10 July 2016


By John Ollis

Psalm 90:10 Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty or more. But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble; soon thy disappear, and we will fly away.
v.12 Teach us to realise the brevity of life, so we may grow in wisdom N.L.T.
Here, Moses the author of this Psalm, indicates that God has basically, assigned seventy years to mankind, but some get to eighty and older, partly because of  improved medical techniques and better diet. Although Moses highlights the fact that our bodies are slowly wearing out and there are pains and limitations on all we can do.
Moses goes on to say in verse twelve  we need to learn from the years that have already gone. You may have heard the saying that some people keep making the same mistake year after year, because they never learn from their mistakes. God wants to give us a “Heart of wisdom” so that we can learn to live wisely and well.
These verses have challenged my heart, to ask myself, how much have I really learnt when it comes to life and my walk with God. Sadly, like most people I have had to learn a painful lesson more than once before I got the message.
Another area of challenge was highlighted to me at the weekend, I was chatting to a past student, he asked when I would be visiting his country next, I said I have no dates just dreams, his instant response was “you need to slow down” and in some ways that is what we must do when we get to a certain age, well at least there may be some things we can no longer do, but then there may be others we can do and for a longer time. In some denominations clergy MUST retire at a certain age, and this can create a “Retirement mentality” which I think is dangerous, unless you see the next stage in one’s life, as an opportunity to further fulfil the purposes of God in your life.
We watched on Satellite tv last night and interesting story of a Minister in the U.K. (now in his 90’s) who has had a very fruitful and productive ministry as an Evangelist and a Christian Apologist. he was asked, when are you going to slow down, his response was excellent. He said, Do you say to a runner in a marathon, when he can see the finish line just ahead,  just slow down, no way, the runner wants to finish the race, and this must be our determined attitude, Moses says in the Message translation, “I’ll soon fly away”.
I am believing with my improved health I may return to some Asian countries which are still very much on my heart, but whether I do or not, I am going to keep running the race, and seek to be fruitful until “I fly away”.
In  this last month or so, 2 great men of God, who have very much been in my world,  one a Senior Minister in Indonesia who was very involved in the revival there, and had built a local church to over twenty thousand, went home after the evening service and had a massive heart attack and was ushered into the presence of God. He was in his fifties. Another colleague who taught at the same large Bible School in Indonesia as myself, had taught his week of classes, preached each weekend before and after the classes, caught a plane to Kiev Ukraine, and soon after he stepped of the plane had a massive heart attack, and died. He was also in his fifties. We cannot help but ask why, but God’s ways are beyond our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts.  His perfect plan will come to pass.
So, in the light of the words of Moses, to count and consider my days, I am recommitting myself to the cause, of the great Commission, and to be the man that God called me to be in eternity past.