I came across this “The Way of The Cross” article in the archives in a rather timely fashion – after just having a conversation with a family member about why I cannot in good conscience stuff my face on “Thanksgiving” like so many others do – spend a day eating the things that the Spirit (for a long time) has told me not to eat and do that in what is supposed to be my expression of “thanks” to God. I’ve also taken a physical hit recently (in a rather bizarre “perfect storm” that came together), and from what I can tell, the Spirit seems quite unconcerned about my suffering, and therefore so am I, which is what this article is all about.
More than ever I want nothing less than the fullness of Christ, and I really don’t care what the cost is or what the trials are that I have to face in order to come into that state of being and consciousness. And so, in all things I’m rejoicing, giving thanks to God in ALL circumstances and seeing them ALL as just more God-given opportunities for my spiritual growth and advancement into higher and higher states of consciousness in Christ.
Beloved, it’s really easy to give thanks for what the natural minded man sees as “blessings,” but in reality, ALL things are blessings (even the difficult and painful stuff) and we just have to raise our perspective in order to see them all in this way.
This (preface) is my “Thanksgiving” message, I guess. Here’s the article that I referred to…
Beloved, we may be highly sanctified and walking in what we believe to be a holy walk, and yet God will require of us further that we give over to Him all of our rights and privileges as creatures of God, even as human beings. This is saying that as Christ’s disciples we are to maintain unswerving faithfulness to death to self, as it is impossible to be an overcomer unless we are willing to love not our life unto death.
Not very long ago a sister told me about a missionary who had been thrown into a foreign prison for years and who had tried to kill himself there, him having lost all hope and seemingly not able to withstand any longer the torture that he received from his captors. Apparently, at the time of his fourth attempt to kill himself, Jesus Christ appeared to this man in a vision and spoke to him to strengthen him. What is quite striking about this testimony is how this man tells of Christ radiating astonishing love toward him while seeming relatively unconcerned about his prison situation.
I don’t know all of the details about this testimony, but this last part speaks volumes to me that God is not impressed with our twentieth-century Americanized ideas of whether or not He is treating us fairly. We must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Christ wherever and whenever He may lead us. In our proving as God’s sons, we will be brought into places and situations that are not of our choosing, even led into things that are unpleasant (even extremely so), and we are to walk through all such things without complaining against God or people. This is the way of the Cross.