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Finish the Course

Journal Entry // June 4, 2022

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

Acts 20:24 ESV

These last few weeks, I have been overly concerned with the current state of my life. For the past 2+ years, God has kept me and my family in a state of unrest, anxiety, struggle, and perplexity. It has been a time of upheaval and transition as the Lord seems to be clearing the stage from our previous life and preparing us for a new stage of life and ministry. I have struggled a lot during this time in different ways, but lately there has been a more intense battle with depression and apathy. As I was reading and thinking through my time in Joshua and Acts, I was intrigued by these words of Paul. This statement of humility and selflessness. A man who understands his mission and calling from Jesus. And it brought into sharp focus that I am not living with this righteous perspective.

I worry and think about myself far too much. I have overvalued the preciousness of my life in my own eyes. I placed myself at the center of everything. I have set myself up as lord and ruler of my “world.” I can look back over the years and see this theme developing gradually throughout my life and ministry. I can see how my mind began to drift and my heart began to be puffed up. The Lord was blessing me more and more every day throughout those years. He was building a life for me that answered every dream I had envisioned. I had arrived in a worldly sense. I had achieved my goals and I was set to coast and relax in the work God called me to. My state of life was more precious to me than my calling that I received from the Lord Jesus. I cared more about my comfort and prestige than I did about the people I was there to minister to and more than my Savior if I am truly being honest.

Now, it is all different. My calling hasn’t changed, it just looks different. The circumstances of life all seem to be an unsettled mess. This is a key moment for me in my life of faith. Is the importance of my work more valuable to me than knowing Jesus Christ and Him crucified? Is my lowly state and esteem so hurtful to my pride that it keeps me from sitting at the table of fellowship with Jesus? I am worried that this is true. I am worried that I am so desperate for meaning outside of Christ, that I am drifting away from Christ himself. I can hear the deception of my enemy speaking prideful words to me on a regular basis. I can feel my heart yearning once again for Egypt. My heart yearns for the comfort of familiarity with sin. Those sins that have been my coping partners for so long.

I love Jesus. I know I do, but I don’t seem to love him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I continue to account my life more valuable and more precious. I continue to lift up haughty eyes. I can see the hand of God moving in my life and the life of my family. I can see his provision and guidance. Just as the Israelites saw the hand of God in their wilderness wandering, I too can easily see the mighty hand of God working for me. I want to rejoice and be glad in the Lord. I want to have a grateful and thankful heart that understands the purpose behind my wilderness wandering. That purpose being to bring honor and glory to the name of Christ. To follow my Savior wherever he leads and to be faithful in the ministry and work he has appointed for me. Whether I am a slave in the household of someone important, or a prisoner in a dungeon, or the second highest ranked leader of the land. Faithfulness is what is required. A faithful humble reliance upon Jesus for each and every breathe that I draw. A life filled with obedience and love for the risen Savior. My King.

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