The following is a part of our weekly devotional series, which is a companion to the 2013 Foursquare Life Journal. This week’s Bible reading comes from Ezra 7-10; Lk. 20-24; Neh. 1-10; Ps. 131, 133, 134 and 146; and Acts 1-2.
The young college student sitting across from me in the office was out of answers. This student had been raised in a Christian home, had spent years in Sunday school and youth group—at summer camps, altar calls, church events, mission trips. And to him, all of this was supposed to account for something—make for the perfect, peaceful life. One on course, on time and on purpose.
So, why was his dad leaving his mom? Why was his best friend dying from cancer? Why was he still struggling with the temptations of the world? Why was he beginning to question his own faith? Nothing in life, at that moment, seemed to be unfolding as he expected it would. Everything felt out of alignment.
Two men walking away from Jerusalem after a weekend of events where Jesus of Nazareth had been crucified were in all likelihood questioning, contemplating and probably even debating what had just occurred. Even with the report that angels had revealed Jesus was resurrected and alive, nothing seemed to be unfolding in the way they thought things would with a Messiah who would establish His earthly kingdom.
In their thinking, it didn’t make sense. Nothing was lining up with what they were expecting. But then, “So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them” (Luke 24:15, NKJV).
The key to discipleship is not to answer all of life’s questions or even offer biblical solutions to every problem. Certainly in situations like with the young man before mentioned, our love and compassion for those we have been called to lead drives us to seek answers and solutions.
However, like Ezra, who being given the responsibility to establish leadership in the temple, “set his heart to study the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach the statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7:10, NRSV); or Nehemiah, who, in hearing that the walls and gates of Jerusalem had been destroyed and the people were in “trouble and shame,” “sat down and wept, and mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven” (Neh. 1:3-4, NSRV); we need to model a posture that allows for Jesus to draw near and come alongside.
When our cars are out of alignment, we are pulled to the left or the right as we move down the road. When our backs are out of alignment, we tend to walk with a limp, awkwardly leaning a bit and often with pain. When our thinking is off or our identity is in question, the weight on our shoulders too great or our covering in disrepair, we need Jesus to intersect our lives—to come alongside and walk with us. When we walk in the presence of the Lord, when our ministries and lives are in alignment with His Word, when we walk in unity with one another:
It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Running down on the beard,
The beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing—
Life forevermore (Ps. 133:2-3, NKJV).
By: Mike Larkin, president of Ignite
Download the yearlong reading plan (PDF, 80 KB), or sign up for the full, online version of the Life Journal. To purchase a Life Journal for your own use, or to place a bulk order for church-wide use, visit FoursquareJournal.com. Learn more about Foursquare’s 2013 Life Journal project.