This summer our plans changed rapidly – a divine re-direction, an anointed appointment, God led us against the flow and took us on a family, faith-filled adventure, where once again we found ourselves living in heaven’s overflow.
How often we love to stay where and do what is deemed popular; to follow the crowd – but is there sometimes a better way, a more beautiful, less trodden path or less driven road that leads to rarely discovered wonders and treasures?
Our very dramatic turn of events led us to the South of France. Once there, I crazed to go to Nice, it had always been on my dream list; a popular hot-spot along the French Riviera and idyllic Cote d’Azur. As we arrived, the seafront was filled with places to eat. There was a barricade of six lane traffic between diners and the sea, traffic noise and traffic jams everywhere, busy streets to herd our children through, as my husband looked at me incredulously, “seriously, you always wanted to come here?” Thankfully we found a lovely restaurant off a side street, enjoyed lots of laughs together and delicious ice-cream as we walked back to the car through some lovelier areas. I was glad we had been there, seen it, experienced the hustle and bustle of it but I wouldn’t necessarily need to go back again.
The next night my husband researched his late afternoon and into the evening ‘dinner spot”. As we drove there I questioned if it was popular? Do people recommend it? Is he sure it’s worth the trip? With so many recommendations to follow and famous places to go, he calmly and assuredly replied, “I will let you all decide.” My confidence was not riding high… until we parked up at a beautiful, quaint port. Dinner looked out to the splendour of yachts and a stunning sunset. It was joy filled, peaceful, intimate and felt like we had discovered a ‘little known treasure’. The warm night continued late into the evening with paddling in the sea and playing on the gorgeous cove of a white sandy beach. Perfect!
I sensed the Holy Spirit wanted to get my attention as He spoke tenderly to my heart. So often God’s children are content to follow the crowd and stay where it’s popular. To go ‘off-piste’ feels vulnerable and a waste when you can be where everyone else is… Keeping up with appearances, running the rat race, following others expectations. I heard heaven whisper, “come higher, come away from the crowd, come apart with me, go deeper… I have so much more to show you – so much more than you can ever believe or receive in a lifetime, it will take all eternity. My paths, my ways, my roads, my rivers, my streams will blow your wildest dreams!”
Christians congregate around the surface and hotspots of God’s word… Nothing wrong with that but there is so much more… go deeper…dive in… the best catch is always in the deepest waters. John 3:16 is fantastic – we all need to go there, but go beyond there and let the Holy Spirit uncover mysteries, treasures and wonders in God’s Word, in passages less travelled and discovered. Look on in wide-eyed wonder, child of God, at the splendour, intimacy and power that is off the beaten track and well driven roads! God is calling, inviting, longing… “Come away with me on a faith adventure, there is so much more for you to touch taste, smell, hear and see. Only believe me, follow where I lead, for it is away with me, lost in the glorious unknown that you will be fully found and your life will resound with a heavenly story. One that others will watch in wide-eyed wonder, they will follow you as you follow me and you will exude my glory!”
In closing, may I not do Nice (or John 3:16 for that matter) an injustice. We returned under the direction of our lovely new french Friend, Stephanie. We had missed the ‘Old Town’ and there was indeed endless charm and beauty to uncover. I am now a fan, as I am of everywhere along this French Riviera – Cannes, Monaco, Saint Tropez and all the stunning little beaches, coves, ports and towns that are so worthy of exploring, in between. This little piece of heaven on earth has become a firm family favourite!
Let’s go back also to John 3:16 and let me uncover some of the wonder contained there. If you’ve never been before, let me show you love, life, passion and so much more, knocking at your heart’s door:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Your Father God loves you with a passion, with love that will not let you go and there is no good thing that He will withhold from you as you come to Him. He’s calling your name today, it’s up to you how you R.S.V.P. His invitation says simply, “Come to me; receive my life, forgiveness, purpose and power for all eternity, in exchange for that which perishes and is temporary! I want you with me both now and forever.”
Will you pioneer with Him into the glorious unknown? He has so much more to show you!
Child of God, one more word from the throne:
“New roads and new rivers in this season” says the Lord. “I am bringing fresh direction and every road block before you I will remove. New ways, new methods, even new income streams to exceed every need – the river of blessing is flowing unhindered from my throne. Look higher, go deeper, reach further and receive your full inheritance. It is yours for the taking, I delight to give it to everyone I call “My own”!
“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19
Father God, I thank you for sending your son Jesus and I receive Him now as my Lord and Saviour. Please forgive me for the sin that has separated me from you. From this day on I will follow you and live to know you more. in Jesus name. Amen.
Father God, I will come away with you and go deeper with you. Lead me I’ll follow, teach me I’ll listen, there is nothing I desire more than you. I’m captivated by your beauty and your holy calling. Everything I once counted as a gain in my life I now count but loss for the excellency, supremacy and intimacy of knowing you. I love you Lord and I delight to do your will Jesus… my R.S.V.P. : yours unreservedly. Amen.