The Holy Machabees

From the Sermons of St. Gregory of Nazianzus (Patriarch of Constantinople)

What were the Machabees For it is under their name that the Festival at which you are this day assembled is kept. It is true that many persons do not hold them in honour, because they fought before the coming of Christ nevertheless they deserve to be venerated by all men, for they bore themselves bravely and faithfully in defence of the laws and ordinances of their people. They that underwent martyrdom before Christ came, what would not have been their deeds, if they had suffered persecution after He came, and had had before them for a pattern the Death which He embraced for the sake of man’s salvation With no example to lead them, their bravery was what it was had they had the example before their eyes, would they not have gone down with double nerve to the battle There is a mystic and subtle idea, which seemeth very likely to me and to all lovers of God, that none of those who were crowned with martyrdom before Christ came, could have been so, unless they had had faith in Christ.

29th Anniversary

Last Sunday We sent out a devotion written by Father Francis Dominic. As We celebrate 29 years in the papacy, We realize that the only truly sincere Christians are those who God has brought through the wall of fire, Father talked about. Father wrote: “Everyone has to come through that wall of fire is he is to become part of the True Church. That fire will burn up all his earthly ambitions, and his desire to live for himself.” We realized three and a half decades ago, that to be a true Catholic, one must come through this trial; this wall of fire. The Psalmist (16:3) says: “Thou hast proved my heart, and visited it by night, thou hast tried me by fire: and iniquity hath not been found in me.”

Saint Alphonsus is of the opinion that everyone must go through this trial. During this trial, he advises recourse to prayer, but warns us not to expect any sensible devotion. “We have nothing to do but say to the Lord: O Lord help me! O Lord help me!” When We were first considering this and found Saint Alphonsus’ explanation, We named it the Dark Night of the Great Apostasy, a trial all must come through in order to be sincere Catholics in these days of apostasy. Saint Alphonsus says: “Until we have come through that storm, which for the most part comes over all, let none of us think himself secure.” In fact, We pray that God will bring all of you through this wall of fire successfully, for the Church greatly needs all who read this to become sincere members of the Church militant.

Saint Alphonsus concludes: “And it is certain that he who with the help of divine grace is victorious in such a combat finds afterwards a double calm and peace in his vocation.” God is calling you to come through the wall of fire. Those of us on God’s side of the wall are praying for you. We are here to help you, to console and to guide you.

Proverbs (17:3) tells us: “As silver is tried by fire, and gold in the furnace: so the Lord trieth the hearts.” A time of trial of hearts is coming upon us. Throughout the last sixty years of trial, the persecution has been one of words and corruption of doctrine, rather than one of blood. In the decades prior to the usurpation of the Papacy by the second Antipope John XXIII in history in 1958, Catholics for the most part had become quite lax. For a century people have been compromising with the world, as We have often related and decried. Many who claim the name of Catholic, but do lie, (Apocalypse 3:9) are Catholic in name only, living a life worse than a pagan. Indeed, we should know better. We have the Sacred Scriptures. We have the writings of the Fathers of the Church and of many other saints. And yet, very few are ready to give themselves completely and without any reserve to Almighty God.

We have spoken of the contrast between three types of Catholics, spiritual, carnal and sensual. (I Corinthians 2:11-3:5) When people see the nay sayers on the outside of the wall of fire, criticizing those very few of us the inside, they do what the sensual man does, as the Douany notes: “he who measureth divine mysteries by natural reason, sense, and human wisdom only.” How can so few be right and the rest of the world wrong. In Our latest Pope Speaks, we discuss another time, when one man and his family were right, and the rest of the world wrong. ( Saint Augustine observed that right is right, even if no one is doing it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it. Just as there was no safety in numbers, when the flood waters rose at the time of Noah, there is no safety in numbers today. Saint Augustine also observed that there were times in the Old Testament, where the Church was reduced to one faithful person.

