Each and every day we can give thanks for “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1). We do not need to live in fear for the Lord is always near.
Furthermore, God is the source of all wisdom for us, more precious than silver or gold or rubies. “Nothing [we] desire can compare with her [God’s wisdom].” And in the New Testament we find that Christ Jesus crucified is the the power and wisdom of God. “but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ [is] the power of God and the wisdom of God” (I Corinthians 1:24). The wisdom we read about, in Proverbs 8, is thought to be a precursor or representation of Jesus.
In Mark 3 we see again the importance of “God with us,” Jesus’ presence with his disciples. Jesus calls the disciples, why? Here we find two important reasons in verse 14, “that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach.”
This is important for all who follow Jesus. Jesus wants to be with us and desires to send us out into the world for his mission and vision of life. Thus we have two very important characteristics of what it means to follow Jesus right here in this verse: We are to take the Journey Inward, that is to be close to Jesus who wants to be near us, guide us, and speak into our lives. This is the journey of spirituality, being with Jesus. Next there is the Journey Outward, that is to be sent out into the world to share the love, hope, and words of Jesus with others. This is the journey of ministry and mission, in Jesus name.
I encourage you today to think about your walk with Jesus. Are you taking the Journey Inward, spending time with the Lord Jesus who wants to be with you? And are you taking the Journey Outward, spending time doing what Jesus wants in your world and area of influence?
We can describe the Christian life as the Journey Inward and the Journey Outward.
Prayer: Lord God, our refuge and strength, we are grateful you are near to us, our present help. We thank you for the Lord Jesus who calls us be with him and desires to speak into our lives. This day, help us to pause and listen to the Lord Jesus. May he, indeed, speak to us through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
*I am grateful to Elizabeth O’Connor for her book Journey Inward, Journey Outward. It’s a great read for insights on following Jesus and being a part of his Church.