Because the themes are interconnected,
we’ll cover two chapters in this lesson:
Chapter 7 On the Shores of Loneliness
Chapter 8 On the Old Sea Wall
The detour we made away from the mountains
to the pyramid of refinement probably seems the most painful
thing that’s ever happened to you! All of us were born
with a sinful, carnal nature that rules our attitudes and
behaviors. After you’ve put your trust in Jesus, the
sanctification process, in essence, is the Holy Spirit
transformation from sin’s control over your soul to
Spirit rule within you.
As you’ve discovered, your carnal
nature doesn’t give up with out a fight. As Paul warns,
“The sinful nature [your
carnal self] desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the
Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in
conflict with each other” (Gal.
Losing the carnal identity that feeds your
ego is a struggle, a painful process that lasts longer than
most of us desire. But this battle is necessary if you are to
put on the humility and yieldedness which are essential to
following in Jesus’ steps.
A danger lurks after your time in the
pyramid. When you’ve finished going through God’s
grinding, purifying, and molding processes, you are enveloped
by an overwhelming urgency to do something. Your impatient heart calls out,
“I’m ready Lord! Use me!”
Yet, there is one thing more before He can
truly entrust you with His work. This one thing helps you stay
away from the traps of ego that Satan will set up for you as
you seek to serve Jesus. Many of the most powerful anointed
people of our day have run ahead of God and fallen into this
satanic trap: They fled their
classroom of loneliness. They
began their work without the final ingredient our Lord wanted
to impart to them.
For the impatient, their isolation on the
shores of the Sea of Loneliness makes the pyramid look like a
trip to Disneyworld. To the undiscerning, their period of
loneliness seems as though nothing is happening that could be
useful to God. Days, months, and even years go by when nothing
seems to be changing. But for those who conquer their
impatience, something of great magnitude is developing in the
stillness of their souls.
Keep reminding yourself and your journey
partner of this truth: The Sea of
Loneliness is a time when your inner motivations are being changed.
The seed of love is quietly growing as
Much-Afraid proceeds along her pilgrim way to the High Places.
So, too, our Father’s design is for you learn to cultivate complete trust in Him before you leave the shore and the sea
wall for the High Places. To the extent in which you both
deeply desire and willingly permit your complete trust in Him
to grow, you will find the rest of the journey that much
Before we begin Chapter 7, anchor in your
heart a fact, the reason for which He brings you to a place of
Our Father desires complete trust from
a trust so complete that you do not have to
understand as much as to obey.
Chapter 7 On the Shores of Loneliness
1. After they walked together...; 2.
“It is now time for me to leave you...
Isn’t it wonderful that the Shepherd
can depart from Much-Afraid and assure her (and us),
“...there is really no distance at all separating
us.” Scripture repeatedly urges us to draw near to God, and
He will draw near to us. He is eager for us to reach out to
The concept of failing God undergirds the
teaching of the Hellenism which has so infiltrated the modern
church. Neither our Lord Jesus nor our Father considers it
failure when you call out to Him for help. In fact, your
dependence is how you strengthen your relationship with God.
Consider for a moment the value of obtaining wisdom. Being considered wise is esteemed throughout the
Scriptures, and is another arena for us to seek Him out: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask
God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it
will be given to him” (James
1:5). Wisdom, is God’s
insight and way of doing things, and is given generously by Him. And, He
doesn’t stop to remind you first of all the areas in
which you fall short.
Since He assures us that He’ll
respond to that cry for wisdom, how tragic that so few of His
children ask for His insight! The consequences of such
ignorance are severe: To act
without wisdom is folly. Folly always leads to destruction.
Perhaps the reason so few pray to our Lord
for wisdom is encapsulated in the last sentence of paragraph 2.
“My sheep hear my voice and they follow me.” So few
ever hear the guiding voice of the Shepherd because
they’re too preoccupied heeding the “voices in
If you have journeyed with us this far,
you know how we respond to those who contact us with their
besetting mental wrestling matches: “[YOU can] demolish arguments and every
pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,
[if you] take captive every thought
to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
How can anyone ever hear the voice of
Jesus our Shepherd with all this other clamor going on? Just as
an army uses radio jamming to disrupt communication, Satan jams
you with voices if you are willing to listen. As you continue
to take your thoughts captive to make them obey Christ,
you’ll be able to hear our Shepherd’s guiding
Are you being demonically jammed?
Don’t rail because of the attack or you’ll play
further into agitating hands. First, resist and take your
thoughts captive as the Bible commands. Ask your journey
partner for prayer and encouragement to keep on resisting
and taking your thoughts captive as often as need be. Spiritual
warfare is an ongoing development of alertness and resistance as you press on in our Father’s purposes.
3. “Whenever you are willing to obey
There are some special moments when
you’re a shepherd. Sue and I had a flock of sheep at our
retreat center as part of my counseling ministry to clergy and
other church leaders. We didn’t have a sheep dog, and
sheep don’t do well if you try to drive them along. They
have to be moved every three weeks to a new pasture to avoid
ingesting parasites that develop in their stool. These
parasites could ultimately kill them.
So when Sue or I went out to move them
from one pasture to another, it was heartwarming to open the
gate and call, “Sheep! Sheep!” and watch them
trustingly respond to us and enter their new pasture. They
heard our call, recognized our voices, and obeyed, which
resulted in their health and safety.
To be trusted is a remarkable experience.
I enjoy seeing little children grab their parent’s
hand in times of danger or uncertainty. And if we earthly
parents feel so good when our kids trust us, how joyful it must
make the heart of our Jesus when we hear, trust, and obey Him!
Your season along the shores of the Sea of
Loneliness is your time to die to your own rationale. All of
your weighing of pro’s and con’s is replaced by
trusting confidence in your Shepherd. Your fevered analysis is
transformed into a yearning to obey Him without concern for the
I was recently sharing on the phone with
an old friend about my relationship with Tom Woodruff and James
Skeet. These two have been journey companions with me in
the ministry God has called Sue and me to since we moved West 3
years ago. They’ve been wellsprings of wisdom as well as
loving friendship as we’ve been preparing to
produce our upcoming series, Jesus
in the Living Room.
What’s really encourages us is their
willingness to seek our Lord’s will on each aspect, even
down to which software is most effective for this endeavor.
Once we receive Spirit confirmation about what our Lord wants,
we do it!