The Lord then told them, “I will be to [Jerusalem-the Church], saith the Lord, a wall of fire round about: and I will be in glory in the midst thereof.” (Zechariah 2:5) We belong on the Lord’s side of the wall of fire. Let us pray that the Lord will lead us through the wall of fire onto His side.

“And Peter began to say unto him: Behold, we have left all things, and have followed thee. Jesus answering, said: Amen I say to you, there is no man who hath left house or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, Who shall not receive an hundred times as much, now in this time; houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions: and in the world to come life everlasting.” (Mark 10:28-30) Yes, we may lose those who we thought were our friends. True friendship never ends, so a friendship that ends must not have been true. We may lose contact with family members. When we adhere to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, we will find that truth has a very ugly daughter, hatred. The Enemy (Ephesians 6:12) only hates Jerusalem, the true Church. He does not hate the imitations, but as the sewer of discord encourages them to deceive the elect. (Matthew 24:24)

“Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (II Corinthians 6:2) Today is the day to walk towards the wall of fire, and ask God to bring you through it. We are praying this day and for you.

With Our Apostolic Blessing on this, the 29th anniversary of Our election as Pope,

Michael by the grace of God, Pope.

Some Considerations

Dear friends,
This morning, We are considering several things Father Francis Dominic has written about Daniel, the Prophet. As We return to the consideration, We find several important points marked, and would like to share them with you. Tomorrow We will return to the wall of fire and Our thoughts after twenty-nine years in the Papacy.
Daniel was a young man, when he came into the service of Nabuchodonosor, about seventeen years old. Father Francis asks us to take Daniel, Sidrach, Misach and Abdenago as role models, saying: “Lord, I don’t have to do foolish things like other young people do. I want to follow the examples of these men who lived in humility and the fear of God right from their youth.” Let us ask ourselves a serious question: “Am I following the examples of the Saints, especially the martyrs? Or, am I following the examples of the worldly?” Consider this question well. Saints have come through the wall of fire, Scripture talks about, and Father discussed yesterday.
In another consideration from Father, he refers us to Daniel 1:11-15: “And Daniel said to Malasar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had appointed over Daniel, Ananias, Misael, and Azarias: Try, I beseech thee, thy servants for ten days, and let pulse be given us to eat, and water to drink: And look upon our faces, and the faces of the children that eat of the king’s meat: and as thou shalt see, deal with thy servants. And when he had heard these words, he tried them for ten days. And after ten days their faces appeared fairer and fatter than all the children that ate of the king’s meat.” In Butler’s Lives of the Saints, we often read that the saints ate pulse. Do you know what pulse is? Or are we more interested in eating the king’s meat? A footnote in the Douay tells us that pulse is peas, beans and such like. Pulse is simple nutritious food, which is eaten in order to give us strength to continue in prayer and not to tickle our pallet.
After telling us this story, Father says: “God is looking for people who will boldly confess their faith, and not keep their light hidden underneath a bed.” Jesus says: “Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.” (Matthew 5:15) We have discussed this in the past. Today many of us are not willing to stand for the truth and take the ridicule of the world. Instead, we light our candle and hide it under a bushel basket or as Father says, underneath the bed. Stop and think about that for a moment. If you light a candle and put it under the bed, what is going to happen? The bed will catch on fire. When we hide our light under the bed, we have a spiritual fire hazard.
Father then tells us: “God is looking for men who will not seek their own, who are not interested in anything for themselves and who are willing to lose their lives for Him, if necessary. Daniel was only 17 years old. Even today, God can choose a 17-year old youth and make him a prophet and empower him to take a stand for Him.” God can take you, right now, and make use of you for His service. God will put you to work in His service, if you turn your life completely over to Him, right here and right now.
God, what do you want me to do? Lord, give me the ability to see your will and the strength to do it, no matter what it may cost me. I consecrate myself completely to you right here and right not. Lead me wherever you want me to go.
+Michael pp

