SUMites, our community is, and has been, under a lot persecution. I just recently posted some of my woes on this forum. It is so uplifting to receive words of encouragement from others in the battlefield. However, the Lord has placed these thoughts and words on my heart and I hope you don’t mind if I share these insights with you.
It started with a passage from John 12:27 where Jesus is in the Garden and struggling with what lies ahead. He says,
“Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came!”
These words just jumped off the page at me. In essence, why am I praying to be delivered from the very reason God put me here?
In contrast to my thinking, Jesus submitted to the Father’s will. His mission was to advance the Kingdom. He did not waver in fulfilling the purpose for which he came.
I find myself too often praying in earnest to be delivered from the pit instead of stopping to look around the pit. What is it in the pit that I need to see, what is it that I need to learn, what did I not learn the first time?
Is being in the pit about me at all or does it serve the advancement of the Kingdom. Is my pre-believer, my children, co-workers, small group members, or online community watching me during my time in the pit and do I reflect the fruits of the spirit. While the pit is no surprise for God, I still find myself questioning, “How did I get here”, “Why am I in the pit?” and “Why am I in the pit and (s)he isn’t”?
How can I speak of having faith, perseverance, humility, and obedience without having any firsthand knowledge of being in the pit or knowing how it feels to be pulled out of it?
Do I say I am a follower of Jesus, but only as far as the edge of the pit? Am I truly willing to follow his example and die to myself to advance his Kingdom? Do I not trust that he knows how stinky, unjust and painful it is in the pit?
The image of Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father with nail pierced hands has humbled me, and I am reminded of this verse from our study of I Peter 5:10.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
Yes, I am in the pit. Yes, God knows I’m in the pit and has been preparing me for this time here. Yes, Jesus has gone before us and has paved the way. He has come out victorious and fulfilled his purpose.
After this downloading from the Holy Spirit, I have a different outlook on being in the pit. Although it is not a fun place to be and I don’t want to live here, I will not be in as big a hurry to leave it. I’m going to sit here a while, look around and pray for God to show me what I need to see. I am going to be more willing to be in the pit for the advancement of His kingdom and not the advancement of my kingdom. I am putting my full Faith in the one who has already been in the pit and will pull me out when my mission is finished to bring honor and glory to his name.