Now that may sound courageous (or strange,
depending on your personal experience), but another facet to
our relationship surfaced as I described it to my friend on the
phone that day. To be respected is very important to me as a man. But
respect is a by-product of other decision processes a man uses
when He wants to walk in God’s will and is willing to do
it for His glory.
I realized that not one of the three of us
who are prayerfully cooperating in this project wants to lose
the respect of the others. Sometimes our decisions are painful
to follow through on for the one who is affected by them. But
we have little or no hesitation in following through because
something beautiful in our relationship with both God and with
each other would be tainted by doubt or vacillation.
Men: Do you have an devoted male
friend who holds you accountable to know and follow through on
God’s will? Someone whose loss of respect for you would
If you don’t, why not? Is
there something in in you that really doesn’t want that
level of accountability and friendship?
4. Much-Afraid and her two companions...;
5. The green valley...
Have you ever noticed that the sea has so
many moods? One day the waves ripple softly against the sand.
Another day the roaring surf lashed frothy foam across the
sand. Perhaps these two extremes can help you picture the
difference between solitude and loneliness.
Solitude breathes an essence of calm
serenity, quietness to hear, peaceful moments of remembrance.
Loneliness, on the other hand, cries out for intervention, for
change in circumstances, for relief from negative rumination.
Perhaps if Much-Afraid had evaluated her
environment from the Shepherd’s perspective she would
have been able to appreciate the beauty of the acrobatic gulls
and whimsical crabs. But, predisposed to remembering what she
had left behind rather than focusing on the lovely places to
come, all she could perceive was “endless sandy
desert” on one side and “endless sea moaning
drearily on the other.”
You may be identifying with
Much-Afraid’s appraisal of her circumstances in your own
life, wishing you didn’t have to undergo such challenges
before you can rest securely in prepared service for your
Father’s glory! You can look at the chaos and disorder of
your life as a swirling sea, or you can thank the Shepherd for
His constant presence along your shoreline as your breathe in
Describe some seasons in your life
when you’ve relished solitude. Now contrast that with
periods of loneliness you’ve experienced, and how you
coped with them.
Does the thought of walking along a
deserted seashore bring a smile to you or a shudder? What past
experiences come to mind in your relationship to the sea?
6. In those days Much-Afraid...; 7. She
had been down into Egypt...
Remember Much-Afraid’s encounter
with the little flower outside of the pyramid? “Behold
me, Acceptance-with-Joy”. That inner acceptance of the
circumstances churning around you is the initial sign that your
period of refinement is over.
Sorrow and suffering take on a much more
positive meaning in your life when you understand that our
Father has orchestrated them for His very special purposes.
It’s easier to embrace negative circumstances when you
see them as necessary for your own Christ-like character
Jesus understood the value of suffering,
for we’re told, “Although
he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered” (Heb. 5:8). How else can we ever develop
the confident unwavering hope our Lord desires to form in us if
we don’t embrace suffering?
“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces
perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And
hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his
love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given
us” (Rom 5:3-5).
As difficult as it is for our carnal
nature to swallow, suffering is the best way for us to learn
obedience and trust as well. Just like our Lord Jesus, we will
each have our “Gethesemanes”. May we each have such
trust that we too say, “My
Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matt.
Take the time to articulate to your
journey partner your feelings about suffering.
Now look into the Bible’s
view on suffering together. Is there a change in attitude you
need to make?
8. She could look back across...; 9. She
did not understand how it happened...
Sanctification — the process of
being set apart in Christ’s character for His use
— is first accomplished in the unseen niches of your
heart. Out of your heart, your attitudes and motivations
are brought into conformity to Jesus. Then, over time, your
inner self finds outer expression in your behavior. This is
crucial for you to understand: first, the unseen heart change,
then your attitudes and motives, and finally, your behavior
Our contemporary psychological and
materialistic culture stirs us too often to judge by what we
can see and touch, much like doubting Thomas. We’re
programmed by schoolroom instruction and scientific processes
to measure change so that we can have tangible proof by which
we can verify facts.
In contrast, along your journey
you’ve been impacted by both your pyramid refinement and
your sea of loneliness.These are designed to reconstruct you
away from judging everything by the external so that you can
learn to cherish the internal
changes in your character. The
passage, “We live by faith,
not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:
7), becomes all the more clear, “for those who go down
into the furnace of Egypt and find the flower of Acceptance
come up changed and with the stamp of royalty upon
It’s vital that your wear a cloak of
humility during your journey, sweeping away any temptation to
judge those who haven’t pressed on as you have. These
warnings should pierce your heart if you’re given to
“So from now on we regard no one from a
worldly [carnal] point of view” (2 Cor. 5:16a).
“Who are you to judge someone else's
servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will
stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand” (Rom. 14:4).
“Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light
what is hidden in darkness and will expose
the motives of men's hearts. At
that time each will receive his praise from God” (1 Cor. 4:5).
Any time you judge another person and find
that you feel better about your own practice of Christianity,
you’re engaging in self-justification. Satan loves nothing more. Even the Pharisees
began with good intentions, constructing behavioral fences
around the commands of God so they wouldn’t be in
violation. In time, they began to judge each other’s
performance, entering into legalistic perversion. Thus they
nullified our Lord’s atoning work on the cross. The Lord
Jesus’s appraisal of them? “Hypocrites!”
Don’t give Jesus grounds to say this of you.
Do you find yourself judging other
Christians by external behaviors? If a person drinks wine or
beer, attends movies, dances, does that diminish your view of
Why do you think we are commanded,
“Judge nothing before the
appointed time; wait till the Lord comes”? Can it be that you’re unable to see the
Spirit’s inner work going on in someone else’s
10. Therefore, though she went...; 11. Her
heart often thrilled...; 12. Often, too, she found herself...
When Acceptance-with-Joy fills your heart,
you begin to see everything differently. Over time your
conversations with others on the journey to the High Places
become filled with testimonies of “God-sightings.”
You see Him more and more around you in encounters,
circumstances, and timing. You’re more likely to perceive
delays as opportunities to see God’s hand at work in the
unexpected and unanticipated!
Your growing aura of peace and joy,
however, makes your conversations with those who never left the
Valley of Their Strongholds strained. You sadly discover how
little you have in common with them, and your sadness is
compounded as you realize that they are not experiencing the
wonder of your growing intimacy with your Shepherd. Sue and I
have lost so many relationships over the years at this point.