Wall of Fire

Father Francis Dominic wrote the other day:
In Zechariah 2:1-13 the prophet “lifted up his eyes, and saw, and behold a man, with a measuring line in his hand. And he said: Whither goest thou? and he said to me: To measure Jerusalem, and to see how great is the breadth thereof, and how great the length thereof.” (vs 1-2)
This vision symbolizes man determining the strength of the Church by the number of its members. But the Body of Christ in reality, has only one membership list – the Book of Life. And the Lord teaches us here how to really measure the Church.
Another angel comes and tells Zechariah, “And behold the angel that spoke in me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him. And he said to him: Run, speak to this young man, saying: Jerusalem shall be inhabited without walls, by reason of the multitude of men, and of the beasts in the midst thereof.” (3-4) This was a smaller group of people without a wall,(other translations say towns, villages without a wall) and they were thinking, “Who will come and join this despised group of ours? The other Jews are all living so comfortably in the North, in Babylon. But here we are, a small, despised group trying to build God’s temple. Who is interested in what we are doing?”
The angel came to encourage them and said, “Don’t worry. People from here and there will hear about you and will come and join you one day. Today you may be small. All of God’s work starts very small. But if God can find leaders who will stay true and not compromise His principles, then even if they are small, one day from north, south, east and west those who have a hunger for godliness and reality, will gradually hear of your group, and come and join you because they will recognize that God is in your midst and that you have life.” (read vss 6-11)
The Lord then told them, “I will be to [Jerusalem-the Church], saith the Lord, a wall of fire round about: and I will be in glory in the midst thereof.” (Zechariah 2:5). Everyone has to come through that wall of fire if he is to become a part of the True Church. That fire will burn up all his earthly ambitions and his desire to live for himself. Only then can he become a part of the Body of Christ. Those in the True Church have been baptized, they have been confirmed, they are doing all the right things outwardly, but if they have not walked through that wall of fire and allow it to purge out Self. They would lose their life. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)
Picture a city surrounded by a wall of fire. How can you enter that city? Only by going through the wall of fire. Everything that can be burnt will be burnt up by God as you enter through that wall. Only what cannot be burnt will go through the fire. “Our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). “Which of you can dwell with devouring [consuming] fire?” (Isaiah 33:14).
And then God goes on to say, “I will be the glory in the midst thereof.” (vs 5) If we want the glory of God to be in the Church, then we must allow Him to be a wall of fire around the Church. The two go together. If you say that God’s standards are too high and you throw water on the fire, then God’s glory will not be in the Church either. When the wall of fire goes away, the glory goes away too. The most important thing in a Parish is not how traditional it is but have its members gone through the wall of fire. Do they have the glory of God. Among them. If those two things are there, right doctrine and right Tradition will follow. If those two things are not there, mere Doctrine and Tradition alone are useless.

