Whose I am
And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of
any man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me
this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying,
Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given
thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for
I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.
When read in context, this is the story of Paul's shipwreck. So closely
did he walk with the Lord the Holy Spirit in faith, and so obedient was
he to the promptings of the Lord, that, when the angel appeared to him,
he could say with certainty what is quoted in the above Scripture. It must
be wonderful to be used by the Lord in this way; why doesn't it happen
anymore? I am pretty sure that one reason is that we just aren't as obedient
as we should be. If the Lord should appear to one of us and tell us to
leave all that we have built up over the years; our house and possessions,
friends and family, all the familiar things that we are so comfortable
with, and follow Him; would we do it? Would we be able to do it? Remember
the rich young ruler, he couldn't. If we look at all the great prophets
and those that God has used we will find almost without exception, that
they worked full-time for the Lord in the end. They might not have started
off that way, but as they were led by the Lord and remained obedient, so
through the years they were used to a greater and greater extent. We all
know that Scripture which states that we will not be tempted more than
we can stand (1Cor 10:12-14). If we can resist a temptation we will move
on to a higher plane and can be used more by the Lord, until we reach the
level where the Lord can really use us.
Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint
not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in
craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation
of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight
(2 Corinthians 4:1-2)
As a result of which, he could comfortably hope:
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the
inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which
is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal
weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at
the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are
temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were
dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal
in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed
upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we
shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do
groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed
upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
(2 Corinthians 4:16 - 2 Corinthians 5:4)
Take the example of a great New Zealand Evangelist. Although he doesn't
say much about his private life, he does tell this story:
Once, early on in his ministry, he invited a Pastor and his family
for lunch the following day. When he told his wife May, she told him that
there was nothing in the house to eat. On arrival of the Pastor and his
family, they sat down at the dining table only for Barry to tell his visitor
that there was no food for them to eat, but invited the Pastor to say grace
in any case. No sooner had this been done than there was a knock at the
front door. Barry went there and on opening it found a hot steaming meal
laid on the doorstep. He rushed out of the house, ran down the path to
the road, looked left and right, but there was nobody in sight.
Would one of us ever trust the Lord to the extent that we had no food
in the house, but had to rely on Him to feed us?
Another instance of faith in God is that of a man in Stanger. He gave up
a medical practice to do something better. Instead of riding prestigious
German motor cars and being someone in society, he and his wife became
servants of the Lord. They gave up their worldly pleasures for a better
pleasure. As a result of this faithfulness, he has received the gift of
healing, as many thousands of persons can affirm.
In the above two instances, the people concerned have been radically
changed from being worldly orientated to heavenly orientated. They have
met Jesus through the Holy Spirit, passed the tests and temptations laid
before them and can be used by the Highest of the High.
This would seem to indicate that as we are faithful, so we are blessed,
Another example of faithfulness is that of the Roman Centurion. This man
had been brought up in the tough world of the Roman Army, where disobedience
meant death. In any army, the recruits are initially sent to basic training,
the purpose of which is to train the new soldier for instant obedience.
This is so, that in battle conditions he can be relied on to obey his superior
officer without question. In today's army, disobedience means Detention
Barracks, which is another name for military prison. However, in the days
of our Lord in His public ministry and of the book of Acts, disobedience
meant death. Soldiers obeyed out of fear of death. When a Centurion gave
an order he knew that it would be obeyed. This is why our Lord Jesus
could wonder about this man's faith in God and His love, faith exceeding
that of God's chosen people:
And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion,
beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the
palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I
will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I
am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word
only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having
soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and
to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth
it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that
followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found
so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall
come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac,
and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall
be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of
If only we can be obedient to the words quoted in Colossians chapter three
and verse two.
If we can at all times realise that our ultimate reward is everlasting
life with God in the New Jerusalem instead of everlasting torment in the
lake of fire.
My son Anthony has this example:
When you become reborn spiritually, you let the Holy Spirit into your
life. If your life was to be represented by a motor car, you allow Him
into the back seat.
Have you allowed Him yet into the front seat beside you so that He
can direct your path?
Have you yet allowed Him to take the wheel?
Do you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ?
Can you say "Whose I am"?