Even some who had made it to the Sea of Loneliness bolted back
to the Valley because they thirsted for acceptance by others
agitating voices can still reach you here! Two points characterize those who turn back to the
Valley of Their Strongholds:
1. They thought that resisting the devil
and taking their thoughts captive was an optional requirement
of God. Remember, only you can resist your fleshly as well as
demonically-inspired thoughts, and take them captive.
It’s up to you!
2. Married couples who returned never
owned the intensity needed to rightly align their marriage to
the biblical requirement for headship. Most had a weak
commitment to learning and living out their respective roles as
husband and wife, preferring the world’s values and
If you’ve been learning our
Lord’s lessons and have found yourself changed so far on
the journey, the Sea of Loneliness offers you the opportunity
to perceive the uniqueness of God’s beauty and design
that you could never experience anywhere else. You begin to
recognize divine timing and divine encounters with those He
wanted you to meet. You come to
grasp how truly Sovereign He is, and the creative ways He has
been operating all around you to fulfill His divine purposes
* You develop an incredible appreciation
for others. Those you once wrestled with bitterness, you now
see as divine instruments to teach you the power of
* You no longer care where you live because
you are moved to plead with Him to put you where you can reach
the people He has prepared for you to share His love with.
* You no longer care where you work because
you are pleading with Him to put you where you can reach the
people He has prepared for you to share His love with.
* Your chief desire is to be as used as
fruitfully as possible in serving your King. You are able to
perceive that everything around you can be used for our
Over whom do you grieve their loss
because they turned away from you and returned to the Valley?
Describe a place you have visited a
number of times that found you bearing different emotions each
time. How did your emotional state affect your appreciation for
your surroundings or companions?
13. One day they came...; 14. When,
however, drawn by an urge...; 15. On seeing this
These three paragraphs summarize the
essence of what happens along the shores of the Sea of
Loneliness. You feel as though nothing is going on, but just
wait... The Holy Spirit is making tremendous changes!
If the Mike and Sue Dowgiewicz of our
retreat center days (1983-93) could meet us today, when
we’ve been living and sharing the relational intimacy of
the Hebraic foundations, they wouldn’t know us! Our
motivations and purposes are that much different. At the
retreat center we were identified by the activities in which we
were involved. Now we are known by the intimacy we have with
our Lord and with each other. The difference is rather like
being known by your doctor as “the man with the
compressed disk”, compared to your mother’s loving
and multifaceted perception of who you are!
In Israel the Lord told us, “Share this message.” He didn’t tell us to “teach this
message.” Let me explain: Our Hebraic ancestors who
followed the path of Abraham understood that whenever people
discuss the truths of God, the Holy Spirit is there giving
understanding and application.
the pattern that the first Hebrew, Abraham, used to pass on a
way of life: “For I have
chosen [Abraham], so that he will direct his children and his
household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what
is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for
Abraham what he has promised him” (Genesis 18:19).
As Sue and I began to write, we had to
discuss together so many facets that enabled the earliest
church to be so spiritually powerful and relationally intimate.
Without being conscious of it initially, we were being changed
as we prepared the material to share with others.
It’s in this light that we encourage
you to discuss these truths and lessons He’s revealing to
you with your journey partner. The inner
change will occur in your
discussions as you seek to obey God’s commands. We may
make you aware of different facets of the truth God has given
us to share, but your discussion is the means to bring them
into application in your life.
Do you have discussions with your
spouse and family so you can seek together how to apply
God’s words to the myriad of matters that affect you and
If you haven’t been
discussing matters, sit down with the appropriate people and
ask for ideas of how to begin — early morning, dinner,
after dinner??? Purpose to set a time and then follow through.
16. It was only a short time...; 17. Spies
were sent out; 18. Off they went to the shores of Loneliness...
At the Sea of Loneliness you can
experience some of your worst despair. This is especially true
if your Christian experience was filled with “doing” and
you found that just “being” was threatening. If you’ve been very
involved in Hellenistic Christianity, then most likely you
identify strongly with what you do
Keep this in mind: The enemy sends his
demons at just the right time in order to destroy your trust in
the Shepherd and to focus you on your own lonely misery.
Loneliness, probably more than any other feeling, drives people
down avenues of sin. To find relief, they’re willing to
bend their moral values and rationalize wickedness.
One of God’s ways to create
isolation is to alter your environment for His purposes. Many
men who have been too busy to spend time with our Lord and
their families find themselves unemployed. We’ve seen God
put men, especially in their 40’s and 50’s, out of
work in order to increase both their time with Him and their
dependent trust in Him.
This is a crisis point. If you don’t
seek God wholeheartedly at this juncture, you may shipwreck
your faith, drown in self-pity, and destroy your marriage.
Satan will send his “Red
Berets” to torment you. And who better than Resentment,
Bitterness, and Self-Pity? These demons are clones of the very
attitudes you harbor if you misperceive your time along the
shores of loneliness.
Describe the time you’ve
spent along the shores of the Sea of Loneliness. Did you
struggle to escape, or did you learn the lesson God had
intended for you to learn? What was the lesson?
Have you found that God keeps
bringing you back to the shores because you aren’t
learning the lesson of trust He wants to instill in you? What
are going to do this time?
19. “I told you so”...; 20.
Then Resentment would raise...
Have you ever been laughed at or mocked
about something that was out of your control? Mockery that
assails your self-esteem can be a powerful motivator to alter
your life journey.
In the old novel, Gone With the Wind,
Scarlett O’Hara has been thrust by the Civil War from a
life of pampered wealth into a protracted season of utter
poverty. All throughout the years of distress one thought
drives her: “I will never be hungry again!”
Scarlett is fictional, but you probably
know people who have been so humiliated that they are consumed
with silencing that echo of mockery. A younger friend of ours
had been taunted by schoolmates because his clothes were out of
style. He swore to himself that when he was able, he would buy
only the best for himself.
He has followed that course but discovered
that his labels and luxury have not afforded peace to his
heart. The little boy who had been shamed years ago was still
crying to be accepted for who he is rather than the image he
That wounded “little boy” or
“little girl” within you is a prime target for the
enemy to pierce with pain if you haven’t laid that pain
on His alter for Jesus to heal and restore to wholeness. I
discovered that need to trust Jesus to heal old emotional pain
while we were in Israel. I had to choose to cast off those
soiled garments of shame and resentment in order to press on
without having to compensate for old wounds.
