GO FURTHER – After the Cross Comes the Crown
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Mathew 26:39
To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Rev 3:21
He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. Rev 21:7
*scriptures are from the NKJV
Life on earth is getting closer and closer to the very tipping point where nothing will remain the same way it has always been. We definitely are stepping into the real end time and the reality of “they did not love their lives to the death” will be much more expected from all who have been called to be overcomers. The Christian race or the picking up of the cross to follow Christ certainly is not some pleasure ride or a walk at some vanity park. It is a deliberate walk of accountability to the workings and thoughts of God. It’s a walk deliberately created to take its toll on the flesh in order to build spirit and faith. So by all means, the walk of faith is painful but it comes with its reward who is God our eternal inheritance.
No other way but the cross
I wish I could tell you that there is another way to rulership with the Son of God outside of our daily overcoming of the works of flesh. But there simply is no other way. No one who has not conquered the cross of his testing can wield the rod of iron for rulership with the Son of God. Nothing eternal comes without a dying to all things flesh. It is the law of God and of the Spirit of righteousness that letting go of self-will, for the will of God to prevail, is the way to pleasing God. For even the Lord acknowledged this when He said “permit it to be so, it is needed for righteousness sake”. For they who will follow Christ MUST go through the testing of their faith and the persecution of their lives. He, who has resolved to embrace this reality and rejoice in such embrace, has won the race already. For of the Christ our High Priest and Forerunner it is written thus “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.” Acts 8: 32-33
Like a tender lamb, innocent and helpless His justice was taken from Him. But a cry is still heard in the halls of heaven asking “who will declare His generation” in this generation of the end of all things. For to declare His generation means, amongst other things, to take a stand for God even when your justice is taken away from you for the sake of Christ, like His was taken for the sake of a yes to God. It means to embrace “not my will but yours be done” even when there are other easy choices available to make. It means to deliberately live as a pilgrim on earth with eyes set on the joy set before us. It means, who will by their lives on earth give credence and justification to the life, death and resurrection of Christ? For no one is permitted to walk with this Lamb of God on mount Zion as Revelation 14 points out, if they have not first become lambs themselves like Him. We are not living in easy times on earth and might I say, things may not get any better on earth until the coming of Christ. For the system of this world is not our friend, it will be removed.
No other choice but the Christ
I have seen broken days, heard broken songs from the hearts of broken people, those who were once alive to their dreams of a walk with God and the embrace of that which He set before them to partake of. Life happened along the way and some gave up the walk, and some even said there is no God. For they thought, if there is God, how has He allowed their labor of love for Him to be undermined by the many trials and persecutions they faced? I have been down myself and I have held the hands of broken brothers and sisters with a simple prayer in my heart saying “Lord please keep this one in your grace.” I have been there so I can understand the pain and the traumatic effect of thinking there is no God or that God has disappeared suddenly into thin air. However, I see no other choice for me anywhere apart from the walk towards the mark of the high calling of God in Christ; a walk to lay hold of that attainment for which Christ laid hold of me, irrespective of the pain. What else can I do? How else should I tell myself to think? And how else would I know that this walk of faith is real and it has its beautiful reward at the end, if I don’t finish the race? How else will I show to the next generation after me that it is possible to love God and do His will even in the midst of nothingness? How else should the multi-dimensional wisdom of God be manifested in and through me to the principalities and powers of this world if I give up along the way? No other way, so I just simply walk on. And so I think you should too. I do know it’s not as easy to do as it is to speak, but we are not of those who whine or turn back in the face of difficulties. We are of those who celebrate the crown of glory even while still under the pain of the weight of the cross.
No other answer but YES
A while ago I was woken up with a word from the Lord at exactly 03:33 in the morning. The word says “Go further”. And knowing that the choice of the time the Lord used was particularly prophetic for me personally, I left the house immediately, went downstairs into the car to sit with the Lord. As I pressed on to understand what He meant by “Go further”, He took me to the scripture in Mathew 26:39 which says “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Immediately I saw that scripture, clarity began to come concerning what the Lord meant by go further. He made me understand by the fact that 03:33 is technically 9, which is the number for birthing, He used it to announce to me that the ninth hour of Death/Birth has come and that it is important to go further even in the midst of the pain and heart breaking rejection. I don’t know how else to say this, but it is important that you, reader, search more for the meaning of these things for yourself, for it is written of the Christ that He gave up the ghost at exactly the ninth hour, which is 3pm in Jerusalem, His side was pierced with blood and water gushing out. Blood and water is the natural symbol of new birth. Let wisdom guide you in this.
I continued in the car with the Lord and at about 6am, He told me walk to the beachside. He chose a particular side that I should go to. I continued the conversation about the cross, death and birth even as I walked. I remember telling the Lord that I am ready to go further, irrespective of what further might mean in my own personal walk, even while keeping in mind that Jesus’ “go further” took Him to the cross. As I got close to the beach, while passing under a very tall coconut tree, something dropped on my right shoulder. I looked at it, it was pure white. At first I thought it was bird poo, but it didn’t have any smell. I cleaned it up with a leaf and then the Lord spoke. His words were encouraging, for He made me understand that He has strengthened my shoulder to go further, the shoulder being the one part of the body that carries both the cross and the ark of covenant. While I ponder over the entire experience and what it might mean for me in the days to come, I spent some time to think about the precision with which God works. I wondered how He calculated how many steps it would take for me to walk from the house and be at that spot under the coconut tree at that precise moment in time.
Go further…will you say yes?
Certainly, I believe that every one of God’s children reading this article has been given an opportunity to make their choice of answer to the call to go further and certainly also, the cross will mean different things to various people on their journeys of faith with God. The cross is tied directly to the word each one has received from the Lord and the testing of that word. Of Joseph, it is written that the word of the Lord tested him, but in his daily life he suffered rejection, he suffered pain, injustice, imprisonment for thirteen years. Of Paul it is written thus “I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” And for sure, the Apostle Paul did suffer many things for Christ even to him being martyred by beheading. And of Christ Himself it is written “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” And for sure, He died literally on a wooden cross. Technically, the cross is not necessarily just about suffering or pain, but much more about letting go of self-will for the will of God to prevail in every situation. This however, may cause pain and suffering. Our crosses in real time might be different, but the destination is the same, which is, a seat at the Lamb’s throne. So have you been broken and felt like you are forgotten? Go further. Have you been weighed down by uncertainties and life seemed to look meaningless? Go further. Have you felt like you can’t take another single step? Just go further. No matter what it is, just keep going further till you see Him face to face. For truly, we do have a Master-Model who has gone ahead of us, and from where He is seated, He says “Come.” He has become the Head of the cloud of witnesses, our holy fans of eternal brothers and sisters that keep cheering us on till we get to the finished line. My heart hails Thee; thou Cheerleader of our weary souls and towards You only we keep running.
Priest by association
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15.
Without sin here could mean not having to turn back at the face of persecution or not letting go faith or the word of God that placed us in that persecution; for it is written that anything done without faith is sin. Jesus is the priest who has gone through whatever we are going through right now in our walk of faith, and thus He fully understands how it feels. He is our Priest by association of suffering and death and we can trust Him to come through for us at all times.
So faith walker, as you go on your journey towards that beckoning Light, do not think you are alone nor should you think that you won’t make it. Surely you will make it if you trust in the Lord who has become your Priest by association. So pick yourself up again right where you have fallen and go further and the peace of the Lord be with you always. Amen.
Many blessings. From your brother.