On Christ, the Solid Rock, I STAND
And No Backup Plans, No Plan B
Relationship with God
Beyond question, we will be pressed beyond our ability to endure in this present age. The confusion and heartache of these short days in this three-dimensional realm are unavoidable. The “communication” and relational issues, with us since Cain and the Tower of Babel, will always be one step, one illusion away. Our own “weak flesh” and personal failures, unrealized dreams, and self-deceptions are ever before us. Financial strain, physical illness, loneliness, employment uncertainty, fears related to education or children’s or parents’ well-being, or shelter or food—these are a part of our existence here on earth, as they have been in some form or another since the dawn of man, in every nation and tribe worldwide.
SO, how should we view these often agonizing and throbbing, blinding difficulties?
Certainly, step back and understand that GOD IS SOVEREIGN and His Plans are to prosper, and not to harm us. Certainly, embrace that “ALL things work together for the Good” if we are focused on loving Him and His Purposes, and not our own. Of course, we need to rest in the Assurance that we are only here in these “situations” for a few days (“a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day” in Father’s Realm, in which we are “seated with Christ”). As a friend once said, after a brutal camping trip in icy rain and mud, “I figure I can do anything for two days.” : ) Can’t we? Can’t we lean back and appreciate the complex “weave” of interesting obstacles and tests and “circuit training” apparatus Jesus has put in front of us to Teach us a myriad of Lessons that we would never “grasp” from simply reading someone else’s story? Dad is an AMAZING Teacher. His creativity in object lessons and tests and trials, all designed to Refine and strengthen and train, even in our failures, is astounding and encouraging beyond belief. He is SOVEREIGN. Hallelujah!
Yes, it is challenging at times, as our brother and fellow pilgrim Paul said, “beyond our ability to endure.” And yet, can’t we “do anything for a couple of days” if we really set our hearts to it, “no take-backs”? Even with the “king-sized” blunders and sins that destroy men and women who have not known our God, we can go forward, knowing He is REDEEMER and friend. He is Sovereignly advancing His own Cause, training the scrawny and puny to be men and women of Holy War, humbling the proud, and sheltering the helpless.
His Plan never WAS that you could “get” what you “want” out of life. : ) His Holy Call is that YOU GIVE YOUR LIFE AWAY FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE, with no expectations of any kind. That’s the basis and power of Christ (Anointed) Life. There’s nothing to “get.” There’s nothing to “look at” or “have.” There is no temple there, no beauty or majesty. The Lord God Almighty and the LAMB are our Temple. Our fulfillment and our satisfaction, our very great reward, are in HIM. Can we do that for “a couple of days” until it all gets clear for us as we see Him face to face? Can we give what we don’t “want” to give, for His sake alone? Can we focus and “stay the course” even when the challenges are “large”—from our limited perspective, at least?
At a place called Pinehurst, in North Carolina, in the United States, there is a golf tournament often held there, known as the US Open, the national championship. At the end of the first day of the tournament, yesterday (2005), a golfer named Rocco Mediate was tied for the lead. Rocco is one of those many “stories” of someone “overcoming adversity” to achieve. He was, just a year ago, almost crippled with back spasms. He was hard pressed to decide if he wanted to endure the pain and self-discipline of his sixth rehabilitation in twelve years. But, he decided to train his body and lose 30 pounds. He changed his swing, his conditioning, his equipment, and his attitude—and is now achieving world-class results. At a dumb little game called “golf.”
Some insight into “how” Rocco found the inner strength to take on rehabilitation and face his “insurmountable” problems—rather than walk away and quit?
“I don’t want to do anything else,” he said. “I have no backup plan; never had a backup plan.”
I think it is a breakthrough moment or season for any of us, as followers of Jesus, when we dump the “movement” mentality, the “what can I get out of this?” mindset, the “what will others think if I am totally devoted to Jesus and Truth?” cowardice—and decide to LAY DOWN OUR LIVES FOR OTHERS, FOR THE LAMB, AND FOR HIS UNDILUTED TRUTH—for these “couple of days” we are here. With “no take-backs.”
I WILL SERVE MY GOD SACRIFICIALLY, WITH NOTHING FOR MYSELF, AND I HAVE NO BACKUP PLAN! Through failures, or attacks, loneliness if necessary, rejection, insult, hatred, scandal, my own failures or anyone else’s, through illness or broken carnal dreams, “though none go with me, still I will follow.” I HAVE NO BACKUP PLAN!
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good bye to my family.”
Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’
“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Let’s embrace His Training, our “Boot Camp” of Learning to walk in His Ways and Character and Hear His Voice, without complaint…
WE HAVE NO BACKUP PLAN…
and need none!