Binding And Loosing

“Binding and loosing” is a phrase which comes from the rabbis. It refers to the authority to make decisions binding on the people of God.
This authority includes interpreting and applying the Word of God and admitting people to and excommunicating them from the community of faith. For the Jews this meant the community of Israel. For Christians this means the Church.
In Matthew 16:19 Jesus gives this authority over his Church to Peter: “whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”
In Matthew 18:18, he gives the power to all the apostles: “Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.”
What the Apostle Peter possessed as an individual, the apostles as a whole possessed as leaders of the Church.
And so we continue to read in Matthew 18:19:
“Again I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning any thing whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father who is in heaven.”
The word translated “consent” or in other translations “agree” in verse 19, is the Greek word sumphoneo, from which our English word “symphony” is derived. Jesus was referring in these verses to a unity among the Apostles, that would be like a musical symphony. Symphony implies a deep harmony of spirit between those apostles and their successors. Symphony implies a deep harmony of spirit between those Bishops, their successors and their Pope. When the Church is like the symphony produced by a well-conducted orchestra, then (Jesus said) their prayers and their leadership will have such authority that anything they asked for would be granted.
The reason why such a Church could exercise the ‘binding and loosing authority’ was explained by Jesus: “For”, He said, “where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Christ the Head is present with all His authority in the midst of such a Church, and therefore the powers of Hell can never stand against it.
One reason why the Church described in The Acts of the Apostles knew the reality of this authority was because Peter our first Pope and the other apostles together had this harmony.
“All of these (Peter and the other apostles) were persevering with one mind in prayer”….. “And all they that believed, were together….And continuing daily with one ACCORD in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house”…… And they (the apostles and other believers)…..”with one accord lifted up their voice to God”……(Acts 1:14; 2:44,46; 4:24).
Because they were integrated into one spiritual Body under the authority of Christ and His representative here on earth, they could exercise the Lord’s authority in prayer. They were not highly educated, they had no social influence and no financial backing, yet they turned the then-known world upside down for Christ.
Today Satan ridicules the efforts of a disunited Church that says they speak for God but are full of adultery and unnatural affections of all sorts. We have liars, gossipers, hypocrites and lovers of this world flooding our Parishes. Those that call themselves the Church have for a foundation, not the Word of God but a humanistic, modern philosophy that does not and can not avail against Satan.
The Church needs to know again the reality of being one Body united.
A symphony that includes Sacred Scriptures, Apostolic Tradition, and Church’s Magisterium, together playing harmonious music that is conducted by the Holy Spirit, and played for God the Fathers honor and glory!
A Church properly related to each other, growing in love for one another and living in obedience to God is the greatest threat to the kingdom of the Devil on earth. Satan dreads nothing else as much as that. Let us make it our prayer that the Lord will help us to live each day in the light of the glorious truth of the Body. As more and more Catholics throughout the world begin to understand and to live by this truth, we shall assuredly see the Church, though small in number, restored to her pristine glory, an instrument in God’s Hands to rout the forces of darkness and a channel of blessing to a needy world. (Written by a friend)

You Are Dust

Dear friends,
“Remember man, you are dust and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:19) Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the holy season of Lent. Let us make this Lent the best Lent of our lives.
“Now therefore saith the Lord: Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and in mourning. And rend your hearts, and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil. Who knoweth but he will return, and forgive, and leave a blessing behind him, sacrifice and libation to the Lord your God?” (Joel 2:12-14) How far have we allowed our hearts to drift away from Almighty God? In the Old Testament, we read of people rending their garments, such as when the High Priest was trying Jesus. “Jesus saith to him: Thou hast said it. Nevertheless I say to you, hereafter you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priests rent his garments, saying: He hath blasphemed; what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard the blasphemy:” (Matthew 26:64-65) Instead of tearing up our garments, it is time to rend our hearts, and ask God to come in and change them. How many of us have been lukewarm until now in fulfilling the will of God? “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold, nor hot. I would thou wert cold, or hot. But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.” (Apocalypse 3:15-16) The Holy Ghost here compares the lukewarm to vomit. It should be a disgusting thought, especially when we are not on fire with the love of God and ready to go into battle for Him as a member of the Church Militant.
And what will happen to the lukewarm, when the next bloody persecution comes? We are not ready for persecution, and yet it could be near, even at the door. This Lent we need to get serious about being Catholic. Being a Catholic is more than simply calling our self Catholic. We are part of the Church Militant; part of God’s army. The harvest is great, but the laborers are none. (Matthew 9:37) God is calling some who read this to go out into the fields and bring them in. The rest of us God is calling to support them, not just with our prayers and penances, but also with actual support materially. God is calling all of us to sacrifices.
Lent is more than a time to attend to our own spiritual needs, although this is essential at all times. Lent is also a time to work with the Household of the Faith. (Galatians 6:10)
Let us heed the advice of Jesus: “But thou, when thou fastest anoint thy head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not to men to fast, but to thy Father who is in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret, will repay thee.” (Matthew 6:17-18) Instead, let us spread cheer as Saint Peter (I Peter 3:15) said: “But sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you.” Yes, we must have hope, especially hope for eternal salvation. Yes, Lent is a time of fasting, and We ask you to review the fast laws.
Lent is next a time of spiritual spring cleaning. It is a time to look at our lives and to see where we need to make changes for the better. We have often prescribed two practices, tracking how we use our time for a week and how we use our money for a month. How many of us are wasting our time and money, showing we hold our own pleasures more important that Almighty God, our own families, etc.
And then Lent is time to get with our fellow soldiers in the Church Militant and work together to spread the good news of salvation to others, as well as to bear one another’s burdens. (Galatians 6:2)
During, this holy season, We also ask prayers for our project. We are working now to assemble the clergy in order to make more concrete plans.
And so this Lent, let us pray and ask God to come into our hearts and remove all that is not of Him from our hearts.
+Michael pp

How to Give a Money Sermon

It has been said that there is a time of year that is very good for giving a money sermon, it is called winter. And the preacher must prepare his church for this sermon. In some places, like Kansas, we must check the weather and make sure it will be cold out. We can have a seventy degree day here in January, and this will not work. Saturday afternoon we could go into the church and turn the thermostat down to fifty. We want people to be cold, while we preach to them, so they get the idea we are barely making it money wise. Some might recommend summer, but do we really want people’s hands too sweaty to write a check?

“Give me neither beggary, nor riches: give me only the necessaries of life.” (Proverbs 30:8)

All kidding aside, running the Vatican in Exile, VIE Catholic Radio and our other ministries requires money. Some have asked how we support our own selves and the work of the Church. In 2010 Phil Friedl and I started the press project through Createspace, a division of Amazon. Basically we published our own works and republished out of copyright Catholic books. We have published over 2,000 books since we began. About two hundred of these books are also published in a Kindle edition. This produces an income sufficient to support our personal living expenses, such as food, clothing and shelter. And usually we have just barely enough to cover the expenses of the work of the Church.

Fifteen months ago an opportunity came by for a part time job for me. I decided to take it, because expenses have increased. I net about a hundred dollars a week as an independent living worker, working two five hour shifts a week.

If I stopped supporting the Church, I could live reasonably comfortable, but I do not believe I should do that. Saint Paul asks: “Who serveth as a soldier at any time, at his own charges? Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? Who feedeth the flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?” (I Corinthians 9:7) Pope Michael does. We support the Church, the Church has never supported Us on a regular basis. Gifts come in here and there but very sporadically. Currently the Church costs me a thousand dollars a month.

Well, we have run into a problem. Although the house needs work, that is not the problem. We are working on a solution to that problem. No this one is more immediate. Some time back Amazon launched Kindle Direct Publishing, so people could take their Kindle books to the paperback market. More recently Amazon decided to transfer all of the books on Createspace to Kindle Direct Publishing. The transfer became effective the first of December. And here is the problem. Createspace paid one month after the money is earned, but Kindle pays two months after it is earned. Basically one month (January) we will get paid nothing as part of the transfer. So we have no money to operate on in February.

Before going on, we would like to thank those who helped with our recent roof problems. And also those who are contributing, whether it is ten dollars or a hundred, every bit helps. An estimate has come in on the roof repair, $5,300, which will eat up the majority of the insurance money, although that was expected. While continuing with repairs, We notice some other issues that need to be addressed. This is to be expected in a house that is about a hundred and twenty-five years old.

We would like to ask all of you to give us a little something every month. This would give us some breathing room and enable us to continue doing what we are doing.

Some of you might ask, why not put Father Francis Dominic to work to ease the situation. He already has a full time job, preaching the Word of God. When he first moved here he did work, but found he was getting nothing done for God. He is a blessing not only to you, but also to me. He is responsible for running the websites, beginning with the Vatican in Exile. And then he is working on the Traditional Catechism website. And then he runs the internet radio station. And this also takes time, a lot of time. In his spare time, he is visiting people here locally and running our local mission. If you are friends with him on Facebook, you know he posts a devotion for every day. I have shared some, because they are so good. He brings a unique view to things and presents it quite well.

