‘The peace and safety of Blue Camp 20’
(https://www.theodysseyonline.com/blue-camp-20 – accessed 19 October 2018 – 18:01)
Are you happy with your life?
This question is generally quite easy to answer. I have a good job that I enjoy, or, I have a good social circle of like-minded people, or even, my family life and church life are going well and we are content.
Do you believe that you are where God wants you to be?
People say, my church life is going well; I am in a bible study group that is both challenging and fun, or, I am doing well at work and it is a job I worked hard for.
Do you think that you have achieved everything that God has planned for you?
This question is a lot harder than the two previous questions.
Many people can say that they are happy with their life, and that they believe they are where God wants them to be, but have they achieved everything that God wants them to, is something that many people would avoid talking about.
I knew a person that never seemed to worry about anything; but, they had walked away from God and the church, and thought that they knew best. They said that God had held them back from so many things that they wanted to do, and so they struck out on their own, doing their own thing, being their own boss; doing what they wanted, whenever they wanted.
Well, what a bad decision that turned out to be. Their life spiralled out of control until it hit the bottom, and there was nowhere left to turn, in desperation, they did as the Psalmist had done, many, many years ago; ‘I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me’ (Psalm 77:1 NIV), called out to God and said, ‘I’m in a desperate situation… … let me fall into the hands of the LORD’ (1 Chronicles 21:13 NLT).
God answered the prayer, of course he did. They had walked away from him, but he had always been by their side, and it was then that the words from a famous poem were remembered; ‘The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.” ‘ (Mary Stevenson – 1936).
We should all remember that God never leaves us, and Jesus tells us that in the book that we should never stop reading and learning from, ‘Never will I leave you’ (Hebrews 13:5 NIV).
The words that first brought me to Christ many years ago, echo in my head regularly, they are the wonderful words that John wrote in his vision, ‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in’ (Revelation 3:20 NIV).
How happy we should be to hear those inviting words, we should be prepared to rip that door off its hinges and make sure that it should not be able to be closed again!
We may at times, be desperate and afraid, but as we repent and seek God’s will, we need to say, ‘Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me’ (Psalm 57:1 NIV).
Much may have happened since the time God came into our life, but we should never want to stop in what we do for God. The old pioneers stopped; they decided that they had reached their limit; they wanted to settle down and have an easier life, if living on the edge of unknown territory could be called easy. ‘Inevitably, some of those old pioneers reached Blue Camp 20 and stopped’ (Dirty Glory pp139 – Pete Greig – wow, what a book!).
We know that God has a plan for our lives, pioneering may not be part of that (at least for mine, as far as I know!) but we should want to live for God, and not stop for the easy life. ‘I know the plans I have for you… plans to prosper you… to give you hope’ (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).
I do not know what those plans are in my life, many of us may not, but they are plans for us to be out there somewhere, somehow. They are not plans to settle down in Blue Camp 20! None of our plans should be to be in Blue Camp 20 for long; ‘Therefore go and make disciples’ (Matthew 28:19 NIV).
Words from Jesus telling us exactly what to do; “Go out from Blue Camp 20, don’t settle here for comfort and easy living. Go out there and work for me.”
Many times, Jesus told us that there was work to do, ‘the harvest is great, but the workers are few’ (Luke 10:2 NLT).
So what are we going to do? Settle for an easy life, or do what needs to be done, get a little grubby, a little dirt under the nails. That is nothing compare to what Jesus did for us!
I walked away from you Lord!
Shut you out, to live my life
I stood alone and turned my back
Left behind your love and care
In a world, too much for me to bear
Why did I always need you there?
I walked from your presence without a thought
And pursued my life with money, and brought
My happiness, and filled my life
With all the things the world could give
And still a void, an emptiness;
An empty hole I could not fill
My life was a single drop of rain
But soon the downpour started to come
The rain became a raging storm
A tempest ravaged at my soul.
My life went bad, it grew much worse
As I took a devastating deadly course
All of a sudden my life was still. . .
How had I gotten so far from You?
I stood alone in grief and fear,
Not knowing what to do, how to hear
I stood on a lonely precipice, what had I done?
Until that moment when I stopped to think
I sought you out, went to Your home
What had I missed, was it too late?
Your voice was silent, I tried to hear
Nothing came, and still I feared
Emptiness and loneliness, a life apart
My God was silent, at the start
I entered prayer and sought you out
My life be yours I said
A ray of light beamed down on me,
You walked right by and hugged me!
Your voice was soft like a whisper
All you said, ‘I love you’
My heart exploded with newfound love
My life was new to start afresh
Redeemed by grace my soul now is
No longer alone, now I’m His
My God had spoken and so had I
I will never leave Him till we see eye to eye.
Father we thank you for everything that you give us, day by day.