FOCUSED FOUNDATIONS FOR FAITH #4
"The Jesus' Trek"
Guest Speaker, Pastor Lloyd Tremain
February 23, 2020
“Father, Open my eyes so I can see Your truth. Open my ears so I can hear Your voice. Open my mind so I can understand Your Holy, true and righteous Word. Let my heart be open so I may receive all that You want me to receive today so I can be Your hands and feet, sharing it with others. In Jesus’ name!”
Last week we heard how the Christian life arises as Christ from the grave when we are boldly Standing for Jesus. How did you do boldly standing for Jesus this week? Jesus says “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord, ’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a ﬂood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears My words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete. ” (Luke 6:46)
Today is the 4th sermon focusing on developing the Foundations for our Faith. Are you ready to meet with God here today? Today l’ll be using the word “trekking” interchangeably with “walking”. To move forward in our faith we need to have a foundation that’s so secure it can hold up an entire spiritual building. Would you walk on this bridge? lf not then why would we try to walk on a spiritual bridge that‘s built on a flimsy faith? If we approach our faith with God’s solid foundation and vision for us, it’ll lead us into deeper and higher stages of spiritual life and growth. Let’s personally build God's solid, strong, spiritual foundation in your lives so we can live without fear in our walk of Faith with Him!
What did Jesus do most of His time beyond sitting and teaching? He was Trekking. I believe that trekking with Jesus is another key element to continually discovering and encountering all of God’s fullness in your life, because it's all about relationship. If we're headed in His direction...
“I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked” by Geoffrey O’Hara goes like this:
I walked today where Jesus walked, In days of long ago.
I wandered down each path He knew, With reverent step and slow.
Those little lanes, they may have changed, But sweet peace ﬁlls the air.
I walked today where Jesus walked, And felt Him close to me.
This song tells of visiting Bethlehem, the Hills of Galilee, the Mount of Olives, the Jordan River and it ultimately speaks of climbing the Hill of Calvary... “where on the Cross Jesus died.” lt’s a beautiful song, but, it’s something else to go to the Promised Land and see where Jesus lived. Most of the time, people go on guided tours where they get onto tour buses and are driven down the road to visit various holy sites where Jesus could have been. But, a few years ago, someone put together a 40 mile trek called the “Jesus trail”. Travelers can download GPS coordinates or pick up trail maps at tourist sites. You can start the trail in Nazareth, and sleep in the town where Jesus grew up. The path lets you smell the flowers, and experience the land as you walk for about 4 days “where Jesus walked.” l’d love to try it someday, but that’s not the kind of trek l’m talking about today.
Going for a walk with someone you know gives you time together to share your thoughts. As you stroll along a path your heart pumps, your blood flows and oxygen stimulates your brain which heightens your senses. As you talk with a friend it helps you think through situations you’re facing and bounce ideas off of each other. Catch this...
Going on treks with God can bring similar results to your mind. When you speak, He hears you and is able to re-speak your thoughts back to you, either as a veriﬁcation of His will for you or a challenge for you to go deeper. I love hearing His clear perspective on what He sees and how He can help me if I let Him. The disciples were learning this from Jesus too. Jesus said, “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in Me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it. ” (John 14:11-14)
I know the purpose with which He spoke those words to His disciples. They'd trekked with Jesus for almost 3 years and His time on earth was coming to an end. From Adam to Jesus to heaven, all through the Bible, walking with God is a theme that captured people’s attention. Today’s no different. Trekking with God’s all about some important foundational things...
1. Going the same DIRECTION.
The prophet Amos wrote, “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to do so?” (Amos 3:3) Jesus told us, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) which leads to 1 John 1:7, “If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. ”
Whenever I've gone on a walk with a friend, we knew that we were going in the same direction. If we were not going the same direction our conversation would have been VERY short. You will never learn to trek with God, until you know which way He’s going. Once you know, then you can decide to join Him by changing YOUR course to match His.
In Eph. 5, Paul starts by saying, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Eph. 5:1-2) The very essence of life can be found if we follow God’s example... trekking in the way of love just as Christ did (it was His direction)! He was following His Father’s will. If we're going in the same direction, then we’ll have a lot more time together. Amen?!
I love how Moses wrote In Genesis, about Enoch and Noah, verifying that they were going in the same direction as God. Gen. 5:24 says, “...Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” And in Gen. 6:9 Moses wrote, “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.”
So, how are you doing in your trek with God? Are you walking faithfully WITH God, in His direction like Enoch and Noah? If so, Why are you walking faithfully with God ________? If not, why aren’t you walking faithfully with God ________? The 2nd part of trekking with God is...
