In this life trouble is inevitable. We live in an existence of the world, the flesh and the devil. All are set against God and against the good of humanity. And we so easily get tangled up in their web.
And even if we didn’t as in sinning, like Jesus we would be in conflict with them. In this world to follow God through Jesus involves conflict. We will sooner than later be seen to be fools. Though in this, like Daniel, we need wisdom to discern what we should and shouldn’t do.
I have to be ruthless in seeking to follow God through Jesus. This means that following is not dependent on circumstances good or bad, not on how one feels, not on anything other than God’s word to us in Jesus.
God is present with us, Emmanuel, in Jesus. The emphasis is “us” when we consider scripture, though also to each of us individually as we see clearly in the psalms and elsewhere.
I have to be ruthless in not letting anything move me from so seeking to follow. Of course this will involve repentance when needed because I do get distracted from this, God’s will in Jesus. And I need to be deliberate and in a sense gentle in seeing it as something that only God can make real, or better put, something God is working in and through. That is this walk of faith in seeking to follow always, and no matter what.
As a friend reminded me, life is a journey. We can look back on it, and at certain points see where we got off track. Or how we’re growing in Jesus, hopefully with others in Jesus. Growth in Jesus is never complete unless with others in him.
Seeking to follow no matter what means this is our occupation. This is what we do, this is what we’re about. In all of life. And in that God works to make us more and more into his family resemblance in Jesus. In the blessing of Jesus for the world.