Take a Walk – Part 14

Here’s a walk from which one should never retire in this life.

A Life-long Journey

1 Corinthians 10:1 & 4 – Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

When Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, the had to walk, and that walk was for a lifetime, not a short journey.  They walked from Egypt to the Red Sea.  They walked across dry ground with the Red Sea being parted.  They walked from the Red Sea to the Jordan River, though it took much longer than the Lord desired.  They walked across the dry river bed of the Jordan with the waters parted.  They walked to and fro through the promised land conquering and driving out their enemies from before them.  They walked, traversing their promised land for their lifetime, until they turned form the Lord and fell captive into the hands of their enemies.  My point is this, they walked for a lifetime.

Their captivity in Egypt is a type (and shadow) of life before being born again, living under the dominion of Satan.  Crossing the Red Sea is a type of the new birth, where the past is washed away.  The journey from the Red Sea to the Jordan River is a type of the journey from the new birth to the baptism in Holy Ghost.  Crossing the Jordan River is a type of the baptism in Holy Ghost.  Walking in the promised land, battling and driving out enemies, is a type of living the redeemed life of victory in Jesus in this present life, and growing in Him as we build the kingdom of God in the earth.  The thing that is common in every element of this lifelong journey is walking; it is our spiritual walk that should never end in this life.

I was a slave in Egypt; a sinner without Jesus.  Then I heard the delivering words in my Egypt and came to my Red Sea moment, my point of decision, and chose to come through the blood of Jesus and begin my journey to my promised land.  Due to the teaching, and in many cases, lack of teaching, my time in the wilderness was 12-years long.  At that point I came to another major decision encounter.  I chose to step into my Jordan and cross into my promised land, my personal encounter with and baptism in Holy Ghost.  And for the past 50 years of my life, I have walked in my promised land.  I have fought battles against enemies that needed to be defeated and pushed out of my life.  I have experienced times of invasion when enemies of my soul have come to “steal, kill, and destroy.”  In those invasive times, I have fought the enemy to drive them back so I could continue in my promised land in peace, health, and prosperity.  I still fight today, and the victory is still mine as I walk with the Lord.  Take your walk.

Manna for Today – Psalm 1:1-6; 1 John 1:7-9; Daniel 3:1-30; 1 Corinthians 10:1-22; John 10:10

Take a Walk – Part 13

To reach the dead, you often have to go where they are laid.

To the Graveyard

John 11:16 – Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

I am sure that most Christians are at least somewhat familiar with Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.  Jesus was a day’s journey from Bethany when He was told of his sickness.  But because it was a day’s journey, by the time the word got to Jesus, Lazarus was already dead.  Jesus knew this by the Spirit, and still tarried two more days before beginning His journey to Bethany.  Just before beginning His journey, Jesus told His disciples that Lazarus had died.  When He started the journey, they knew He was not going there to mourn or put flowers on the grave.  Jesus was going to Bethany on kingdom business.  Being aware of the tension that existed among the religious-minded leaders around Bethany, many of His disciples probably expected trouble.  That’s why Thomas made the statement, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”  Keep in mind that while there were many places Jesus could go in Bethany, His first stop was going to be the graveyard, a place of death.  When you consider that a large number of people want you dead, one might question the wisdom of going to the graveyard.  Just a thought.

But in this case, Jesus had spoken.  He said Lazarus had died, but that he was asleep, and He (Jesus) was going to awaken him.  So, Thomas, along with the eleven, went with Jesus, believing what He said.  There are times, my friend, when we walk with the Lord, that we must believe what He says, though at that moment there is no physical evidence to confirm it.  That is called faith.  Hebrews 11:6 declares that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.  If you can perceive it with your five senses, you don’t need faith for it.  It is when you cannot perceive it with your physical senses that you must stand on your faith, and that’s precisely what Jesus’s disciples did in this case.  I am sure they did not know all that would transpire, nor did they have any idea how it could all come about, but Jesus had spoken.  Is your faith such that when Jesus speaks, you respond with obedience?  When the Word of God establishes a truth, do you embrace it with you whole heart?  Do you follow where Holy Spirit leads, regardless of circumstances.  Is your walk with Jesus such that you go wherever He leads?  I pray you answer is “yes.”  The Word is still the Word, Jesus is still Lord, Holy Spirit is still our Teacher, Guide, and Leader, and the Lord is still moving among His people.  Be prepared to take a walk.

