"An Inside Perspective"

June 2013


My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! I have now stood behind this massive concrete wall, day in and day out, for 22 years. The wall testifies to my past transgressions by holding me captive within its grasp. Surely, I can’t escape. The wall speaks not a word but its ever looming presence silently preaches its sermon; justice was satisfied by my rejection from society.

The wall saddens me if I let it, until I look up and over the enormous structure by faith to see the glorious face of my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. His blood, even the precious blood looms much larger than the wall. The wall testifies of my sins; the blood testifies of my forgiveness. Which one would you look at? The Blood declares my Savior’s eternal loving heart toward me. It preaches freedom; I obeyed the sermon and I am free. God’s justice is satisfied by the Blood and I am received joyfully into the society of Heaven forever! The wall holds my body, but the Lord owns my heart. I am free to sit upon my Father’s lap, and that I do with great joy!!

Honestly, what wall? I don’t even see a wall anymore. Oh yea, it’s there, but it no longer has any bearing on my life. I died and my life is now hid with Christ in God. I just simply love the Lord with all my heart and do my best to joyfully serve His people day and night. His commandments are not burdensome. No credit deserved here, surely it is I who owe Him all that I am. I’m just an unprofitable servant doing what I am supposed to do, right?

Suppose I had never committed a crime but was still a God-fearing man. Suppose more so that God had then called me to go to China as a missionary. What would be different? Are we not all slaves to Christ no matter where we are? Are you living as such?

I wonder at times what it is like out there now. Sometimes, I day-dream about what it will be like for me when and if the Lord lets me out. I think, “How well will I adjust?” Then the Lord says, “You will be just fine, Philip, because really, I am only changing your missionary field. Sinners are sinners wherever they are and they do what sinners do. You bring them to Me.” I shouldn’t be surprised by that; it’s in the Book. They need grace, so we dispense it lovingly in the gospel. We bring the healing Balm of Gilead from Heaven to the sin sick and weary people of this world.
It is written, “For Thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by Thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.” (Ps. 18:28-29)

We all have our walls to leap. Mothers are walled in by their children, a massive structure with years of commitment ahead. They think, “Surely, I can’t escape.” Precious mother, there is no wall really. Weary one, you can leap over your wall by faith and see the trust that God has given you. Look up. He has handpicked you for this very task. Look very closely and you will see the finished product: mature, fruit bearing, adult Christians glorifying God. Is not motherhood therefore a missionary calling of the highest degree? Embrace it, beloved.

Man of God, are you walled in by the ever looming weight of your mortgage? Are you daily trudging off to work grudgingly or with a real joy from seeing by faith your high calling? There is no wall, really. There is only a darkroom in your mind where you permit Satan to develop your negatives. A thirty year mortgage is indeed an enormous looming presence. You think, “Surely, I can’t escape.” I have to do thirty years in here, you have a thirty year mortgage; it’s all relative in Christ. Just look up and over, beloved, gaze upon your Savior’s face. Your family and your job are your missionary field. Serve all lovingly, be faithful, and you will finish well.

Beloved seniors, seasoned saints of the Lord. Some of you are walled in by your health issues and dependence on life sustaining medications. You think, “Surely, I cannot escape.” There is no wall, really. Look up and over, precious one, there is only the Blood, the Eternal Life sustaining medication of the ages! Drink it daily by faith, miss not a single drop. I know a sweet elderly saint named Jerry who recently told me, “Philip, it’s hard by the yard, but inch by inch, it’s a cinch!” She has leapt over her wall, precious one, and you can too!

Yes, the walls of life can sadden us if we let them. I could be a “woe is me,” murmuring, ungrateful, blaming all others and the whole system, too, type of Christian. I refuse. Don’t look at your wall as an impediment; see it as your asset given by God to form your character. I prefer Paul’s exemplary view. He had no wall, but was indeed caught up to the third heaven by faith! Now that’s leaping over a wall! Hallelujah!

Beloved, if you had no wall, you would not look up. Be encouraged therefore, and push forward, while knowing in your heart that by God, through faith, you too, just like David and me...