2. Going at the same PACE.
In order to trek humbly with God, you must match His pace, speed, and tempo not running ahead or falling behind Him. God knows exactly what we need and how long it takes for us to process things. We may think we know a lot, but He knows that knowledge is only as valuable as we can apply it to our lives. Long distance runners and other athletes know the value of pacing themselves. Over exerting yourself with sprints will barely shave a couple of seconds off of your time while it really drains your overall energy and vital strength and may actually hurt your time. I used to trek to school each day and I found that the time seemed to go by quicker if I had a friend who was trekking at my pace with me as we headed off to school or home.
After Jesus’ death, 2 of His followers were walking on the road to Emmaus, “As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them” (Luke 24:15) And as a result of Jesus trekking and talking with them, their eyes were opened.
“Just A Closer Walk" - Unknown
I am weak, but Thou art strong; Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I'll be satisfied as long As I trek, let me trek close to Thee.
Just a closer trek with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily trekking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.
Not only is it important to trek the same DIRECTION at the same PACE, but we should be...
3. Going with the same PURPOSE.
ASK: Why do all the runners in the Olympics run? (responses - Prize/notoriety) There is a certain set of rules to follow, a distance, a lane, a starting point, and a place to WIN! Why do you trek humbly with God? Isn’t it the same as Paul speaks about regarding runners in a race (1 Cor. 9:24)? “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” The purpose of our trekking action with God is to stay together in harmony with God’s perfect will clear through to the prize, eternity. If we start trekking for any other purpose, we actually start trekking away from God’s track. Our motivations change as selfish agendas emerge separating us from God’s purpose. Are you motivated by the same purpose as God?
The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 15:1-2, “Lord, who may dwell in Your sacred tent? Who may live on Your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart.” Paul quotes God speaking through prophets (Lev. 26:12; Jer. 32:38; Ezek. 37:27) saying, “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.” (2 Cor. 6:16) To the Church in Sardis, “who have not soiled their clothes”, Rev. 3:4 says, “They will walk with Me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.”
“In the Garden" - Charles Austin Miles
“And He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own. And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”
l used to question Charles’ idea, that “none other has ever known” but the author understood that God wants a personal relationship with me that is so deep and intimate that His messages are just for me not to crowds. Now we can have shared experiences as His body, the church, where we go in the same direction together, but there are times when God needs to walk and talk with you alone. The convicting voice of the Holy Spirit may not be for everyone at the same time, but it's always heard by you because it’s directed only at your spirit.
Not only should we trek the same DIRECTION at the same PACE, with the same PURPOSE as God, but we should also be...
4. Going to the same DESTINATION.
I think that's ultimately what we all want, right?! Purpose has an outcome, leading us to a goal. If you want true fellowship with God, make sure you actually want to go to His final destination. Heaven is a great destination IF it's where you really want to go. If you're living in a bad rental place, Heaven’s mansions may sound like a glorious destination. But there is more to heaven than a mansion. Check it out! I wish I could take you on a journey there, but that’s not my focus.
Having a relationship with God gives us the opportunity to enjoy Him, but He wants more than a few moments with us today. He wants our complete attention, and readiness to take on our next assignment with eagerness, joy and determination. Did you hear that?
Trekking with God to His newly created Heaven is the most valuable thing we can do IF we want to see HIS mission completed. That’s why Jesus taught us HOW to pray, not just what to pray. “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” (Matt. 6:9-10) Taking orders, like a soldier under command, is easier if we’re headed to the same destination. But many people today want an easy religion that doesn’t require anything of them. That’s not going in God’s direction. That’s a selﬁshly, lazy approach to life. Non-motivation is a life burner and an empty death. Don’t go there expecting to achieve nirvana, nothingness! God wants to give you way more love, beauty and favor. If you want to go to your heavenly destination, and you really want it, Jesus will give you all you need to get there! “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) Then Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me. ” (Luke 9:23)
David understood this kind of trek with God when he wrote in Ps. 23:4, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me... ” The prophet Micah said, “what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8) Regarding our destination Jesus said, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. ” (John 14:2-3)
Trekking with God today prepares us for our future with Him in Heaven forever. I hope we won’t need to ask ourselves, “Why didn’t I serve more? Why didn’t I give more? Why didn’t I love more? Why didn’t I obey more?” If I do not love others like Jesus, then l’m not really His at all!
I know if your heart’s like my mine, your life goal is to one day stand before Jesus Christ and hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness!” (Matt. 25:21) At that point we’ll say it was worth it all. “for we trekked by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7)
“It will be Worth It All" by Esther Kerr Rusthoi
“It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus! Life’s trials will seem so small, when we see Christ.
One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrow will erase.
So, bravely run the race, till we see Christ.” (Esther Kerr Rusthoi)
I hope you’ll continue to develop this theme in your hearts as you “TREK” into a new season with a new pastor. I am here to encourage you to purpose in your heart to trek with Jesus every day in the same direction, at the same pace, with the same purpose and heading to the same destination, to God’s glory. Will you do that? If so, you will be blessed in this church with God’s best and His Will...will be done here on earth even as it is in heaven! AMEN?!