“The New Testament consists of:
- Four Narratives of the life, teaching, death and resurrection of Jesus, called “gospels” (or “good news” accounts);
- A Narrative of the Apostles’ ministries in the early church, called the “Acts of the Apostles”, and probably written by the same writer as the Gospel of Luke, which it continues;
- Twenty-one Letters, often called “epistles” in the biblical context, written by various authors, and consisting of Christian doctrine, counsel, instruction, and conflict resolution; and
- An Apocalypse, the Book of Revelation, which is a book of prophecy, containing some instructions to seven local congregations of Asia Minor, but mostly containing prophetical semiotics, about the end times.”
I encountered a man about a half-dozen or so years ago. Soon after, I purchased a journal to accompany him to one of the men’s retreat I help lead with my Band of Brothers. Like most men who attend those weekends, he had never journaled before or really kept any account of his faith or relationship with God. I told him that whether or not he had ever “heard” from the Father, he certainly would on this weekend and that it was imperative that he write down every word that was spoken.
There is nothing more precious than the things the Father speaks to his children.
Fast forward six years. His journal is much fuller with affirmation, direction, and attestations of his life with God. As the Father has shown up and spoken, he has dutifully accounted.
Most recently, he is wrestling with the fact that he is without work. His most recent employer parted ways with him in February. After 3 years, the man told him that he had worked himself out of a job. He had leaned the company out, brought new order, process, and clarity. He got rid of inefficiency and cultivated a well performing and profitable team. Order had been restored out of the chaos he found there. The owner felt he no longer had need of him.
In this vacuum of work and income, the Father has told him to be patient. That He understands his predicament. That He will rescue him. He is waiting patiently and, of course, the whispers come. He is wrestling with whether or not the Father is walking with him or has abandoned him. And our enemy is continually holding court.
And what is on trial?…Whether or not he can truly trust the father heart of God.
My friend wonders aloud if he is walking in more true and deep faith than ever before, or if he is simply carrying around a journal-recorded testament of a delusional man. He asks if he can trust everything the Father has spoken into him… if the words written there are sacred and true.
I told him that there is nothing More true about him..
His account. His testament of how the Father has shown up, provided, and spoken affirmation and specific direction for him, is holy. It contains the truest things about him and the life the Father intends for him to live. It is part of his holy canon. It is his “good news account” and contains “doctrine, counsel, instruction” divinely spoken particularly for him to rest in and humbly testify to others.
Can he trust the testimony God has written through his life? What else could he trust? The Christian faith is based and sourced on first-hand accounts, the testimony of men who encountered the Father in Jesus.
- How has the Father shown up in your life?
- What has He “spoken” to you?
- Are you keeping an account, a testimony of your journey? (You’d better. You are going to need it and so are others!)