Manna for Today – Psalm 1:1-6; 1 John 1:7-9; Daniel 3:1-30; John 11:1-44

Take a Walk – Part 12

Learn to listen as you walk.

To See Clearly

Luke 24:32 – And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

For days now I have written to you concerning walking with the Lord.  From time to time, Sharon, my bride, and I will take a walk in our neighborhood.  We could walk silently if we chose, or even each of us walk alone.  We could enjoy the fresh air, the sounds of animals, and the sounds of a family fill community, but it is so much better when we walk together, and especially when we talk as we walk.  As simple as our conversations usually are, they are quite refreshing.  Communication, not just speaking words, but listening to what is said, and choosing to hear what is said, makes communication quite an enriching source of energy.  If you don’t already do it, you should try it some time, especially with someone who hold high significance with you.

Of course, when you’re walking with Jesus, you don’t always see Him, and even if you do, there are times as in the walk of two disciples on the road to Emmaeus, that His identity is hidden from you.  It can be amazingly astounding what Jesus can say to you at times when you don’t even realize it’s Him speaking to you.  It can come through a walking companion, something you see as you walk, or a thought that enters your mind, seemingly random in its content, but will ultimately shake your world.  So, whether His voice comes to you as you walk in one of these manners, or some other form altogether, I urge you to prepare your heart to hear His voice so that when you hear it, it does not seem to you to be simply a sound of nature, such as thunder.  That happened, you know, in the Scriptures, when Father spoke audibly to over His Son, and though some heard and understood, many thought it had thundered.

The beauty of walking with the Lord is that as He walks, He will talk to you, and that quite directly.  There are some ministers who declare God doesn’t talk to them.  To such a one who says that, while declaring himself to be a member of the five-fold ministry, I would give little, if any, heed.  My friend, our Lord still speaks to us; by His Word, by His Spirit, through men and women of God, through signs and wonders, and even through His blood, for the blood yet speaks.    We are living in a time when hearing from the Lord is an absolute necessity.  We must learn to hear and recognize the voice of the Lord when He speaks.  And one of the greatest places to hear His voice is when you walk with Him.  May your heart burn daily.  Take a walk.

Manna for Today – Psalm 1:1-6; 1 John 1:7-9; Daniel 3:1-30; Luke 24:13-25; Hebrews 12:26

Take a Walk – Part 11

Keep walking with the Lord, even if it looks like you’re walking in circles.

Around the City

Joshua 6:3-4 – And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.  And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.

The children of Israel had finally crossed Jordan into the Promised Land after wandering 40-years in the wilderness.  Moses was gone from the scene now, and Joshua was the new leader.  He had instructions from the Lord concerning Jericho, a mighty walled city that was completely shut up to invaders.  And what were his instructions?  To walk.  Now that seems simple enough, doesn’t it?  On day one, the two million (and more) Israelites walked around the walled city of Jericho without uttering a sound.  I can only imagine the eerie silence, not only among the Israelites, but those of Jericho who watched.  I can only wonder how much time it took for that many people to make the walk.  On day two, the same thing occurred.  Then again on days three, four, and five.  By the end of the walk on day six, the tension must have been reaching a peak.  The silence from Israel had remained in effect, and I am sure the tension within the gates was enormous. 

Then came the seventh day, and with it, a change in the service order.  On this day, there would be seven silent trips around Jericho, and then the priests would blow the ram’s horns, and the people would charge up into the city over top the walls that had fallen down flat.  What a marvelous sight to see!  The great walls of Jericho, so high and so thick no army could penetrate or overcome them, fallen down flat.  And all that was required for this great sight to be seen was to walk with the Lord in silent obedience to what He had commanded.

I have no doubt in my mind that rushing over the fallen Jericho walls was both exhilarating and rewarding to the children of Israel.  I am sure they enjoyed the great victory on the seventh day and all the spoils of war it brought.  I am likewise certain that their celebration, including exuberant worship of the Lord, was passionate and joyful.  But what I still question is what was going through their minds during seven days of silent walking over the same ground, again and again.  Allow me these concluding thoughts.  It’s easy to shout when the victory is plainly laid before you.  It’s easy to shout when everyone around you is shouting in joyous victory.  But when you must walk in desert heat and dust, day after day, step after step, silently, following the instruction of the Lord received days earlier, it requires endurance, patience, and steadfast commitment.  Walking can be the hard part.  Take a walk.

