Unscheduled Stop


2 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?


“The Spirit of Jesus in me greets the Spirit of Jesus in you and brings us together in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, amen.”

I told you we had an unexpected surprise coming on this tour—I mean pilgrimage—and that you wouldn’t believe it. 

It reminds me of a time when I was in college. I was awarded a summer fellowship to study at the Center for the Study of the Presidency in Washington D.C. Remember when I told you I wanted to be president? One day the leader came to us with some excitement, noting that we had an unscheduled stop on our itinerary that day and we must be on time because we would have to go through extra security. We got off the bus and found ourselves at one of the back doors to the Old Executive Office Building (OEOB in DC speak). It is the White House where everyone works who can’t fit in the White House. Tensions were high. They brought us through what seemed like a labyrinth of hallways and into a small auditorium. There were only about a hundred of us. We took our seats, still wondering what was going to happen. About that time, the entire press corps filed into the back of the room behind us. Then the announcement: “Ladies and Gentlemen, the president of the United States!” And there onto the stage walked #40, the president, Ronald Reagan. We had a small audience with the president of the United States. It was bigger than Dallas (and Dumas put together), a moment I will forever remember. 

Thanks for letting me tell you what in reality is a fun, albeit irrelevant, story from my former life. It is on point as it relates to the nature of a pilgrimage: Unexpected detours. Unlikely stops and unscheduled appearances of unbelievable proportions. That’s what’s happening for the next several days here. We are going to the ancient version of a super-max, secret prison in a heretofore undisclosed location where we will have an audience with the most notorious enemy of the church turned most famous convict of the New Testament—none other than the apostle Paul. He will be sharing with us about, you guessed it, the Holy Spirit. 

This will be the last leg of our Holy Spirit pilgrimage for this Holy Spirit series. I have been inquiring of the Lord as to how he wants to close this out. You may not realize I write the Daily Text from day to day. I am usually only a day ahead. It is a very live and living experience for me and I hope for you. We are doing this live. Remember, this is a pilgrimage. Years ago the Lord seemed to say to me, “If you would give something as manna to others you must first receive it as manna for yourself.” I never forgot it. 

If there’s another thing I’ve learned about pilgrimage it is this. With pilgrimage, it is less about planning everything and more about being prepared for anything. As I was praying early Monday morning about how we would wrap up this leg of the pilgrimage, the Lord took me to a text I’ve never noticed before. It comes from the end of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian Church. 

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

Here’s the interesting part. Sunday I was preaching at Sagemont Church down in Houston. The video is here if you are interested. Anyway, as I was talking to people after the service a man approached me from behind, put a business card in my hand, and walked away. Without looking, I put it in my pocket. Yesterday (Monday) afternoon I finally emptied my pockets and I picked up the card. I was stunned to see this text on the back side:

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

Fellow pilgrims, I think we are on the right trail. We are almost done with all the security checks. 

Still day one. 


Father, our hearts are set on pilgrimage. We are learning to let go of our best laid plans and instead to allow the Holy Spirit to train us in a life of preparedness. We want to be agile and flexible, even adventurous. As long as you are with us we don’t need to fear the unknown and to dread the unexpected. Holy Spirit, prepare us for these next days of examination and testing. Prepare the way for us to know Jesus more and better. That’s the goal. Praying in Jesus’ name, amen. 


Do you tend to live more on the side of plan everything to the nth degree or on the side of be prepared for anything? You can’t say both! ;0) 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

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P.S. There is still time to jump into the Holy Spirit Course. It starts Monday. 

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Comments and Discussion

5 Responses

  1. As much as it is my nature to prefer a routine, I’ve learned over time (almost 7 decades), that we should always be prepared to experience a change of plans. Looking back, most of the time I can see how God used those unexpected twists and turns to prepare me for where I’m at now.

  2. Any plan other than the living Jesus, the Guide who wants to live inside us, can easily be a distraction from being led by the Spirit. Before Jesus came into the world, God gave Moses plans for the tabernacle which also served as the plans for the physical temple. God also gave Moses plans for human behavior, known as the Law. Those plans were even written on human hearts as the conscience.

    We humans we humans have never been very good at following God’s plans. Before I came to this morning’s Daily Text, I posted this on Facebook: “The Creator became a man to open the door so that you can know Him.” After reading this DT, I’d add: “And follow Him.” “Christ in you,” means that instead of following God’s plans, we can follow and obey and be empowered and led by the inner Jesus. That is a glory that Paul calls “the surpassing glory” that is greater than the glory that was on Moses’ face when He received the law.

    Glory was on Moses’ face. Glory resides inside of present-day Christ-followers who are “being changed from glory to glory.”

    The self-examination that Paul calls for is to check for God’s glory. Is His glory shinning in your heart and continually changing you into His image? Is the risen Jesus living and operating inside of you as “the way” (the plan)? Or are you merely making and following your own plans?

  3. As conduits of Christ, we must be ready and willing to be interrupted without notice. This is a test of faith.
    James 1:2
    Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
    The question is, do we know it?

  4. I would prefer to be prepared for anything than attempt to plan everything. Plans often do not go to plan and collapse despite our best attempts, whilst being prepared is foundational and withstands the unexpected storm.

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