Is there an unhealed “little
boy” or “little girl” in you who suffered
shame or teasing at some point way back? Have you protected or
hidden away that area as you’ve gotten older by
Are you willing to set this burden
down at His feet so the sting of those memories can be healed,
and that testimony of His healing be a life-giving instrument
to help others?
21. Bitterness would then break...
Bitterness threatened Much-Afraid that the
Shepherd would thrust onto her “a cross of some sort and
abandon you to it.” But isn’t that the cost for all
whom Jesus calls to follow Him? “If
anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take
up his cross and follow Me” (Matthew
Until self and all its willful desires and
ambitions is set in its proper place of submission,
you’ll always be prone to filter your obedience through
the lens of self-preservation. Even your family relationships
will be a source of imposition to you if you don’t take
that self-determination and put it on the cross so you can
embrace the plan and call God has for you. After you yield
self-preservation and self-focus, then you will be able to
follow Jesus wholeheartedly.
His steps lead to rejection, mockery,
desertion. Yet for the joy set before Him, He endured His own
cross to free us to share life and love with Him now and in
eternity. Should we be discouraged or dismayed when we’re
put in the position of tasting some of that pain ourselves?
Your cross is not your
argumentative spouse, your bickering children, or the
consequences of your disobedience. It’s the life path He
is calling you to! How would you define your cross at this
point in time?
What areas of self-denial are the
hardest for you today? How can you help your journey partner
overcome his or her distractions away from the path of
22. Self-Pity would chime in...; 23.
“Poor little Much-Afraid”...; 24. “You have
every right to feel sorry for yourself”...
Voices! Voices! Voices! If, after several
months of journeying to the High Places, you haven’t
developed spiritual muscle by resisting and taking your
thoughts captive and making them obedient to Jesus,
you’ll wish you had by the sea! You’ll find
yourself scrambling for emotional sanity. You may be phoning
people everywhere trying to find comfort because being alone is
the last thing you can stand.
Even Cain received a wise warning from God
when he thought about killing his brother: “If you do what is right, will you not be
accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have
you, but you must master it” (Genesis 4:7). To resist and fight back
against the evil of your own heart and the demonic hoards comes
with the territory of following Jesus.
Wise military leaders reiterate,
“Don’t underestimate your enemy.” Heed this
warning even more so as you linger by the Sea of Loneliness.
The demons are experienced in deception and torment, and your
own carnal mind can come up with some painful agitation as
Satan’s goal is to separate you from
your trust-filled confidence in our Lord Jesus Christ. Who
hasn’t entertained thoughts like, “Everyone is
laughing at me”; “All He has demanded from you so
far is nothing to what He will demand if you persist in
following Him.” This last statement inspires fear if you
let the voices have their effect. To those who have taken their
thoughts captive and continue to proceed on the journey, we
say, “Hallelujah!!! Let’s see where Jesus
Remember, the continued assault of voices
is not a
sign of your failure. However, your unwillingness to resist and
take captive your thoughts will ultimately lead to your return
to the Valley of Your Strongholds. Be alert!
Even Jesus was plagued by the “voice
of Satan”. Matthew 4:10-11 tells us that our Lord was
tested by Satan himself. This test was needed before our Father
released Jesus to represent His work on earth. Immediately
thereafter our Lord began to preach and heal the sick. So, too,
your opportunity to bear much fruit may be just around the
When did you last feel sorry for
yourself along your pilgrimage? How did you restore your peace
and appropriate His comfort?
What voices have been assailing you
25. “The last remark of
Self-Pity’s was a mistake...; 26. When she thought of
this..; 27. But it is exhausting....
Sue and I as well as others who have
accompanied us on the Hebraic pilgrimage can all point to a
moment when the demons overplayed their hand. At that point of
realization, we were able to shove out those internal arguments
and purposely focus on our Lord’s faithfulness.
But resisting and taking your thoughts
captive over a prolonged period of assault can take its toll.
As we were being worn down, fearful that we were losing the
battle, some accusatory word struck a cord of warning deep
within. Slowly an inner strength began to ignite a more
determined resistance, and the desire to praise Jesus outraced
the the former distracting, agitating thoughts.
What was going on in your life when
you recognized an obvious demonic assault in your mind?
Do you have some favorite Bible
passages or praise songs to help you refocus your heart on
trusting Jesus? Write these down and keep them handy as needed!
28. One day when her companions...; 29.
When she reached the end...; 30. “You can put down...;
31. Much-Afraid lifted her face...
Keep in mind that the lesson learned by
the Sea of Loneliness is designed to protect you in the future.
Depending on the how difficult your further purposes in the
Kingdom are to be, it isn’t unusual for the verbal
assaults to keep coming back at you for days or weeks.
Even some of the Christians who have been
close to you over the years will become like Job’s
friends, and give you all kinds of unwise advice. “There
must be something wrong with you for God to permit this to keep
happening.” “Are you sure there isn’t any sin
in you?” One dear friend reports that every time she runs
into a certain gaggle of former friends, they accuse her of
disobeying God, even though she and her husband are faithfully
Just know this: Our Father wants you to be
grounded in spiritual basics: resist, take your thoughts
captive, cry out to Jesus.
The crisis point of assault often comes
just a little beyond where you feel you can’t take it anymore.
With everything you have done, you still feel cornered. You get the feeling that your
prayers are not even being heard. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your prayers are being heard, but something is taking
place in you which our Father knows you’ll need in order
to meet the desire you have to serve Him: unreserved
trust in Him.
There comes a moment in your crying out
that reveals the intensity of your trust in our Lord Jesus.
This is where the transcendent Lord rises above time and space
to bring you His presence and strength.
Do you get down on yourself when
God is using difficult times to prepare you for His further
One of Satan’s names is
“accuser of the brethren.” Are there certain
accusers who come into your life like wolves in sheep’s
clothing? Purpose today to testify with loving peace rather
than intimidated fearfulness when you see them again!
32. To the horror...; 33. “O
Shepherd”...; 34. “No,” said the Shepherd...;
35. “Shepherd” asked Much-Afraid...; 36. “I
think” said the Shepherd gently...
Any carnal attitudes you embrace during
your lonely times are magnets for unclean spirits. “When
you wear the weed of impatience in your heart instead of the flower
Acceptance-with-Joy, you will always find your enemies get an advantage over
you.” But impatience isn’t your only weed.