Manna for Today – Psalm 1:1-6; 1 John 1:7-9; Daniel 3:1-30; Joshua 6

Take a Walk – Part 10

It is so easy to understand when you don’t try to complicate it.

Take Up Your Cross

Mark 10:21 – Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

In the Mark passage in our Manna for Today, we can examine the precise Biblical requirements for the 100-fold reciprocity principle to come into full effect.  It is truly simple, but so many people have their eyes on the return that they miss the journey to its revelation.  The steps of that journey, of that walk with the Lord, are unveiled completely in our Text for Today.  I encourage you to open you eyes to the simple truth.

Step one is to establish the amount the Lord wants you to give.  In today’s case, it was all he had.  Jesus told him to “sell whatsoever thou hast.”  That meant everything.  Step two is to determine where the Lord desires you to sow it.  For this nameless rich young ruler, it was “to the poor.”  Then we come to step three.  For this rich young ruler, it was to “take up the cross, and follow Me (Jesus).”

Step one is just that; one step.  Likewise, step two is just one step.  Those two steps are not so difficult.  If God desires you to sow a certain amount towards a particular work, He well knows how to convey that desire to you.  It is step three where the work begins, for it is at step three that the walk begins.  Jesus commanded the rich young ruler to follow Him.  Jesus was never and never will be at a stand-still.  He was and is always on the move; forward, onward, upward.  Forward – He never turns back.  Onward – He has an eternal destination.  Upward – He always wants His people to grow up into Him. 

One might say, “But Jesus said to take up the cross and follow Me.”  And that is precisely what Jesus said, but the simple fact remains, you can’t follow someone by standing still.  To follow someone requires movement in the direction the leader is going.  In the simplest of terms, if I am following you, then we are traveling in the same direction, in the same way, accompanying each other.  I am not tracking you from a distance.  I am following you in close order, sharing the same route, eating and drinking together, conversing one with another, and seeing things from the same perspective.  And if I “take up the cross” to follow someone, that means we share in the same work, the same burdens, the same battles, and the same blessings.  It is the same blessings that Jesus called the 100-fold return.  Take a walk.

Manna for Today – Psalm 1:1-6; 1 John 1:7-9; Daniel 3:1-30; Mark 10:17-31

Take a Walk – Part 9

Would you endure the heat of a long-term walk?

In the Fire

Daniel 3:24-25 – Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.  He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

One of the great joys in walking with the Lord is that no matter what the atmospheric or natural conditions are about you, when you’re walking with the Lord, the only covering you need is present.  It is His glory.  Take a moment to read our Text for Today once again.  What was it King Nebuchadnezzar saw when he looked into the fire after it had cooled enough for him to come near enough to see inside? 

First, he saw “four men loose.”  They were not bound as the Hebrew children had been when cast into the fire.  And miraculously, there were not three men, the number cast into the fire, bur four.  And interestingly, while he saw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nigo whom he knew personally, it seems that it was the fourth person in the fire that primarily grabbed and held his attention.  That was the fourth man.  And of the fourth man, Nebuchadnezzar said, “the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

Second, Nebuchadnezzar noted that they were “walking in the midst of the fire.”  You see, nothing of the fire, its terrible heat, its choking fumes, its consuming of all the oxygen, was bothering them.  And the reason was, they were walking with the Lord.  When you’re walking with the Lord, you don’t need a hat, coat, gloves, boots, mask, or fire-retardant clothing.  His covering is all you need.

Allow me to ask you a question.  There is something here even greater than the fact that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nigo were not touched by the flames.  It is this; Nebuchadnezzar looked into the fire, he saw the Lord.  So, here’s by question.  When you are “going through the fires” of life, do the people around you, especially those who mean you some harm, see the Lord walking with you in the fire?  We should not a very important point here.  The three Hebrew children had made their proclamation of faith concerning the issues before them BEFORE they were thrown in the fiery furnace.  They had already told the king they would not bow to him, and that if he threw them into the fire, their God would deliver them.  They also told the king that if he recanted his threat to throw them into the fire, they would not bow to him, even in thanks for sparing their lives.  It was their testimony BEFORE the fire that revealed the Lord’s presence with them IN the fire.  Give your testimony BEFORE you find yourself in the flames.  The flames are real, and they are coming.  Make sure the Lord is walking with you in the fire when you take your walk.

Manna for Today – Psalm 1:1-6; 1 John 1:7-9; Daniel 3:1-30

Take a Walk – Part 8

There are times when you take a needful walk that you will find sand in your shoes.

