..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

FInding Jesus Outside the Camp

Let us, then, go to Him, outside the camp,
bearing the disgrace He bore. For here
we do not have an enduring city but we
are looking for the city that is to come.
(Hebrews 13: 13 & 14.)

It's nearing Christmas and I am feeling so drawn
to go out and stay with Jesus outside the camp.
I have no question that is where He is and
that is where I will find Him. No doubt at all.

God, I am so sorry that as the celebration of
Jesus' birth approaches, that we have not
chosen to acknowledge Your Son completely
as Lord, with every knee bowing gladly
to His indescribable Glory.

So until that glorious day dawns, I think I
will pull up my stakes and go stay with Him
outside the camp. What camp is that you
ask? The Camp of Worldly Comfort, the
Camp of Compromise, the Camp of
Complacency and Self-Will. He is not at
all wanted in those camps, and in many
similar ones, I leave the naming of them
to you. Sadly, He is not really wanted
by many who call themselves Christians.
He is not really wanted by much of what
is called the church. But I want Him, and
I hope you do, too.

If I have to try to convince you of why you
should want Him I am afraid that you have
not seen Him. For you would not have let
Him go. Solomon wrote of such a
soul-annihilating mistake, The Lover had
called out to His Beloved, but she was not
willing to get out of bed to follow Him.

She had gotten warm, and comfortable and
was reluctant to put her shoes on and go out
to follow Him. (Song of Solomon 5: 2-8).

For He will be found among the humble
and contrite, not among those whom the
world calls wise or strong or good. He is
out looking for the lost sheep, the prodigal
son, the wayward lamb. Will you go looking
with Him? Surely we might get cold and dirty
ourselves in the process, but shall He not
warm us? Surely we might find ourselves
pressed out of measure, but is that not how
we might become drink poured out for Him?
Will we bear rejection and disgrace? And He
did not?

What drives us outside the camp is our
passion to be with Him wherever He goes. For
what is a city without Him, and what is a home
without His Presence, and wealth without Him
as as our treasure? We do not have a city in this
world, we are looking for a city where He alone
is the Center, where all who have given Him
everything long to be and are, at last, gathered
together. Here is our home and our camp.
Here is our God!

As these dark days grow darker, and the love
of many grows cold, I trust you will hear
His Voice calling out to you: calling you to
leave all, calling you out of your beds of
sleep and comfort, calling you unto Himself.
He will be calling to you from outside the
camp. Do not hesitate to follow Him there.
Where He dwells is Life itself, and fullness
of joy. But first you must forsake all and
go to Him.

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