Shirley Doolittle - Things We Share As We Journey - Rochedale 2010

In the first book of Kings in the nineteenth chapter and the seventh verse, the Lord said to Elijah “Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.” Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life.” In John four it says He came to the well, He spoke to the woman at the well and it says that He was weary with His journey.

This morning I would like to speak about the journey. All of us here are going to continue on a journey. There is a little sign, in California where I labour, on the road to the Mountain Ranch convention, just a country road; it is a little narrow road, kind of a shortcut road. Several times on that road, because it is so narrow, there is a little sign that says “Share the road.” One thing I'd think we should remember on this journey with the Son of God, who is the way, the truth and the life, we need to remember that we are sharing the road. Jesus walked this road.  Sometimes we walk alone, but most of the time we walk with others; we need to share the road. I have been thinking of some of the things that we share, some of the things that help us journey.

One night I was having a little trouble sleeping.  We had studied at our preparation the book of Ruth and one little verse that came to me was what Naomi said, “I went out full, but came back empty.” I began to think about all the things we could be full of. We had meetings in a school room and I was thinking about all the things the room was full of: desks, tables and so forth, but it also was full of hope and dreams and failings and disappointments. Sometimes we are dreaming that if the Son of God is with us everything is okay. We also could be dreaming that our lives could be full of empty things, that we would never ever feel the need to help those who are struggling, and never see the need of the human heart, and never understand the need of the souls who are seeking God. It's good to share the load.

Then I began to think of the journey and what we share. We share bread. I like to think of the fact that it should be easy for us to share Jesus, the bread of life, and that makes for wonderful Fellowship as we journey. There is something about the seed that is nurtured in the heart of the sower and it becomes bread to the eaters. And that is what the gospel meetings should do for all of us; they should be bread to us. We as the sowers, it must be that to us first, and it must be nurtured in us to have the bread to feed you people and the lost souls, in order to shepherd the sheep. So, we share bread as we journey, and that is a safe thing; there is nothing in this bread that will destroy us. If there is anything that is in our ministry or in your part on the journey that would disturb others, then that is not of Jesus, the bread of life.  Jesus promotes wonderful unity, promotes wonderful things; there is no pretence in that bread, there is only honesty.

I was reading about a man once who went along the Alaska trail with a sleigh and his dogs. The trail is about 1000 miles long.  He was telling about one of his dogs and that he had been a fool because he had fed the dog dry dog food, and when they are running on a 1000 mile journey, they need meat and fat. He tried to unhitch the dog and get it on the sleigh but it would not get on; it just kept getting back in the harness where it belonged and finally he had to put the dog back in the harness and he crawled for seven miles.  If you were a dog owner, you would call that dog a very honest dog. It’s a wonderful thing being in the yolk with Jesus and having Him on the journey and we need to be in the team, not a loner, but in the team and pull together.

There is another thing we share on the journey because we are human; we share opinions. We do that as workers, you do that as husbands and wives and everyone does it; as we journey, we all share opinions. No one is more American than I am, and no one is more Australian than most of you are. We can disagree about a lot of things; we can talk about my country, don't do it, but you can and I probably won't agree with you. I have loved being in Australia, but I am not an Australian, I am an American. We can disagree on many things, but on this journey we are on together we cannot disagree about the Christ; we cannot disagree about Him in any way, not about His doctrine. It says He talked about His doctrine, and that was after that parable of the sower and the seed. The thing that frightens me the most is disagreeing about the Christ. Less than 60 years after Jesus left them, after the resurrection, and John was on the Isle of Patmos, and when he wrote the three letters, he mentioned about the falling away. They had disagreed about the Christ. Those who disagree, it will separate them on the journey from those who agree about the Christ. The religious world was divided in Jesus’ day; they were divided about the fact that He was the Son of God. The social world was divided because He said He was the Son of man, and the political world was divided because He said He came to be a King to establish a kingdom. We believe that He was Son of God and He came to establish a kingdom, which He did, and we have no divided opinions about the Son of God.