Astringent thoughts you harbor toward
others whom you feel are responsible for your lonely condition
can take root. Anger that your way has to be so hard can poke
holes in your well-being. The Shepherd reminded Much-Afraid of
her identity as His humble Acceptance-with-Joy. Perhaps you
need as refreshing gulp of that truth to counteract deceptive
lies and deceit!
Are you harboring anything against
anyone else at this time? Deal with it quickly, because you are
giving the demons a foothold in your soul in which to operate.
What opportunity did you have today
to walk in the character of Acceptance-with-Joy?
37. Much-Afraid blushed; 38. The Shepherd
I think we all blush on the journey at one
time or another. If we could perfectly make it to the High
Places then we wouldn’t have to go on this journey to
reach His character transformation. As Much-Afraid came to
realize, “It had been easier to accept the hard
There are few who don’t balk along
the Sea of Loneliness. Remember, it’s a type of
Gethsemane for each of us. Our cup is to embrace the difficulty
until absolute trust in our Father and His Son Jesus is
complete. Beginning with the pyramid on through the Sea of
Loneliness, this can be a terrible time for married couples if
one refuses to go on. Quite a number of couples consist of one
spouse stuck in the pyramid and the other at the sea shore. You
can only imagine how difficult this situation is, and what
discord assails their home! The two
of them together must get on their knees to humbly seek our
Only our Father can bring them to the same
point on the journey. It’s very unhealthy for an outside
third party to become their answer person. Reliance on others
over time will cripple their ability to walk unified as a
Although all of us are tempted by
impatience to see this difficult time come to an end, those who
yield to agitating voices hurt themselves as well as
their journey partner. Regroup in prayer and press on!
The Shepherd handed Much-Afraid
another stone as a reminder of what she had placed on His
altar that day. Keep in mind that before we finally reach the
High Places we will all be confronted by the altar experiences
we have encountered along the way. Can you gladly look back
If you were asked by the Shepherd,“Do you truly delight in the changes I
have made?”, how would you
Your body reveals your impatience:
tapping feet, deep sighs, shifting position, rolling eyes. How
do you make others feel when you’re impatient? How do you
respond when others are impatient with you?
Chapter 8 On the Old Sea Wall
1. A few days had passed...
Surprised by joy! Can you recall a time
when everything that could possibly go wrong had? And then...a
gracious phone call, a revelation by the Spirit, a shaft of
warm sunlight passing through the window onto your sleeping
child...these small indicators of our Father’s continuing
love were made manifest, and your
heart could recognize them!
Because He’s at work all the time to
stir you to follow His Son, God’s indicators are always
there. It’s just that sometimes you don’t have the
“enlightened eyes” of Ephesians 1:18 to preceive
them. Much-Afraid continued on with her companions Sorrow and
Suffering in a direction she neither fathomed nor desired, but
trusting the Shepherd’s promise nevertheless.
Sue: That trust was her sustaining
strength — and mine. I could never have believed that our
Father could hold in His hands the tattered remains of our
disintegrated marriage and bring about not only healing but new
purpose and meaning! Sorrow and Suffering had been our
constant companions during that journey as well.
But just as Much-Afraid found herself
“unexpectedly facing back over the desert in the
direction of the mountains”, we too found ourselves drawn
together by humility and forgiveness to be prepared for His new
call on our lives. Through His Spirit we became His
workmanship, created in Jesus to do the good work He’d
prepared in advance for us (Ephesians 2:10). We just needed to
come through the desert equipped for mountain work!
What seemingly unending desert has
drained you of hope that things would ever change?
How did our Lord intervene to
redirect your path to fruitfulness, hope and joy to show that
your desert walk had not been in vain?
2. She dropped the hands..., 3. Suddenly
When will we learn as followers of Jesus
to stop being controlled by our circumstances? As quickly as
the path changed from endless sand to potential mountain
refreshment, it swerved back again!
Your awareness of the Spirit’s constancy in
your life will grow only as you choose to focus on His abiding
presence. Jesus has promised to never forsake you. So, are you
willing to “practice His presence” by redirecting
your mind, will and emotions back to Him when assailing
thoughts tumble in?
Or, will you let yourself be swept away by
currents of urgent appointments, interminable chores and
clamoring responsibilities? Are you prone to forgetting that
His Spirit doesn’t mean for you to ignore your
obligations, but to do them with Him? That’s right, with Jesus!
Did it ever occur to you to quiet those
discordant voices—take them captive—and concentrate
on the task that you can do with Him? The prophet Isaiah urges
us to be cloaked with His promise: “In
repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust
is your strength.” But the
rest of the verse grieves over those who refuse to trust His
sovereign power: “but you
would have none of it” (Isaiah
Every time you wash the dishes, thank our Father for
the person in your life who soiled that glass or dish. As you
fold laundry, vacuum, wash the car — focus your mind
purposely on gratefulness for the health to do these jobs for and
with the people you love.
For each assignment or responsibility that
confronts you at work, express thanks to our Father that
you’re interacting with people who need to see Him in
you. Purpose to respond to them by His grace with His
expression, His words, His deeds.
When you forget His presence and react out
of hurry, worry, exhaustion or frustration, “gird up your
loins” with humility to ask and receive His forgiveness.
Then ask forgiveness of those you snapped at, and restore
within yourself that serenity of awareness of His love for you.
Our Father is for you, even when you stumble! The difference
between you and those who are without His Spirit is your
willingness and power to trust Jesus, take His hand in your
heart, and step out once again into the hot desert sand of life
without expectation that you’ll be applauded by others
for your efforts!
Do you often find yourself
multi-tasking — doing several things at once, frantically
waiting to at last collapse into bed when you can? Has it ever
occurred to you that Martha’s shortcoming wasn’t
her activity, but her self-pity-driven complaining and
self-imposed urgency that earned her a pointed rebuke from
Monitor yourself for a day. What
stress points set you up to become a frenetic gerbil in a
speeding wheel? Are you willing to call upon the Spirit of
Jesus within you to slow down your mind — the playground
of false expectations — to concentrate on the one thing
at hand with thanksgiving?
4. “Hope deferred...; 5. Up from
behind...; 6. Then he said, as venomously
You are most prone to entertain bitterness
(or other voices) when you feel isolated and bereft of people
who understand what you’re going through. You may be
surrounded by your kids or your coworkers, but your heart aches
over your dashed hopes. You keep all that pain tucked away
within because you don't want to “fail God” or your
husband or your faith family.
Sue: I know exactly how you feel! Early on
at the retreat center we administrated, I was overwhelmed by
unending tasks and a dread that I’d failed as a wife and
mother. The two women I’d treasured as sisters had
experienced major life changes. One had returned to demanding
graduate school courses, and the other had taken on a full time
job besides mothering her four children.
In my pride and rejection I convinced
myself that they were too busy for my woes and pain. I spent
lonely days conversing with deceiving spirits that used my
excessive introspection to convince me that my family would be
better off without me.
I sealed my heart off from Mike, not
wanting to burden him because I believed the lie that I could
never change. Voices of suicide whispered in my mind. Little
did I realize that behind those voices was the evil laughter of
the enemy who wanted to thwart my Father’s plans.
Can you identify with Sue’s
experience in self-inflicted pain and self-imposed isolation
that set her up to believe her distorted perspective? What
circumstances have added to your times of isolation?
On a scale of 1 to 10, at what
level of desperate isolation are you? Is your husband/journey
partner aware of your need for encouragement to trust Jesus and
press on in His faithfulness? We do urge you, dear one, to turn
away from the lie that no one cares. Pour out your heart to
your journey partner so that together you can affirm your value
to our Father through prayer and His Word.
7. In the silence...; 8. Next moment the
Still your thoughts and the conflicting
emotions churning in you. Only then will you have eyes to see
the Shepherd and a will to recall that He never lets go of
those who call upon Him in trust, no matter how small or
wavering it is.
Sue: This is the assurance I experienced
from my Shepherd. He broke through that I was needed, and that
He had very great and precious purposes for me to fulfill with
Mike and our son. The transition to joy wasn’t immediate,
but I knew He was faithful, and I could choose each morning to
trust Him to work in me. I also learned that love doesn’t
seek to escape, but perseveres until He opens the door of
As soon as Much-Afraid’s words
tumbled trembling from her heart, the Shepherd made His
presence known to her. Note that He didn’t commiserate
with her, nor did He rebuke her. Rather, He told her, “Be
of good cheer.”
Interesting, isn’t it? He
didn’t tell her to put on a happy face because of her
painful circumstances. Instead, he urged her to appropriate the
joy of the Spirit because “it is I.” If you decide
to focus on the roaring wind and stinging sand of your
challenges, you’ll miss the loving “It is I”
Who is faithful to respond to your trusting cries.
After exhorting Much-Afraid to restore her
joy because of His reality, His next words are, “Be not
afraid.” Again we come to the fear issue — your
expectations and hopes might be dashed, you might be overcome
by the worries and deceits of your mind, you’ll probably
fail...The list could go on and on. But the Shepherd’s
command is as pertinent to you as it is to Much-Afraid: Decide
now to cast off that fear and doubt and unbelief. Put your
trust in Him!
The Shepherd didn’t take away her
fear, nor will He strip away yours! You need to exercise your
trust muscles and choose to disintegrate that old fear on an
altar of trust. That means “your whole will” must
at this stage of the journey be set before Him— not when
all is rosy and cooperative, but when it’s troublesome
and fraught with irritation and provocation!
This is no easy task, which is why you
have a partner to help you do this, even as you need to help
him or her.
What specific fears,
disappointments and unfulfilled expectations have brought you
to this point in your journey? When have you faced similar
crisis points, and how did you respond?
Purpose to cast down your fears and
unfulfilled expectations at a set time with your journey
partner. Then note this in the margin of your Hinds’ Feet book
as a reminder of your decision to obey your Shepherd in trust.
9. Obediently Much-Afraid...; 10. From
Much-Afraid has learned a valuable lesson
as she builds her pebble altar. Don’t put off what He is
calling you to do until later, when you think you’ll have
more time to “do it right” or more motivation when
you’re at peace or in a private place.
Delighting to do our Father’s will
doesn’t always mean a smile and eager anticipation. Many
times your “delight” is accompanied by tears of
conviction and a heartbeat of sorrow. But His will is far
better than ours, and your delight comes in the fact that you
can repeat with confidence, “O my God.”
A dear friend and his wife had recently
relocated to another state, eagerly hoping to find work and a
faith community of extended spiritual family. As the weeks
passed, their funds dwindled and his resumés produced no
As we talked on the phone, his voice shook
with frustration and anger at himself. “I’m back in
the same classroom I was eight years ago! Why do I keep missing
what He’s trying to teach me?”
Our Father gave me some insights for him
to pray about with his wife. He had indeed accumulated some
life experiences and wisdom that our Lord had planned for a
very specific forthcoming purpose. But first, he needed to
crucify his expectations — even if they seemed good
— in order to see clearly the new pathway they’d be
I shared with him a path he hadn’t
considered. Suddenly, he could see through the dust of their
trials to recognize that God’s hand had been on them the
whole time to equip them for the next destination along their
pilgrimage. And what potential lay in this new opportunity to
bring God glory as he and his wife found confirmation before
His throne and in His Word!
Share with your journey partner a
time when you had to crucify a particular desire or hope in
favor of something our Lord had orchestrated for your spiritual
How have your “death to
self-will” events along your life course prepared you for
where you are today?
11. Another gust of wind...
The winds were still swirling around
Much-Afraid, but because of them she was able to clearly spot
the pebble of remembrance where the scattered ashes had been.
Her circumstances hadn’t changed — she was still on
a path headed away from the longed-for mountains, surrounded by
blowing sand dunes.
But how different the atmosphere was as
she focused on the Shepherd rather than on her environment! As
long as she walked on step by step choosing to trust in His
promises, her personal enemies (Self-Pity and Resentment; who
are yours?) could find no foothold with which to torment her.
How do you purpose to deal with
your own personal enemies when they stir up thoughts of
unfairness, depression, or self-flagellation?
When did you last take captive
those thoughts and conform them to the mind of Jesus? Our
Father knows that there’s a battle going on for your
mind, will and emotions, and the Spirit has promised to help us
in our weaknesses as we trust (Romans 8:26). Don’t come
down on yourself because you struggle — thank Him for His
faithfulness to cheer you on!
12. Presently they reached a place...; 13.
Much-Afraid, followed by...
Causeways are a marvel to behold, and bear
special meaning for Sue and me. Every year for the past seven
years we’ve been blessed to spend time along the North
Carolina shoreline with my brother and Sue’s sister.
Our rental quarters are on a strip of
island that can be reached only by crossing a lofty causeway
that rises over the highest surf’s reach. From that
vantage point you can see up and down the intercoastal waterway
for miles, as well as the ocean horizon in one direction and
the hazy neighborhoods on the mainland.