I record a weekly sermon for the radio and compose the Pope Speaks and another piece for the Olive Tree. And then there is correspondence and it takes time to figure out what to say to people to encourage them on their road to heaven.

When the opportunity was presented to me, I decided that Father Francis Dominic’s work is more valuable than what I can contribute. Basically after over thirty years at this, first trying to get a papal election together, and then being elected, has been a lot of work. And frankly my productivity has slowed down.

Henry Edward Cardinal Manning said: “Priests who have only a handful of souls may become theologians and authors, and may serve the Church more lastingly by their writings than by their activity. Leisure and tranquility are two necessary conditions for sacred study.” Then he quotes Saint Augustine: “The charm of leisure must not be indolent vacancy of mind, but the investigation or discovery of truth, that thus every man may make solid attainments without grudging others to do the same.” We have read several books on sacred study. One book says that two to possibly six hours are the amount of productive time. Another tells us that this requires the consecration of our whole life, and this is quite true. When we are not writing, we are studying the Word of God in Sacred Scripture. We are consulting the Fathers of the Church, other saints, etc.

Saint Paul says: “But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided.” (I Corinthians 7:33) When I am having to care for secular concerns, I feel divided as well. Basically the days that I work are shot, especially the one day a month, when I take my client to Kansas City. Although I only get paid for five hours, I am out ten or more hours. And occasionally we have two runs to Kansas City. On the other days, I might get something done before going in at eleven. Coming back after four, I am usually not productive.

And then my mother is 90 and I need to spend some time with her, which usually blows another day out of the water each week. We have Mass at Thornton Place on Sundays now, which takes part of that day. Soon we will be going south for a family in southern Kansas, as much as our budget will allow. Then a couple of hours go to shopping each week, which minimizes part of another day.

There are other projects and needs that need to be addressed, but there simply are not the funds to pursue them. I recall a book written by Bishop Francis Clement Kelly, third Bishop of Oklahoma, entitled, The Forgotten Commandment. In his book he said he had a pile of letters with good ideas for projects in the diocese, but will have to say no, because there is simply not enough money.

We have asked for your prayers for the needs of the Church, now we ask for help on another level. Be assured of our continued prayers for all from here.

+Michael pp

Link for Father Francis Dominic.

“Giving to Gods Work”

And also a link to the donation page:

Two Kindle books for free

I am also offering the Kindle edition of my second published book, 54 Years That Changed the Catholic Church, for free Sunday and Monday.

I am offering this Kindle for free, Sunday and Monday. It was published online over ten years ago. In that time it was downloaded thousands of times. Two minor corrections were made. One a missing phrase in a prayer, and the other an error in a footnote.

Truth Is One

The Will of God

Dear friends in Christ,

Frater Francis Dominic wrote the following, for us to take to heart.

Man’s greatest honor and privilege is to do the will of God. This was what the Lord Jesus taught His disciples. He once said that only those who did His Father’s will would enter the kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 7:21). He also said that His true brothers and sisters were those who did the will of God (Matthew 12:50). This emphasis was passed on by the apostles to their generation. Peter declared that God sets men free from sin so that they can do His will (1 Peter. 4:1-2). Paul proclaimed that believers are created anew in Christ Jesus so that they can walk in a path God has already mapped out for them. He therefore exhorted the Ephesian Christians not to be foolish, but to understand what the will of the Lord was for their lives (Ephesians 2:10; 5:17). He prayed for the Colossian Christians that they might be filled with the knowledge of God’s will. He told them that his co-worker Epaphras was also praying for them that they might fulfill all the will of God (Colossians. 1:9; 4:12). The apostle John taught that only those who did the will of God would abide forever (1 John 2:17).

