Life, Faith & Running
". . . let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
(Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
(Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
This is a follow-up article to, The Place In Between What You Choose. To dig deeper into understanding the "in-between places" you may want to read this earlier article as well.
The world is all shaken up right now. We are facing a future none of us planned on. But God has known since the beginning of time that today was coming. And when the Bible was written, He knew it would still be in print today, that we would need the words written in it to guide us. It is living and active today because He knew that we’d need it today.
When Jesus ascended into heaven he said he needed to leave so that the helper, the Holy Spirit, could come and be with us. Even on that day, God knew that today was coming. That we’d need the power that raised Christ from the dead to live the lives we were destined to on this earth.
That destiny is to live all of this life for Jesus and nothing else. That destiny is to live believing our greatest freedom is found in living in the will of the Father. We won’t take our “rights” with us to heaven. We won’t take our greatest plans with us to heaven. We won’t take our political or religious freedoms with us to heaven. We won’t even take our accomplishments with us. Our opinions and theories won’t hold a candle to the magnificence and glory of God’s house.
All that will go with us to heaven is our relationship with Jesus and our fellow believers. Anything else we take time building this side of heaven will not last. So if we are building things that won’t last--spending time, energy, money and sleepless nights on matters that are not eternal, God, in his goodness, will redirect our steps. He will interrupt our plans and invite us to the in-between place where we get to walk through the process of making a choice to trust Him or to put our faith in our own ambitions, hope and dreams.
And He doesn’t expect you to make the choice in an instant. If I have learned anything from my life’s journey with God, it is that He is patient with me. He is slow to anger and quick in love. And it is in the in-between place, where I am fighting to make the choice of trust, that I have most often encountered His presence and peace. In many ways, entering into these in-between places is like coming to the temple and once again setting my life down as an offering to Him. The interruptions to my plans and the frustrations that stir because of the shifting, are like the drapes of the temple opening to invite me into the presence of God so that I get to lay down all that I have on the altar--giving Him permission to set it all on fire or increase it.
Christian friends, we are living in an invitation to the altar season. Opportunities abound for us to choose to enter the throne room of God’s presence with honor and humility, or to live in our own throne rooms fighting to preserve the environment, status or future plans we were counting on to make life comfortable. We get to choose to spend our time building into things that we can take to heaven with us or meddle in civilian affairs.
Will we live all for Jesus?
“Jesus, all for Jesus
Will we live honoring the words of the Bible?
In this season of shifting and uncertainty, will we accept the invitation to the in-between place and shut out the noise of the media and the best intentions of others and instead press into the Bible and voice of the Spirit to guide us?
Will we find our freedom in our rights or in the will of the Father?
Will we give ourselves and others the gracious space needed to make the choice to trust God-- not out of obligation or guilt or shame or mindlessness, but out of an encounter with God’s presence?
Jacob wrestled with God in the night, and came away blessed. We can wrestle too. God doesn’t expect us to trust Him in an instant. He isn’t going to give up on us if our journey toward trust takes nights of wrestling. His blessings are not reserved for those who trust quickly. But they are there waiting for you when you do choose to trust Him and his plans and honor His words in the Bible above everything else.
So, let's embrace the roads through the in-between places that God takes us on to provide us the opportunity to choose between trusting Him or relying on own understanding. Even in the darkest valleys, He says He is there. In His presence there is peace that passes understanding. In the quietest places His still small voice can break through the silence and bring you the humility and assurance you need to trust that He is God and He still holds the world and your life in His hands.
And let's accept the invitation of this season to enter the throne room of Heaven, setting down what we want to hold on to at the alter and in humility and reverence make our requests and pleas known to God, trusting that He hears andis actively working for our good in ALL things.
Her family and friends know her as, Jaci. She is the wife of a pastor, a mom of four, writing and communications education instructor, a visionary and an avid runner. As a firm believer in the power and effectiveness of the body of Christ united together to live out the Great Commission, she holds fast to this verse, "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). Of equal importance to her are these words, "...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1).
Posts in the Run for Your Life, series: