Today: On the Lord's Highway
And there's more to anticipate and get excited about--- Jesus is coming soon!
The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God." (Isaiah 40:3)
We are to prepare for His coming... His highway.
But we know how easy it is to relegate that fact at the back of our minds as we day in and day out trudge through what is before us. And it is so easy to forget it, unless we invite Him into our lives, day by day by day. For, yes, that's how He come to us even as we prepare for His coming.
Before Jesus left, He promised His disciples:
“If you love me, keep my commandments.
I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor,
that he may be with you forever—
the Spirit of truth, whom the world can’t receive;
for it doesn’t see him, neither knows him.
You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you.
Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more;
but you will see me. Because I live, you will live also.” (John 14:15-19)
Almost four years ago, I lost my parents in a storm. They were godly people. What I missed most was their presence and guidance. We know that even how old we get, we still need our parents, for the most part, because they are the only ones who can love us unconditionally here in this earth. So I despaired: who can I go now to ask for help, for advice or when I have a problem? But when I read the Bible and saw the word "orphan" (because that is what I am now), I was comforted at how God loves orphans.
Jesus is saying to us, "I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you." And He does. Day by day, He comes to us in the form of the Holy Spirit.
However, He needs our invitation.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3:20)
He wants to dine with us, to talk with us, to share and do life with us. But by our invitation. Today.
Maybe you invited Him yesterday, or last week, or last month. However, that won't do.
When I was Korea, I always look forward to visits in a Korean restaurant to get some hanjeonshik. Variety of Korean dishes are spread out on a low table, and when I see the amount of food, I would often think that I wouldn't be able to eat them, only to find out that I'd want more. Going out, I'd feel so full that I would think I won't need to eat for even a week, but a few a hours later, I'd realize that I still need to eat even after all that food.
What I ate yesterday cannot sustain me through tomorrow. So I ate today. But it won't be long before I will eat again. However, there's a more important sustenance that we need today--- God's presence through the Holy Spirit.
Before Jesus started His public ministry, He went to fast for forty days and forty nights to fully depend on divine power, being unconfident of His humanity. Only by the Spirit of God was He able to get through that long period of time without food. And even after Satan's temptation, and being weak physically, He was able to resist by reciting God's Word and saying, "It is written..."
By this, Jesus shows that our battle against our weak self and the temptations surrounding us can only be won by depending on God alone, not even the bread that we eat daily can get us through. He said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
By His Word, we live. By His Spirit, we move and have our being. By His presence, we have fullness of joy that will get us, as William Miller said, setting a new date of our Lord's coming, "today, TODAY and TODAY... until He comes, and I see Him for whom my soul yearns" (quoted in F.D. Nichol, The Midnight Cry, 267)
Today, we do not have to live like orphans. Jesus comes. Invite Him today.
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