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Monday, August 19, 2013

Following The Road To Emmaus.

                  The Road to Emmaus

        Most Christians know the story of the Road to Emmaus and what happened.  It is an awesome story of how Jesus worked through a couple disciples to bring understanding to his followers.  The two had been in Jerusalem at the time of the crucifixion and left after they thought things were over.  They moved on with their lives. Then on the road they met a man who started talking to them and told them all about the Bible and all the times it referred to Christ. Finally when they stopped to eat their eyes were opened.  They realized it was Christ who was walking with them. Immediately they went back to where they had left Jesus disciples and shared their experience.  Then Jesus revealed himself to His disciples as they spoke.

        Having read the story many times I always wondered why Jesus did not just show himself to his disciples.  Over the years and a lot of Bible study and my own experiences finally gave me an answer.  The disciples, while they loved Jesus were probably worried about their own survival.  Were they going to be next?  What should they do?  Where should they go?  Their focus was not on Jesus at that point in time.  Many times when bad things happen in our lives we tend to try to solve the problems ourselves and forget to take the matter to Jesus in Prayer.

      The two men on the road to Emmaus did what they thought was right.  They moved on with their lives.  They continued to share Jesus with each other and that allowed them to have the experience they did.  Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” The verse makes clear that we must be seeking Jesus.  Sometimes we become so involved in fellowshipping, that we forget we are seeking Jesus.  It is easy to do.  Understanding this makes it hard for me to sit in Sunday school classes.  It is not that I feel I do not need to know what they are teaching.  I definitely do need to know.  My problem is if you put a book in my hand I become so focused on what I am reading I tune everything else out.  If I find it interesting I may be totally gone. This has happened to me on occasion and someone asked me to pray and I was at a total loss as to what to pray about.  While I may have been physically present with the people in the room my mind was not there.  It was lost in whatever I was reading.

        Why or how I know that is based on my understanding of another verse in the Bible. 1st John 2:27, “27But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”   Based on this verse I get so focused on understanding what the Bible is saying to me I have a tendency to tune everything else out.  That is mainly because I have a one track mind and multi-tasking is not something I do well.

         Many groups share in the spirit of Emmaus and focus on knowing the Bible and the time of fellowship that they spend together.  That is a very important part of the experience and should not be ignored.  The problem for me is that I find something else just as important, if not more important.  It is being where God wants you to be or needs you to be, regardless of your own feelings in the matter. Following what I feel to be the leading of the Holy Spirit has saved my life on more than one occasion.  It has also opened the door to share the Word of God.  Let me give you two examples.

          I drove a truck for a living and one time I was going through Georgia and was northbound on I-85 between Atlanta and the South Carolina state line. It was raining very hard and the traffic was very heavy.  Considering the road conditions I felt the traffic was moving much too fast.  A truck past me and the driver had his front bumper only about two feet off the bumper of the car in front of him. I made a comment on the CB that if he kept following like that sooner or later he was going to kiss one those bumpers.  He looked over at me and said, “Mind your own business old man.” I had just taken a long break and ate breakfast on the west side of Atlanta only a couple hours before.  Normally I would drive five to six hours before taking a break, but I felt moved to get off the road.  It was a very strange and strong feeling.  I followed the feeling and exited to the Petro truck stop.  I was only half ways up the ramp to the overpass which would take me to the truck stop when the radio exploded with screaming and warnings.  Someone had lost control in the rain.  There was a bad wreck involving many cars and trucks.  A vehicle went across the medium and hit some southbound vehicles head on.  Several people were killed in the wreck.  It took them many hours to reopen the roadway.  If I had not followed that small still voice I would have been right in the middle of that mess.

        Another time which was much less dramatic I needed to go to my daughter Glenda’s house to take her to an appointment.  For some reason that escapes me at the time I did not have a car.  I walked the two miles to the main highway and hitchhiked to my daughters.  When I put up my thumb the first car to come past me stopped.  The driver was a pastor and he was taking his pregnant wife to an appointment in Evansville.  They went out of their way and dropped me off in my daughter’s driveway.   A couple years passed and my daughter who was going through a seven year battle with a brain tumor asked my wife and I to come to a dinner at her best friend’s house.  My daughter was in the process of going through a divorce, which is another story.  Any how my wife and I arrived at the dinner and it was and awesome experience.  The purpose of the meeting was so I could meet my daughter’s pastor from her new church, which her best friend attended. The Pastor was the one who had given me a ride.  He also knew my wife through a prayer service for a member of our church who had cancer.  While six strangers all sat down to eat, our paths had been prepared and in reality we all knew each other.

          My daughter went home to be with the Lord in August of 2010.  Her pastor was there at her side right up till the end.  Since that time the church my wife and I were attending closed its doors through attrition.  It got down to eight people and it was not fair to the preacher.  If anyone did not show up he would be preaching to only three or four people.  Our pastor was awesome, but we could not seem to revive the church and my wife and I moved to our present church.  It was our daughter’s church and the pastor has been a blessing in our lives.

       One of my favorite verses is John 3:8, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  A big part of walking the walk of the Christian life is following where the Lord leads us.  That is what the men on the road to Emmaus were doing.  At times we may not understand why or where our life is taking us.  That can be seen many times in the Old Testament.  Joseph, Moses, David and Daniel are just few stories that tell us that all things do work together for good.  We may not understand it at the time.

     When I had my had my heart attack in January of 2004 and had to sell my truck and go on disability I did not understand it.  Looking back I do know that God was definitely working in my behalf. You can read that in Part 2 of my book Further Down the Path, 3/29/12 which is free on my blog.  Just scroll down to the Testimony which is at the end of that part.  The book is in seven parts and is about some things I see happening in the Old Testament of the Bible. Similar things seem to be happening in this day and age.  So it is mainly an End Time Bible study.  The book does have a lot about me in it, but it is about how I came to understand the things I write about.  Look for what it says about the Bible and ignore me.

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