The Shepherd led Much-Afraid to the base
of just such a causeway and repeated with great emphasis His
words that indeed, there would be a delay to their destination.
But that delay would serve to bring glory to both God the
Father and His Son. Perhaps revisiting that purpose would arm
her will with strength when future events aroused despair and
At any rate, what a blessing to be able to
look back at your own desert trials and realize how far
you’ve come in your walk, even if your destination seems
so hazy and far away. But unlike Much-Afraid, you don’t
have to wonder whether your goal is mere “wishful
thinking.” Your journey has been ratified by our
Shepherd, and it’s been pursued in trust by the Hebrews
11 notables who have gone before you!
Are you strengthened by reminding
yourself that your delay in coming to maturity in Jesus is for
your King’s glory as you press on in trust?
A causeway passes over a body of
water to link one land mass with another. You can travel in
either direction, either back from where you came or onward to
new territory. How eager are you at this point to cross over to
the new land our Shepherd has for you? Why?
14. Then looking ahead...; 15. Somehow the
roar of the wind...; 16. “And now shall mine...
Have you ever traversed a bridge or
causeway and sensed great relief that you don’t have to
cross the churning waters by boat? The “causeways”
of your life are the encouragement from our Father to lift you
above the rushing waters of frantic reaction to your daily
From His perspective you are able to
appreciate how He’s carried you this far, and be reminded
as you descend that every day can be a “different kind of
country altogether” if you choose to inhabit His peace.
The full force of the wind which had so
aggravatingly stirred up blinding dust in the desert was now a
source of envigorating joy to Much-Afraid. The “glorious
wine of life” took hold of her very being and freed her
to shout praises to God! She was well aware that her enemies
lay in wait, but she chose to concentrate instead on the
sacrifice of joy that comes from praising Him with a heart of
Look with eyes of praise at your own life!
You aren’t starving, you have a roof over your head, and
there are people who are glad you were born — and you are
loved by your Lord! Climb up that causeway of praise and
practice spirit-dancing on the waves and wind in your mind
— even if the melody is accompanied by bickering
children, strident TV, or jangling phone!
It’s your choice — do you
cross the causeway with surging strength or crawl back down
into a sandy foxhole?
When was the last time you
spontaneously burst into songs of praise or love to Jesus, even
if just sung in your heart?
Isn’t it about time you and
your journey partner edified each other in joyful praise? Will
17. As she sang she thought...; 18. While
still on the causeway
Each day that you decide to look your
enemies — self-pity, rejection, pride, whatever! —
in the face and refuse to listen to their taunts, you’ve
triumphed in a battle of spiritual proportions! Instead of
berating yourself for having to consciously turn aside dark
thoughts each and every day, confess to yourself and to our
Father that indeed, you “need Him every hour” as
the old hymn proclaims. Dependence on Him is a good place to
Your victory is the Shepherd’s
victory, because your decision to turn away from darkness into
the light of loving obedience to Him brings Him glory in the
heavenlies, just as He promised! So focus on those victories,
and each night before crawling into bed, recount before Him the
pebbles of triumph you’ve gathered that day. More
failures than triumphs? Stop keeping score! Our Father promises
to forgive the sins you bring before Him in humility, and to
cleanse you from their defilement.
Equipped with that wholeness, go to those
you’ve offended and ask them to forgive you as well. Then
purpose in your heart to give them hope by your changed
attitudes and behavior so they don’t have to fear that
your old-nature ways will return.
In what areas of your life are you
still prone to being a “silly little weakling”
subject to the temptations of your spiritual enemies?
How is today going as far as triumphing over your
enemies? Do you need to come to our Father for forgiveness in
any areas of heart? Do you need to ask forgiveness and make
restitution for anyone you’ve sinned against?
19. The change in scene...; 20.
Much-Afraid told herself...; 21. Everywhere she looked...
Sue: I don’t know about you, but
having been raised in frosty New England, it was always such a
joy to see the first crocuses peeking out of the late snow. But
Spring, ahhh! Aside from allergies, what a visual feast as the
fresh, eager plants unfolded their riotous colors.
Because we’ve lived in the dry and
dusty West for quite awhile, we especially appreciate the
creative diversity of our Father’s palette. To the
unsuspecting eye, much of the thirsty high country is
overwhelmed by reddish dirt and sage green bushes. But, like
Much-Afraid, when you make an effort to investigate more
closely, you can stare in wonder at the fiery Indian paintbrush
or vibrant yellow prickly pear blossom.
Most high country blooms aren’t
profuse — but that makes their appearance all the
Pause for a moment and think of the life
teeming all around you from a child’s perspective —
the child we’re admonished by our Savior to emulate in
wonder and in trust! Walking with an inquisitive four-year-old
can open up for you a whole vista of previously unnoticed
beauty. Rubbery worms, delicate violets, shimmering dandelions
begging to be blown — the dishes, the phone calls, the
deadlines just have to wait!
Don’t be ruled by the tyranny of
urgent things unless you’re unwilling to stroll in peace
with the Shepherd. Purpose to reevaluate your hours and what is
filling them. Don’t let yourself be agitated by guilt or
reciprocal obligation (“They invited us over, so we have
to invite them back.”)
Picture yourself as a young child
venturing out into a spring pasture. What will you take the
time today to notice and thank our Creator for, even if you
never make it out of your house?
Are you willing to talk with your
journey partner to help clear your plate of distractions and
needless busyness in order to learn to laugh again in wonder?
When will you do this?
22. At the same time...; 23. As
Much-Afraid looked at it...; 24. You may think...
If you’re willing to start growing
in wonder and appreciation of our Father’s small
revelations of His love in your daily life, you may be
recognizing that getting up in the morning is more hopeful for
you. You aren’t quite so overwhelmed by the coming
day’s realities because a new root of loving trust has
been burrowing in your heart!
Don’t let your daily complexities
strangle that new growth. Your steps are progressing ahead, so
hold discouragement and self-disappointment at bay. Your Father
is cheering you on as you continue!
Sue: I’m my fiercest critic, and it
shows all over my face, my disposition, and my attitude when I
feel like I’ve failed Mike or anyone else. But even
worse, I let these wrong perceptions infect our whole home with
dissatisfaction. It’s time to remind myself again of
Paul’s encouragement to the followers of Jesus in
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it
again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord
is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your
requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all
understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ
Jesus (Phil. 4:4-7).
