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Seeds of the Kingdom

A Time of Reflection

by Marc Schuthof

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock”.
Matthew 7:24-25, NIV

Two weeks of leave have given me time to reflect on the past year, and the year to come. I would like to share some of these thoughts with you.

We live in unusual and uncertain times. We do not know what tomorrow will look like, and what we will be allowed to do. Being able to travel abroad is uncertain and even going out for a cup of coffee may not be possible from one day to the next. How can I, as a follower of Jesus, can best deal with this with these challenges? The pressure on those who are followers of Jesus who want to hold on to biblical norms and values is increasing.

Those who believe the Bible know that a time of tribulation will come. There’s nothing we can do about that. Is this the beginning? Whether it is starting now, or will be in the future, time will tell. As I was reflecting, I realised that now would be a good time to make some decisions about what I would do when that time comes. Am I willing to pay the price, or will I conform to the demands from this world?

The price may be high. Maybe I could lose my job, or maybe I will not be welcome anymore in some places. Maybe there will be deep disagreement within families that lead to a breakdown in relationship. Could it cost me my life? What will I do if any of these things would happen to me?

I realise that one thing that I will desperately need to be able to offer any kind of resistance in a time of tribulation is a deep and living relationship with my Lord, my Saviour, my Redeemer and my Deliverer. I think that, without such a relationship, it will be very hard not to waver, very hard to stay standing.

The reason that I am so keen on the Healing Retreats, prayer appointments and courses at our Ellel Ministries centres is that these focus to deepen and broaden our relationship with Jesus. They enlarge our capacity to receive from Him, to be able to grow in trust, when we follow Him, and to receive His comfort when life is hard. Whatever the future will be like, with Him I will be safe!

Maybe it is a choice that we will have to make again and again. It is a choice to use each difficult moment to stretch out to a deeper relationship with Jesus, to use each difficult decision to learn to trust more in Him than in my own abilities. It is not by being passive, but by actively asking, seeking, and praying. It is by listening purposefully and daring to wait for His answer. That could be a place to start.

If this is the start of the tribulation or a difficult time in our history, we can use this time to work on a deeper relationship with Jesus. I think that a deeper and more alive relationship with Jesus is the best protection during these turbulent days.

Marc Schuthof

Marc is the Centre Director at Ellel Netherlands.  He is married to Margaret and they have 3 children and one delightful grandchild.

 

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