Acts 13:22 seems to imply that David was called “a man after God’s own heart” because he desired to do the will of God alone. David himself tells us elsewhere that he delighted in doing God’s will (Psalms 4:8). He was not a perfect man. He committed many sins, some very serious ones, for which God had to punish him severely. Yet God forgave him and found pleasure in him because basically David wanted to do all of God’s will. This encourages us to believe that in spite of all our imperfections, we too can be men and women after God’s own heart – if only our hearts are set on doing His will.

The New Testament urges believers to walk as Jesus walked, following His example. The guiding principle of Jesus’ entire life and ministry was to do the will of His Father. He never moved until His Father told Him to. And when He did move, neither the threats of His enemies nor the pleadings of His friends could stop Him from doing what His Father required of Him. His daily food was to fulfill His Father’s will (John 4:34). As men crave for food to nourish their bodies, He craved to do the will of the One Who had sent Him. Every believer should have a similar hunger to fulfill all the will of God. How easy it is to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven,” and then to do just as we please, without seeking God’s guidance in our daily lives.

The Bible teaches that God has a specific plan for each of our lives (Ephesians 2:10). He has planned a career for us, chosen a husband or wife for us and even planned where we should live and what we should do each day. In every case, His choice must be the best, for He knows us so well and He takes every factor into consideration. It is wisest then to seek His will in all matters – major as well as minor.

Many have made shipwreck of their lives by failing to seek the will of God right from their youth. It is indeed “It is good for a man, when he hath borne the yoke from his youth.” (Lamentations 3:27). In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus invites us to take His yoke upon us. What does it mean to take the yoke? Oxen that are used to plow fields are kept together by a yoke upon their necks. When a new ox is to be trained to plow, it is yoked together with an experienced ox. The new one is thus compelled to walk in the same direction and at the same speed as the older ox. This is what it means to take the yoke of Jesus upon us. We shall have to walk with Jesus in the path that pleases Him, never rushing ahead to do anything without His leading, nor lagging behind when He calls to some new step of obedience. Few understand this meaning of the yoke. Fewer still are willing to accept it. The ox is forced by its owner to take the yoke upon its neck. But Jesus invites us. There is no compulsion here. How foolish we are to reject this invitation! We would rather take the heavy yoke of our own self-will with its accompanying frustrations, defeats, and regrets, than the light yoke of Jesus that brings true liberty and deep rest!

We read of Enoch that he “walked with God” (Genesis 5:22) he did not rush ahead nor lag behind, but walked in God’s appointed path as one under the yoke – for three hundred years. As a result, God testified that He was pleased with Enoch’s life (Hebrews 11:5). This is the only way that we please God – by living and moving under His yoke, in His perfect will. Only in this way shall we be able to stand before Him without regret when He comes again.

It is possible for a believer to miss God’s perfect will for his life. Saul was chosen by God to be king over Israel, but eventually as a result of his impatience and disobedience, God had to reject him. True, he remained on the throne for some years more, but he had missed God’s will for his life. Solomon is another example. He pleased God in this earlier years, but fell away later through marrying heathen women. Twice in the New Testament we are exhorted to take a warning from the example of the Israelites who perished in the wilderness. God’s perfect will for them was that they should enter Canaan. But all except two of them missed God’s best through unbelief and disobedience (1 Corinthians 10:1-12; Hebrews 3:7-14). Many believers have similarly missed God’s perfect plan for their lives through disobedience and compromise – often in marriage or in the choice of a career.

Each of us has but one life. Blessed is the man who like Paul, can say at the end of it, that he has finished his God-appointed task (2 Timothy 4:7).

“And the world passeth away, and the concupiscence [lust] thereof: but he that doth the will of God, abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:17).

“See therefore, brethren, how you walk circumspectly [carefully]: not as unwise, But as wise: redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore become not unwise, but understanding what is the will of God.” (Ephesians 5:15-17).

Let us consider this well: “How easy it is to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven,” and then to do just as we please, without seeking God’s guidance in our daily lives.” We would like to close with a question: “Who is the interpreter of the will of God in the church?”


+Michael pp

Charity seeks not her own.