This offering today is an allegorical story of the Congregation of Jesus — those who are known personally by Jesus, The Church. It’s not “a” church, although some of these may be in “a” church, not everyone in “a” church is part of this Congregation. This Born Again Bunch is making its way along life’s highway to an eternal destination we call heaven. I pray you will identify yourself and maybe some others you know in this story.
Jerusalem is where all Believers go to die, in the pattern Jesus gave us. Our life after we are saved, is our journey toward that heavenly City. That last time He went up there, His disciples were afraid, because of enemies who wanted to kill Him. One disciple remarked to the others, “Oh, lets just do it. Let’s go on and die with Him.” People have been doing that very thing ever since. They are ALL pilgrims.
Now, there is an End Times ministry of power among us being unleashed in this end time. These people are a necessary part of the preparation for the return of Jesus, which many believe is ‘nearer than when we first believed.’ [Romans 13:11] These men and women have a peculiar, powerful anointing that allows them to shuck the corn and crack the whip when they preach and teach. They bring great conviction on those in sin. They also bring EMS relief, pouring in the oil and the wine to the weary and wounded, as God’s people move on toward Jerusalem, sometimes fighting enemies along the way. These ‘power people’ pray for us, and God hears. There has always been people like this among us, but now the numbers are growing as the time gets shorter. These people are called by God to make sure the rest of us make it to the finish line.
Many in The Congregation of the Lord seem more interested in the stops where supplies and trinkets can be bought, and in finding nice places to camp. The journey and the destination are not at the top of their list. Instead of going as hard as they can to get in as many miles as possible, they stop often to catch their breath, beg the Lord for longer periods of rest, call Roadside Assistance. (We have all been one of those at times.)
You can tell the wild guys among us because they are moving faster than the rest of us. They are preaching, admonishing. They are gruff and blunt at times. But they are also loving and kind and helpful to travelers who are really worn out, thirsty, lying quietly as others pass by. One minute these odd people are loudly calling for people to walk faster and not dawdle along the way. The next, they are sitting down with one weary soul, sharing their sack lunch and wine skin. And giving a quiet word of hope.
Sometimes, these people pause and lean on their shepherd’s rod, speaking while they stand a while. Others will pause with them and gladly listen to the amazing things they say. They warn of pitfalls ahead, of temptations near the road, and the importance of staying on the path and keeping oneself holy. Then, suddenly they will say farewell, shake hands, bless those standing with them and continue on ahead, walking fast, and loudly declaring as they pass by, “This is the way. Follow me. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Sing songs and Psalms as you go. You have the strength for this journey. With God’s help, with your own eyes you will see the glorious City of New Jerusalem. Take courage, my friends, Jesus is with us, walking among us. Keep gaining your strength from Him.”
If you feel relieved when someone like this finally moves on ahead, chances are this was one of those strange people in the End Times Power Ministry. They can be a bit frightening. You may be blessed to meet several of them on your life journey. In time, instead of dreading or fearing them, you may find yourself looking for them as you begin to walk a little faster yourself. You may start feeling better about what lies ahead for those who love the Lord and are the ‘called ones’ according to His purpose.
“Are ye able,” said the Master, “to be crucified with Me?” “Yea,” the sturdy pilgrims answered, “to the death we follow Thee!” “Are ye able,” still the Master whispers down eternity, and heroic spirits answer now, as then in Galilee: “Lord, we are able! Our spirits are Thine. Remold us, make us, like Thee, divine.” (Taken from the Broadman Hymnal, #396)
Charlene Reams Manning
Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah