you (Ecclesiastes 7:21).

We need to allow God to give us his own perspective of the situation, to impress on us that all things truly work together for us who love him (Romans 8:28). That was the conclusion that Joseph came to, saying to his brothers what you meant for evil, God was all along arranging it for good.

Jacob

Jacob made three major journeys in his life, running away from something he was afraid of. The first time he ran away from Esau his brother. He also he ran away from Laban his uncle, thirdly he ran away from famine that was ravaging the earth at that time towards Egypt, where there was much.

His journeys were all part of his formation into a formidable nation. In the three movements God showed himself to him to assure him of his presence. It is not enough to move, but we need to answer the question: is God with me on this journey?

Moses told God: if you will not go with us lead us not from where we are (Exodus 33:15)? When David moved in battle he wants to be sure not just that his men carried the right weapons or were arrayed in the right formation but also of the blessing of God on it.

Paul

He was a man in constant journey. He did not stop until the whole of the known world was swamp with the message of the gospel. He was a man on a mission, set on fire from the presence of God. He said: I do not count my life to be dear to me so that I may finish my course (Acts 20:24). He was a man acutely aware of his life mission. He had the gospel to the gentiles committed to him and he did all he could to fulfil his mission. He was vigorous in defending the truth even when he had to confront older disciples of Jesus (Galatians 2:11-15).

Paul asked for prayer that he be delivered from wicked and unreasonable man (2Thessalonians 3:1-2). He told some other people that he fought with beasts in Ephesus (1Corinthians 15:32).

Paul made a precarious journey from Jerusalem to Rome. It was full of twists and turns but it was all about moving in the direction of fulfilling his ministry at a higher level. It was about getting to Rome to be a witness of Jesus there. He moved in the direction of fulfilling the will of God.

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