In the Desert

Acts 8:26 – And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.

Imagine for a moment; you’re an evangelist that has the full support and backing of the church; you’re holding a series of meetings in which the power of Holy Spirit is being greatly manifest; two great apostles come to the meetings to assist you, especially in the area of ministering the baptism of Holy Ghost.  What a powerful ministry is taking place, and you’re right in the middle of it.  Then the Lord speaks to you and tells you to leave that meeting, go in a particular direction without specifying a destination.  And it just so happens that the direction you are told to go is into the desert.  How do you think such a directive from the Lord would be handled in today’s world of super-abundant media, hyper-notoriety, and potential for advancement?  I am firmly convinced that many ministers today would choose fame and fortune over such staunch obedience to the Lord’s leadership. 

That is the situation Philip was facing.  He was the primary leader of this great Holy Ghost-outbreak in the city of Samaria.  And here he is, being sent alone into the desert.  You may already be familiar with the story.  While in the desert, Philip saw a chariot passing, and was told by the Lord to join the person traveling in the chariot.  He was an Ethiopian eunuch who served Candice, the Ethiopian queen as her treasurer.  He had been in Jerusalem to worship.  And while Philip was having great success in Samaria, his connection to one man, the Ethiopian eunuch, would open the door for Christian witness to an entire nation that could erupt into reaching a multitude of other nations.  And for that to happen, an evangelist named Philip had to be willing to take a walk in the desert, not even sure where he was going, to make what would ultimately be a connection for international Christian witness.  He had to face the heat from a blistering sun, dry winds that would parch the mouth and throat, sand in his sandals that could rub one’s skin raw, all to reach one man. 

It is amazing what one may face in a simple walk.  And that includes you and me.  Are we willing to pull back from what looks like the ultimate success to do a work for the Lord that would be all but unseen, known only to few (at the time of its doing), and take that walk through what would be, at the very least, difficult circumstances, like the terrain of a desert?  Are you willing to walk through the desert, and perhaps get some sand in your shoes?  Take a walk.

Manna for Today – Psalm 1:1-6; 1 John 1:7-9; Acts 8:4-40

Take a Walk – Part 7

At times, you may have to walk despite inclement weather.

On the Water

Matthew 14:29 – And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

James 4:8 declares that if we will “draw nigh to God, He will draw nigh to you.”  That is a very clear statement of Biblical truth.  Do you want to get closer to God?  Draw nigh, or in other words, take a walk.  But on this walk, you have to make sure you’re going in the right direction, and that is toward Jesus.  Are you now, or have you ever been in a place you where there is, or was, a palpable sense of your need to draw as close to the Lord as possible?  I once heard a story (modern parable) of a little girl who had been very ill for a long time, during which her mother sat beside her bed, sleeping in a chair every night.  Finally, the little girl began to recover.  Her mom needed a good night’s rest in her own bed, and she told her daughter.  The little girl said she didn’t want to be alone.  Her mother told her Jesus would be in the room with her, and if she needed more, all she had to do was call out.  The little girl responded by saying, “But mommy, I need a Jesus with skin on him.”  She was experiencing that moment of palpable need.  She needed someone to walk with her in bad weather.

Our Text for Today comes from a moment when the disciples were collectively in such a moment.  Jesus had sent them to go over Gennesaret.  On the way, a great storm arose, preventing them from making any headway.  Apparently this was no small storm.  While in prayer, Jesus saw in the Spirit what was happening, and chose to go to His disciples by walking on the water.  This was a miracle, and a great faith action by Jesus.  He believed there was cause to go to them.  His coming into view in the midst of such a powerful storm was certainly a disturbing sight.  They thought they were seeing a ghost.  But when He spoke to them, they believed they recognized His voice.  But there was still some uncertainty, at least in Peter, so, he asked, “Lord, if it be You, bid me come to you.”  With one word, Jesus called him out.  And on the power of that one word, Peter took a walk on the water.  Yes, we know he had a problem, but he had Jesus, too.  What are you facing today?  What storm is hindering you?  Never forget that Jesus is always in the lead position.  Moving toward Jesus is NEVER wrong.  And there may be times that He calls you to come to Him, even in the most inclement weather.   Take a walk, even if it’s on the water.

Manna for Today – Psalm 1:1-6; 1 John 1:7-9; Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:16-21

Take a Walk – Part 6

It’s good to walk with wise men when you’re involved in new construction.

