I'm Here, I'm Ready, I'm Packed

by Cindy Johnson Volpe

I recently visited my folks.  My family has a thing we do as the time draws near for us to be together.  We speak of the "sleeps" that remain before we will be together.  I received a morning text from my sweet Mother which simply said, "3 sleeps!”, to which I replied with excitement.  When I texted the same to Daddy, he replied by sending an airplane emoji.  Then I texted Daddy teasingly saying, "Woohoo!  Not sure why they keep telling me I can't get on the flights! I'm here! I'm ready! I'm packed!", and just like that I was struck by my own words, "I'm here! I'm ready! I'm packed!".  My mind ran to Heaven and I spoke those words to my Prince, "I'm here! I'm ready! I'm packed!".  And then my morning study quest began.  Words, thoughts, scriptures racing through my mind.  Take a few moments to join me on my quest.

As a follower of Jesus, what exactly does that mean?  It means we have accepted Jesus and all His truths.  We have repented of our wrongs and asked forgiveness.  We have vowed to live lives that honor Him.  We vow to speak of His truths.  We have committed our days to being used in any way that brings Him glory and furtherance of the Gospel.

1 Corinthians 10:31-33  "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.  Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many so that they may be saved."

Matthew 5:16  "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven."  

Psalm 115:1  "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, But to Your name give glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth."  

We were created to bring glory to the Creator.  Therefore, all that we do in the days we are given will either honor or dishonor our Father.  There is no in between.

Grab your Bibles and together let's dig deeper.  

1.  I'M HERE

Here we are in the midst of a day that the Father has given us.  Within this day, countless opportunities are before us.  I don't know about you, but the prospect of a new day is exciting to me.  I have no idea what lies within it, but I know my Father has gone before me and His plan will be nothing short of amazing.  In this day, if we have built a relationship with our Father, we will have a sense of His presence.  We will know His voice.  If we listen, obey and choose to follow His leading, He promises to use us.  How beautiful is that!  The Creator of the universe and all that is within it wants to use you.  He wants to use me.  Through us, if we stay the course, He will be glorified.  Personally, I am humbled by the very thought of this.  My awesome, beautiful Lord wants to work through me.   You and I may never know how our lives were used this day, but we do know that if we give this day to Him and ask to be used, we will be.  

John 15:16  "You did not choose Me but I chose you and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit...."  

For today, we are here.  As long as we walk this earth, as followers of Christ, it is our duty and honor to speak and live His truth, no matter what.  No matter what.  Look further into John 15, verses 18-19, "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world...the world hates you."   Ezekiel 22:30  "I searched for a man among them who would...stand in the gap before Me for the land...but I found no one."  

As a follower I am saying "I'm here!  I will stand in the gap for the lost souls of mankind, for my husband, my children, my family, my friends.  I am here.  Use me.  I will love with all my heart and I will stand for truth no matter what."  How about you?  Are you with me?  


It would be spiritual suicide to say "I'm ready!" to face the war that is being waged against the soul of man, ready to stand with and for those who are weary, those who are wavering, those who are seeking, those who are so desperately lost, if I am not truly "ready".  
Ephesians 6:10-18  "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.  Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.  With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints."  

Being a follower isn't a game and it certainly isn't for the faint of heart.  There is nothing in scripture that says it will be an easy journey.  The Bible is, however, filled with promises that we will not walk through this journey alone.  

Hebrews 13:5  "...He Himself has said, I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you."  

What promise!  What assurance!  

A reminder, "follow" is an action word.  We are actively pursuing a life that honors the Father.  In order to hold steady, we must devour the scriptures.  We must understand that prayer means far more than simply speaking a few poetic words here and there.  Prayer is building relationship with our Father.   What a tremendous, powerful, awe-inspiring thought.  Having the privilege of coming into the Presence of the Holy of Holies!  The King of Kings!  The Mighty Creator of all things!  This truth stops me in my tracks every time I consider it.  How dare I doubt my gifts, my worth, and my purpose when Jesus Christ Himself took steps to pave the way for me to access the Father.  That's truly incredible and deeply moving!  

Hebrews 10: 19-23  "Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful...."  