Part of my needful “denying of
self” is to let go of my perceived right to feel so bad
about me that I lose my focus on Jesus’ presence in me
and in our home. Our Father knows our sorrow and has sent us a
Comforter to help us move beyond our personal grief. He has us
on a “strange journey” that others might not
understand — and they won’t until they respond to
His call with ears to hear!
Much-Afraid was “half-afraid
and half-eager” to evaluate her willingness to love as
Jesus would have her love. Where would you put yourself in this
arena of love?
What ways has the Spirit been
revealing to you to live out the love He’s growing in
25. But she did not weep...; 26.
Much-Afraid smiled...; 27. This time, though...
If you’ve gotten this far in the
book and the notes, you’re ready to look in the mirror of
your heart to find “Acceptance-with-Joy.” By now
you’ve learned that you generally have little control
over what comes your way — unanticipated bills,
accidents, poor choices by your children. Whatever you’re
going through that’s causing you to call on the Shepherd,
you probably didn’t plan for or ask for!
What is under your control, however, is your response to
those intrusions into your sense of well-being. If you’ve
been clinging to our Lord’s sovereignty and love for you,
then you can accept with joy whatever happens because
He’s your Sustainer and Strength. This doesn’t mean
you have to be happy that your car engine blew, but you can
trust with peace and joy that He can fulfill your needs
(creatively, if need be — maybe not car repair but
perhaps a neighbor’s offer to drive you to work!)
Much-Afraid admitted that she had allowed
her memory of her growth in Acceptance-with-Joy to lapse, and
noted that her heart needed to be sacrificed to remind her. Her
yieldedness to walk in what He’s shown her so far without
grumbling or moaning was enough to spark radiance within her.
And she was able to run — she, lame Much-Afraid — to
His presence on winged feet!
How have your responses to
unexpected crises changed since you first began your journey?
Can you recall some instances in
which you’ve evidenced “Acceptance-with-Joy”
in response to a situation that formerly would have agitated
28. “Oh, welcome, welcome...; 29.
“I have come...; 30. The color leaped...
Much-Afraid was self-deprecating as she
evaluated her spiritual progress. The Shepherd ignored her
humble putdown but responded with words that recognized her
earnest zeal. He told her to be ready for something new that would come from His hands.
Sue: I really dislike change. Once
something is in its place in our home, it stays there until the
next move! But I’ve been learning along the way that
change is needful in our lives — not necessarily
relocation, but willingness to be conformed to Jesus in arenas
that are unpleasant and challenging.
The more I resist, the more I remind
myself of a horse I recently rode. She was used to being the
lead horse on trail rides, but the wrangler decided to break in
a new lead horse. My mount was reassigned close to the rear.
That first day she fought me hoof and tail! Whenever I relaxed
a bit, she’d strain to push ahead of the others, whisking
her tail, kicking the horse behind her, and flattening her ears
at the horses who impeded her progress.
Each and every time I had to haul back on
the reins and bring her back in line to the place she’d
been assigned. This was not fun for her or for me! The next
ride, we were given a position closer to the front, and she was
relaxed and content. Had she realized in her equine heart that
change wasn’t all bad, she could have forestalled a sore
In human terms, if I seek our Lord with my
husband over a matter and Mike reports a response (even if it
didn’t suit me!), I can accept with joy my Lord’s
sovereignty. Or, if I whine and moan and try to get my way,
we’re both miserable.
How do you respond to change? How
does your response impact others?
What change has been the hardest
for you along your journey? Why? How has the Shepherd shown you
that such a change was needed for your good?
31. “O Shepherd,”...; 32. She
thought he nodded...; 33. “Do you mean it?”...; 34.
This time he answered...
Have you ever so anticipated a trip, only
to be disappointed that it was postponed? Perhaps that was
behind the inscrutable expression crossing the Shepherd’s
face. Much-Afraid was breathless with excitement at the
prospect of finally going to the High Places. The Shepherd,
though, knew she wasn’t ready. She needed much more
preparation before the High Places would be appropriate for
Like putting waterskis on a child
who can’t swim, we sometimes end up over our heads in
life situations. I was totally unprepared to be an arts and
crafts instructor at a summer camp, and my ineptness was
painfully obvious to staff and campers alike. How about you?
What situation have you ever found yourself in that caused you
embarrassment (or worse!) because you hadn’t been fully
Have you come to the point in which
you can extend grace and mercy to those who haven’t been
fully prepared yet to venture on a pilgrimage to the High
Places? How can you best help them?
A Final Exhortation
The pilgrimage with our Lord Jesus in
which He is changing us is developing new response patterns
which are leading to our Father’s desired goal for our
lives — Christ-likeness. In any learning process you
discover steps and practices to help you along the way. There
are also processes you’re constrained from doing because
they’ll hinder your progress.
In each of these chapters we’ve been
repeating some of the same themes, such as resisting the enemy
by taking your thoughts captive and transforming them into
thoughts prompted by His Spirit. We’ve also added
new elements to your journey, such as walking in complete trust
in our Shepherd. Each of these components must become a way of life for you.
In other words, you must put them
into practice if you want to be
You may have been steeped in Hellenistic
religious practices which have segmented your life into
“secular” and “sacred” realms. The
Hebraic understanding of our Lord is a wholistic perspective
that brings Him into every venue of your life, whether your
home, your school, your workplace, or your faith practices.
Your life pilgrimage is a 24/7 lifestyle
in which every aspect of your life represents the depth of
relationship you have with our Father and His Son Jesus. You
bear the awesome responsibility of permitting your life to
mirror a divine relationship as you are God’s physical
agent to represent Him to all who encounter you.
This journey, however, is not about you per se. It’s about
our Father and His eternal plan for the redemption of mankind.
And He enlists “Much-Afraids” like you and me who
are willing to leave the Valley to accomplish His task. The
journey is exciting, to be sure. But to prepare us to be fully
available for His purposes, He must transform us and conform us
to be like His Son Jesus.
Quotes for Your Heart and Your Refrigerator
My life reflects the depth of my relationship with my
to situations reflects the
depth of my relationship with my Father.
to change reflects the depth
of my relationship with my Father.
to forgive reflects the depth
of my relationship with my Father.
to praise with thanksgiving reflects
the depth of my relationship with my Father.
to love even when I am not loved reflects
the depth of my relationship with my Father.
to press on to the High Places reflects
the depth of my relationship with my Father.