Through the Ark

Genesis 5:32 – And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

If you are familiar with societal and familial structure in the days of Noah, you realize it was strongly patriarchal.  Communities, towns, or what the Bible calls cities of those times were often established by and governed by the largest or oldest established family.  Cities had kings who ruled the city and a territory around the city.  The eldest male in a broad family setting would be considered the patriarch, and would carry great influence.  With that in mind, consider the following.

Methuselah, who lived to be 969 years old, was 187 years old when his son, Lamech, was born.  Lamech was 182 years old when Noah was born, making Methuselah 369 years old.  Noah was 600 years old when the flood came (Genesis 7:6).  Lamech died before the flood, and before his father, Methuselah, died.  During all the years Methuselah lived as the oldest male member of his entire family clan, he was the patriarch.  As the grandfather of Noah, he was Noah’s patriarch.  Now one more point needs to be made.  In the year that Methuselah died, the flood came.  While the Scriptures do not plainly declare it to be so, I believe that as Noah’s patriarch, Methuselah would have known about the ark being built, and I also believe that he would certainly have walked about in the construction site, if not in the ark itself while he was still alive.  You see, in the same year that Methuselah died, two other things happened.  Methuselah’s death made Noah the patriarch of the clan, and the flood waters came upon the earth.  What I am saying should be clear.  Methuselah was an influence in the life of Noah during the entire duration of his work in building the ark.  Now let’s consider this yet further.

Enoch was the father of Methuselah.  Methuselah had grown up and lived under Enoch’s influence for 300 years.  Based on Biblical text, a few things should be quite obvious.  Since God never changes, one of the great contributing factors of Methuselah’s great age was that he honored his parents.  Methuselah surely learned from Enoch what it meant to walk with God.  One of the elements of honoring one’s father is to carry forth his heritage.  It would then seem that Methuselah was a man of wisdom and godly counsel, and as patriarch to Noah, stood in a place of strategic influence.  So, here is my query for today.  Does it not seem to be a wise thing to do to walk with men of wisdom, maturity, and understanding, to hear their voice, and to heed their input for your life?  I wonder about the life of Noah and the influence Methuselah had on his grandson over a period of 600 years as his patriarch.  Take a walk with the right people.

Manna for Today – Psalm 1:1-6; 1 John 1:7-9; Genesis 5:1-32

Take a Walk – Part 5

Is it possible you must take a walk to bring life and revival?

When the Fish Has Finished

Jonah 2:9-10 – But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.  And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

I encourage you to take the time to read all four chapters of the book of Jonah.  God had given Jonah a specific assignment.  He was to go to Nineveh, bring the light of God, and lead the people to repentance.  But keep in mind, Jonah had been raised as a staunch enemy of the Ninevites.  He held a strong hatred for them.  In today’s language, one would call Jonah a racist.  It was, at the beginning, Jonah ‘s hatred for the people of Nineveh that he used as an excuse for disobeying God and running from His will.

But God had different plans, and placed a great fish in Jonah’s path of disobedience.  The fish swallowed Jonah, and it was there, in the fish’s belly for three days and nights, that Jonah came to a place of repentance, after which, the fish vomited Jonah up, and it was at that point he chose to carry out in obedience, God’s plan.  And once Jonah was freed from the fish’s belly, he took a walk. 

Now I offer you what some might call food for thought.  I think it to be wise spiritual counsel.  First, I ask you, are you walking in the will of the Lord at this moment?  Or is it possible that you may be choosing to walk in some way in disobedience with His plan for your life?  I’m not asking this question to bring any kind of condemnation upon anyone.  Rather, I want every reader to see that while we have all walked contrary to the Lord’s will at some time, if we will repent, we can still walk in the victory God intended.  Keep in mind that God is “no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34).  The arresting power He used to bring Jonah back into His plan is available to each of us.  The question is, will we repent when we have turned back on Him?

If, as Jonah did, we repent, the next step is to take that walk.  To awaken to righteousness, obedience, and faith, and sin not.  It is to go to that place of service to which the Lord has called us.  If you’re already walking in that place to which the Lord has called you, be content, but never satisfied, for we should always be growing in our walk to finish our work.  If, at this time, you know you are not walking in that place to which the Lord has called you, repent; repent now.  And put on your walking shoes; your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.  Then take a walk.

Manna for Today – Psalm 1:1-6; 1 John 1:7-9; Jonah 1-4