You ever get those days where it feels you constantly are having a tug of war with your "feelings"? Lately, well mainly today, it seems I'm tugging and tugging but keep falling on my butt. Ugh, I hate these days!
It seems my life is a constant tug of war with something. It wasn't until the beginning of my relationship with God that I discovered my life before Him wasn't what I thought it was at all, but yet when I saw it for what it was it all made sense. I discovered that I had been waging war with myself my whole life. That's how it is for so many. I had been battling myself and using the world as my accomplice. Charging myself with inequity and pushing myself up to a standard I would never be able to match up to. None of that really matters now though, but the war still goes on, but its a different one. This time I'm fighting back but this time I'm not alone. God gives me strength. There was an awesome quote that I heard recently but I can't remember it at the moment. It said something about the greatest battle of my life isn't with any earthly things or the heavens above but within myself.
It's not by accident that all of a sudden the unseen is seen, its only by the hand of God that one can really see this battle going on. Though some like myself have felt it before we could really see it but we had no ammunition, we had no weapons, no artillery unless you have God. It's really quite amazing to me now. I'd like to quote a sermon by John Piper that I thought was quite awesome:
If you wonder how to make war-go to the manual! Don't just belly ache about your misfortunes-make war!
There is something about war that sharpens the senses. You hear a twig snap or a rustling of the leaves and you are in attack mode. Someone coughs and you are ready to pull the trigger. Even after little or no sleep war keeps us vigilant.
Progress cannot be made without endurance and that's much to the same with living your life for a higher purpose, for Him. People who think they believe or want to appear that way seem to get it all wrong. Endurance isn't made through prosperity or complete peace. It's made through suffering and pain. Some of the best soldiers in the military could speak to that. Your history books could tell you that. The very soil under your toes, if you live in the U.S that is, is forever stained with blood shed for freedoms won and fought for. Though the road is hard and its narrow don't think its not worth it, that He isn't worth it. I keep trying to remember the pain that Jesus took on that cross for me and my sins. Piper has quoted once;
"If I reject the crucifixion of Christ for my payment, I will be crucified every day till the debt is paid. Forever." It's very eye opening, I think, when you hear it put like that.
When I was in junior high and high school I use to run cross country. I loved running and the way it felt to run a race. All the adrenaline was an amazing rush. My 2 older brother's both ran as well. So I guess I was also trying to follow in their foot steps as I looked up to both of them with high reguard. One time my one brother was teasing me about being a girl runner and how I wouldn't make it far or be any good. I got upset and told him "you just wait and see, I'm going to run in the Olympics one day!" Of course as you can assume I never made it to the Olympics and I have never ran professionally, but I look back and think to myself boy did I have no clue that I would be running a much more important race than the Olympics.....
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it." 1 Cor. 9;24
"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14
The race for this prize that is spoke of in these 2 verses cannot be achieved without the necessary staples for the sport though. Any marathon runner, Olympic athlete, or even high school track/cross country runner could tell you that you cannot think to win a race without shoes. Surely running in your bare feet would be a bit difficult as well as un-prepare you for the road. Just like any other race the turf can be unpredictable and you will come across many rocks and pebbles. No shoes= very hurt foot. Yes, I need shoes, you need shoes, we all need shoes! And in this race metaphor shoes are necessary. Our shoes prepare us for the long road. I can think of nothing else in a believer's life that would be his/her bread and butter than being in the Word! So I think of it like this; if I want to have any chance of winning that race and living my life for His glory through thick and thin ....I need my shoes! I have to be in the Word or else I will just be falling on my butt like in the tug of war game only I won't have any help or reason to get up.
No war that's worth winning and dying for is ever short of casualties. Sometimes you have to bury yourself to live forever.
Through the endurance of pain and suffering the only thing that will keep me going is having God in my heart. I have to be so utterly consumed in His word that I can almost hear Him speaking to me. Now that won't always happen but it needs to be my/our fuel. You can't dwell on all the pain either. God has shown us many times in the bible to expect casualties! It's going to happen! God even had a casualty. He gave up the only one perfect Being, Christ, for a world's worth of imperfect ones. It makes me think of our lives and how so many have become slaves to the world and slaves to themselves. What happens to us once the world and ourselves point out our flaws? The world eats you up and spits you out when you don't fit the mold and yet we keep coming back for more!? Why you may ask, because they don't have God. They don't have the gift from a perfect Son that died for an imperfect world. The only gift worth fighting for that makes you perfect in the eyes of the Lord. No matter if I got everything I ever wanted and every desire in this life it would mean nothing to the unfulfillable debt I owe and have yet to pay without Christ.
Well these are my random ramblings and all around thoughts for today! :) Hope they made sense!