The Magnificent Journey to There Yet

by Andy Wood on January 8, 2015

in Enlarging Your Capacity, Esteem, Five LV Laws, Life Currency, LV Cycle, Principle of Eternity

Two boys go hiking with backpacks on a forest road bright sunny day

Are we there yet?

No.

When are we gonna get there?

Five minutes sooner than the last time you asked.

We’re never gonna get there.

We’ll get there.

When?

Soon enough.  Look outside and see how far we’ve come and how fast we’re moving.

Are we there yet?

+++++++

I’ll bet you’ve had a few conversations like that if you’ve ever been on a road trip with kids (or maybe a few adults).  And inevitably, the younger he or she is, the sooner this question pops up:

Why does it have to take so long to get there?

And the only right answer, which they can never seem to grasp at that age, is, because to get there, first you have to go here.  And here is where we are.  But we can still enjoy being here until we get there.

The Christian life has its own version of “There Yet.”  You find it expressed in a story that Jesus told about the wealthy man who trusted his estate to three servants.  The two who successfully managed their parts got the same response:  “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).

Zzzzzzzzzzz.

Seriously?  That’s it?  Know why the Christian journey looks so unappealing to so many people, even Christians?  Because we’ve made “There Yet” look like a Fatherly nod and a pat on the head.  Borrrrring!

And that isn’t Jesus’ fault.  I blame the preachers.  Easy for me to do because I are one.

The problem is that we ignore the rest of the verse.  Here’s how the NIV translates it:

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’“ (Matthew 25:23)

Whatever happens when we get to “There Yet,” it’s going to be an eternal blast.  An absolute celebration and party in the Father’s presence.  This ain’t a trip to the library, friends.

Your Internal Compass

“…for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).

God puts “There Yet” into every person’s heart the moment they trust Christ as their Lord and Savior.  It serves as a homing beacon or a compass – calling us, orienting us, correcting us, redirecting us.

That’s why when Paul heard about the good things happening to the Colossian Christians, he knew God was up to something!  They were on their way to There Yet, and it was time to pray!

For this reason we also, from the day we heard about you, have not ceased praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may live worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects—bearing fruit in every good deed, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for the display of all patience and steadfastness, joyfully giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light.

The language Paul uses for There Yet is that they (and we) may live worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects.

Please with the please.  Another of those genteel words that in English has lulled us to sleep.  This isn’t a passive, watch-the-paint-dry, smile-and-nod kind of satisfaction.  This is There Yet! This is what makes the destination worth the journey!  This is what starts up the party in heaven!  And you are the object of His attention.

The Road Signs of Progress

Bad news: If you’re reading this, you aren’t There Yet.

Good news:  You can definitely look outside and see signs of His moving you toward your ultimate destination, and – get this! – He gets just as excited about your journey as He does your destiny.

Paul gives four continuous action words to describe progress toward There Yet.  Every step you make in this direction brings delight to your Heavenly Father.

Bearing fruit in every good work.

A life that pleases God is producing life and influence in other places. That could mean sharing Christ with others.  It could mean reflecting His character or the fruit of the Spirit in this fallen world.

The life that God placed in you was never meant to be hoarded, but shared.  That’s the first sign of progress on the road to There Yet.

Increasing in the knowledge of God.

A life that pleases God is growing.  We don’t have to have it all figured out today (thank God!).  But he takes pleasure when we pursue a greater understanding-by-experience of Him.

Growth in your relationship with God has to be as intentional as physical growth.  Just as you must choose to eat, sleep, and do something that resembles exercise, the same is true in your growth in the knowledge of the Lord.  That means time spent with Him in Bible study, prayer, and seeking Him.  He takes great pleasure as you seek Him with all your heart on the road to There Yet.

Strengthened with all power.

Just as it takes power – foot power, donkey power, horsepower, or jet power – to make a trip, it takes power to get your heart to There Yet.  Paul says that the power is “according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience.”

A life that pleases God has a rock-solid core, not formed by human effort or training, but exercised and trained in the power of the Holy Spirit.  The result?  You become steadfast in your faith and patient in your circumstances.

This is the endurance part of the journey, friends.  It’s the part where shallow-rooted people wither up, but where all of heaven rises up to stand with the man or woman who won’t give in to the temptation to go it alone.  Oh what it does in His heart as you let Him fill you with power on the long, hot journey to There Yet.

Giving thanks to the Father.

A life that pleases God “gets it” enough to say “Thank you” and say it often.

We are the redeemed, who have been rescued from the domain of darkness.  Say Thank You.

We have been transferred to the Kingdom of His beloved Son.  Say Thank You.

We have complete forgiveness for all sin.  Say Thank You.

We are not what we used to be.  Say Thank You.

We are not what we’re going to be.  Say Thank you.

You’re on your way to There Yet.  Say Thank you… and you’ll actually be a step closer than you were before.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

terri engdahl January 8, 2015 at 1:54 pm

this is something i totally struggle with. i am sooooo Homesick that i find myself often asking, “are we there yet?”

and as the LORD opens my eyes to the many various needs in this world, He also opens my eyes to the wonders that declare Him. i am overwhelmed by both.

and i become more Homesick than before and once again ask, “are we there yet?”

i very often relate to gloria von bingen: “thus am i a feather on the Breath of God.” it’s hard to be that feather!

“are we there yet?”

as i dig deeper in to His Word (yay! best part of my day), the storms of this life seem to rage all the harder.

“are we there yet?”

as i stand on the waves (or more often sink into them) and struggle to keep my eyes on Jesus (thank you Holy Spirit), i am assaulted by those unseen hands and barraged by the “white noise” of the adversary. ouch. yikes. groan.

“are we there yet?”

thanks be to God and to the Holy Spirit for those times that, amid the storms and attacks and pain, i am made able to respond softly to the world around me, albeit with ache in my soul (Homesickness and not a little grief) and tears in my eyes.

“are we there yet?”

sometimes i am overflowing with joyful anticipation of The Day and nearly dancing at knowing His tremendous Presence in me!
and sometimes, many times, i am grabbing for His hand, holding on tight, and shaking beneath the battering winds of this world.

“are we there yet?”

yes, this is hard. and Jesus prayed for us 🙂 (jn 17:20-23)

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