Thursday, May 24, 2012

Jesus Ascends, But We Are Not Alone

Do you ever feel like you are looking for an opportunity, but all the doors seem to be closed? Do you ever have a great idea and put it out there, only to be told “No” by multiple people? Does it ever seem like the path of your life is stuck, and you don’t know in which direction to walk anymore?

We have all felt blocked at certain times in our life. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t get moving. These are times when our faith must really kick in, when we believe that God does in fact have a plan for our lives, and in due time, that plan will unfold.

While Jesus was still on this earth, he told his followers that once he left this world, we would not be alone. He said, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever” (John 14:16). This Advocate is also called the Helper or the Holy Spirit. Jesus says that he will not leave us orphaned as children without our parents. We will have this Advocate who will abide in us and be with us always to help us through.

To me, the Holy Spirit might be one of the most beautiful aspects to Christianity. God did amazing and miraculous things in and through Jesus Christ, but the Holy Spirit is the way that we connect to Jesus after all these years. The Holy Spirit is both in you and around you. The Spirit is the one who helps to transform our lives and guide our paths.

I want to read you a poem about destiny. It is thought-provoking, and while you hear it, keep in the back of your mind the thought that it is the Holy Spirit who leads us into our destinies.

Let me read to you a poem titled,“Follow Your Destiny, Wherever It Leads You” by Vicki Silvers:

There comes a time in your life when you realize that if you stand still, you will remain at this point forever. You realize that if you fall and stay down, Life will pass you by. Life’s circumstances are not always what you might wish them to be. The pattern of Life does not necessarily go as you plan. Beyond any understanding, you may at times be led in different directions that you never imagined, dreamed, or designed. Yet if you had never put any effort into choosing a path, or tried to carry out your dream, then perhaps you would have no direction at all. Rather than wondering about or~ questioning the direction your life has taken, accept the fact that there is a path before you now. Shake off the “why’s” and “what if’s,” and rid yourself of confusion. Whatever was — is in the past. Whatever is — that’s what’s important. The past is a brief reflection. The future is yet to be realized. Today is here. Walk your path one step at a time — with courage, faith, and determination. Keep your head up, and cast your dreams to the stars. Soon your steps will become firm and your footing will be solid again. A path that you never imagined will become the most comfortable direction you could have ever hoped to follow. Keep your belief in yourself and walk into your new journey. You will find it-magnificent, spectacular, and beyond your wildest imaginings.

There are three lines of the poem that really stick out to me:

First, “The pattern of life does not necessarily go as you plan. Beyond any understanding, you may at times be led in different directions that you ever imagined, dreamed, or designed.” Isn’t this the truth?! Life does not go as we plan, but I have come to find that the surprising twists and turns our lives take lead to very interesting and worthwhile places, places we wouldn’t have known to choose ourselves. When we open ourselves to the movements of the Spirit, God’s will for our lives takes over and we find ourselves in unknown territory, but its okay because it is divine territory.

The second line of the poem that I want us to reflect upon is: “Rather than wondering about or question the direction your life has taken, accept the fact that there is a path before you now.” We all have ideas and dreams and hopes for our lives, and that is a good thing, but we must ultimately hand over our lives to God’s will. The Advocate’s primary work is to give us a path and to encourage us forward on that path. And in fact, we are on that path right now! No matter how stuck or frustrated you might feel at this moment, things are happening. Stars are being aligned; circumstances are being brought together all so that God may move you forward in your life.

The third line: “Keep your belief in yourself and walk into your new journey.” I would also add, “Keep your belief in God and walk into your new journey.” Even if you feel stagnant right now, you are not. You are on a journey and God is leading you forward into your destiny. Change is always happening in big ways and small ways. People of great faith know that life is not about the destination, it’s about the journey we are on now. So believe in yourself, believe in God and enjoy the journey.

In my experience, I have found a name for God that rings true to me. God is the Great Orchestrator. God is the true designer of our lives, putting the right people and opportunities in place at just the right time so that we can receive them and handle them with skill. God is orchestrating our futures, and God always has a symphony in mind when it comes to our destinies.

My friends, Jesus has ascended to heaven, but we are not alone. We are surrounded by and filled with the Holy Spirit, who is orchestrating all of our lives in ways unknown. Do not be afraid. Be filled with joy and confidence. The journey that you are on is not a dead end road, it is a mystical path which will continue to unfold before you, leading you into a brilliant future, planned by God’s own mind.

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