True relationship-driven prayer changes us.  As we align our hearts and minds with the Father, we become more like Him.  We begin to take on the attributes of the Savior.  We become more humble, more loving, more selfless, more forgiving, we begin to mirror Jesus to the world around us and in this:

Acts 26:18   "...open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me."  

We also must stand with one another.

Hebrews 10:24-25  "And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."  

"...As you see the day drawing near."  Never before have I seen the harshness that exists in our world today.  Right has become wrong.  Wrong has become right.  Boundaries are skewed.  People are blinded to the truth.  These are difficult times we are facing and we are going to need each other like never before if we are going to remain strong in a world that will rip our faith to pieces, given the chance.  God knew this time was coming.  He knew and He advised us.  We were not created to journey through life alone.  We need to hold tight to Jesus.  We also need to hold to fellow followers.  Only a foolishly arrogant warrior steps onto the battlefield alone.  He will most definitely be annihilated.  As Christ followers, we live in a world that is run by the spirit of darkness.  

1 Peter 5:8  "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.  Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."  

Proverbs 27:17  "Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."  
We are surrounded, daily, by people who speak words into our lives.  In the workplace there is chatter.  On the streets, in the stores, social media, chatter.  It is vitally important that we soak up the Word of God and seek the truths in it.  We must spend time with Jesus and our Father.  Time.  Quiet.  Soulful time.  Without this, our relationship will be shallow and our strength slight.  Our souls cannot discern a voice it isn't acquainted with.  

John 10:27  "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me."

Romans 12:2   "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable and perfect."

We are "in" the world, but we are not "of" it.  As followers, we function within this world.  We get married, raise families, have jobs, buy homes, attend church, but there is more to this thing we call "life" and that more is not about us.   Our hearts' passion is that our lives will glorify our Father and that through us souls will be drawn to Him.  We are not "of" this world.  We were created for eternity and again to glorify our Creator.  That means our lives should be lived differently.  We don't speak as the world speaks.  We don't walk as the world walks.  We don't follow what the world follows.  No matter what that means for us, we are held to a different standard.  We are Jesus' disciples and we have a responsibility to mirror Him with integrity.  Regardless of what is acceptable chatter in our work place, acceptable behavior, acceptable thinking, the Bible is clear, we are to be set apart.  And yes, that might be awkward at times.  Yes, that might bring ridicule.  Quite honestly, if our faith isn't being challenged, our beliefs noted and even joked about, it is most likely because we have faded into the environment we are surrounded by and we look like all the rest.  Granted, being "one of the gang" is far more comfortable in the short run, but the end result will be tragic.  

Matthew 5:13-16  "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.  You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven."  
If we are willing to accept the gift, we are duty bound to honor the Giver!  To be ready, we must know our Father intimately and that can only happen through time spent in His presence.  We must put on the full armor of God every single day.  Being ready requires diligent preparation.  Being a follower of Jesus is not for sissies.  I can assure you.  The enemy has made it his mission to personally destroy each and every one of us.  For him, it is personal.  


Matthew 25:6   "But at midnight there was a shout, 'Behold, the Bridegroom!  Come out to meet Him.'"  

When the trumpet sounds and Jesus comes, I am packed and ready to meet Him.  Are you?  

Philippians 3:13-14  "Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."  

Philippians 4:8  "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."

As children, Daddy would say to us, "Now children, remember who you are and act accordingly."  Well, children, as followers of Jesus we must remember whose we are and act accordingly.  The world is watching and souls hang in the balance.  Let us live with eternity in mind!

"But just think of stepping on shore and finding it Heaven!
Of touching a hand and finding it God's!
Of breathing new air and finding it celestial!
Of waking up in glory and finding it Home!"

Take hold of the Father's hand and stay the course.  Eternity is coming!

Dearest Father,

Thank you for loving us.  Thank you for clearly showing us the steps to take to live victoriously in this world.  Thank you for going before us, for guarding and protecting and continually speaking into our souls.  Give us ears to listen.  Give us soul eyes to see the path before us.  Make us hungry for more of you.  Use us for your glory and in ways that will draw others to you.  May those who come behind us find us faithful.  Speak to the hearts of each individual that has shared these moments with me.  What an amazing Father you are.  It is in your precious son's name, Jesus Christ, that I come to you.  Amen

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