There is another thing we share as we journey; we share battles. We may not share the same battles, but one of the things we can help each other with is that we can learn when to fight and when not to fight. There are times when we must fight for there is no other way. When David fought Goliath, that was the time to fight, but when Saul was seeking to kill David, that was not the time to fight. David never fought with Saul, he never forgot that Saul was God's anointed. There was a man in our country several years ago who bought a wrong doctrine to us.  Do you know what I liked about that situation? He was given five separate opportunities before the journey became too much for him and too much for the Lord's people. We can help each other to learn when to fight and when not to fight. The most dangerous thing we can do is to get caught up in our own issues and battles. When David fought Goliath he said there is the cause; it wasn't David's cause, it was the cause for the kingdom, and that is what we need to remember as we journey and share the road together.

There is another thing that we share; we share in the watch. I often like to think the watch is ours and the battle is the Lord’s. I feel there are three times when the watch is the most important. One of them is during birth. Paul, when he wrote to the Galatians, spoke about travailing in birth, that Christ would be formed in them. I am very much aware when I'm bringing the gospel to people; when new birth is imminent, there is never a time when the devil wants to disturb that more, and there is never a time when we need to watch more. How do we watch? It is by praying that the spirit would not be offended. The next time when it is important to watch is at the time of death. I do not know how many times in my years in this ministry that I have sat at the bedside of people who are dying. I love that experience.

I remember one time, when I had been about 10 years in this ministry something came up to take me out of this ministry.  The companion that I had then was not well and for that reason she could not help me, could not help me with the matter that popped up, and I asked if I could call and see someone else and she said yes. You know the reason I wanted to see her was because she would give me more excuses not to die, not to die. I am very thankful for people who know the only solution is to put to death these thoughts. The next time to watch is when we are expecting a special event. The bridegroom must be coming; watch, watch for His coming. We must watch for His coming.

The last little part of the exercise was what heaven is full of, and these are things we can keep our eyes on as we journey. Heaven is full of forgiven people and heaven is also full of people who have forgiven. There is nothing that will hinder us more in the journey than if we don't forgive. We must forgive.

Heaven is full of losers. Remember when Jesus said “He who shall lose his life will save it.” We could wonder why heaven would be full of losers and at the same time be full of overcomers. It is full of losers because they have become overcomers. How do we overcome? In Revelation 12 it's says “and they overcome him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death.”   So we want to be losers, don't we, so we can be an overcomer. We had a young man in our field the last three years. We love him, but he got very discouraged and three years ago he came home from the ministry. We watched him, and you know what, the call came again for him to go back in the ministry and he was willing to be a loser and others, because of his ministry, will be overcomers.

Heaven is full angels and some day the angels will be the reapers, not you, not me but the angels will be the reapers. And that is such a relief to me; I do not have to waste my energy on deciding who the sheep or who the goats are, because the angels will be the reapers. My part is to do the sowing.

Heaven is full of names and full of books it tells us that in The Revelation. It tells us the only really important book is the Lamb's book of life. And we must make sure our name is written in the Lamb's book of life. I feel sometimes there have been some names written in and then crossed out and re-written. That is a wonderful, wonderful power of the advocate. That is a wonderful power of the gospel we bring. We know that no victories and no failures are final.

When I was in Switzerland at a French convention - I have a voice problem that I cannot sing - I was listening to the singing at that convention and it must be like when the angels sing in heaven, as heaven is full of music. We will be singing a song we have learned here on earth. It is the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb.

And last of all, heaven is full of light and full of the glory of God. I heard one time about a woman and her children who decided to walk many miles for charity. When she was interviewed she said, “It has been the most wonderful adventure of my life.” And when we get to heaven, and we look back, and as we have walked with the Son of God, and if we have walked faithfully and honestly, we also can say it has been the most wonderful adventure of my life.