I am a pilgrim on my way to the Celestial City. I’ve seen many battles and wear many scars.
The journey has been fraught with dangers – its distance is vast and far.
I’m hunted by my great enemy, that ancient serpent of old.
He is a roaring lion and seeks to devour me and reap for himself my life – my very soul.
The last valley of the Shadow of Death I entered into not many months ago.
In here my strength has failed me, my body has been broken, my spirit has been laid low.
On the other side of this great through place is a river I approach in fear.
It is death that I must wade through, and it is my Redeemer that keeps me, through much pain and tears.
The enemy haunts me and ever mocks me reminding me of my sin.
“Disqualified! Unworthy!” He taunts and a war rages within.
I could abandon my quest, choose an easy path, whose way is smooth and broad.
Though that path is faster, its end is destruction, and its promise is empty - a mere facade.
The enemy assaults my assurance and he tempts me to despair.
But my Redeemer will never leave me nor forsake me, a promise He reminds me in prayer.
“Through the valley?” I cry.
“Through the valley” he answers, “and to the river beyond.”
“When my faith falters?” I weep.
“When your faith falters”, he responds, “and in the pit of despond.”
“When I neglect your promise?” I whisper.
“When you neglect my promise,” he replies, “and when you forget my steadfast love.”
I shout, “But I am unworthy!”
“And I qualify you,” he assures me. “That is the nature of this great journey.”
I scream, “But I have done nothing to earn your grace!”
“I choose not the deserved, and redeem not the righteous,” he reminds me, “but I come from heaven and seek my own, those are the one that run this race.”
“On what basis do you choose me when I have committed high treason against your eternal throne?”
“According to my purpose, and by my council and for my glory I predestine those I have foreknown.”
“I believe! Help my unbelief. I am weak and very flawed. I am tired and lack the strength. I have sinned and broken your law.
My enemy stands before me, he seeks to sift me like wheat! What can I do to escape him, and enter your presence, you who are lowly and meek?”
“I know this enemy that seeks you. There is great enmity between him and me. Beneath my feet he will rest because I was cursed and hung on a tree.
I AM the seed promised to bruise his skull. I sit in the heavens enthroned, and I make his accusations null.
I have defeated death when I was raised to new life. I AM the new Adam, greater than the first. I AM he who wipes away all tears and who will satisfy my sheep with living waters – no more thirst.
I AM the first fruits of the resurrection and am making all things new.
I AM the God of Abraham, Isaac and of Jacob, and will accomplish my will. I will see it through.
I have set my counsel and will bring all things to pass. Nothing escapes my gaze, from the birds of the air to you who is firmly in my grasp.
I AM the great High priest and have pioneered salvation. Through me it was accomplished, perfected, finished, and I inherit the nations.
Into the Holy of Holies, I take your petitions and perfect your prayers. My children, I represent and mediate to the Father all that has been cast on me – your cares.”
And as he said these things He led me, through that river and to the beyond.
Death washed over and my enemy grasped for me. I breathed my last breath, and the valley of the shadow of death was gone. The blood of my Redeemer has sealed me until I am raised anew. The promise he has given remains, that He has prayed for me and for you.
To the end, you must persevere. To the end you must fight. To the end, when your strength has failed you. To the end His burden remains light. Your intercessor stands between you and our ancient foe. He loses not one of His sheep, not one will fall from His fold.