Pushing through the pain barrier
Philippians 3:12-14: I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. My friends, I don’t feel I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. I run toward the goal, so I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done. (CEV)
The first thing I do while preparing to go deep into the Word is confess my sin. I sit still, bring my sin to mind and give it over to Jesus. And in that moment I am washed clean! And this morning as I began that process I found myself thinking about how it is often the same sin I am dealing with each day, all with the same theme: what I want, not what God wants of me. So sin for me is often me chasing my desires, which often isn’t within God’s will for my life. But really do I need to face the same issues every day?
Sometimes God turns me around on the spot, and in an instant I have a completely new perspective, and sometimes it is a gradual process, like sanding a rough piece of wood, God is slowly smoothing out the jagged edges. The key is I am not giving up, not allowing myself to be overcome by my desires but daily working at personal reformation.
When I exercise I will often hit the wall, reach a point in my sit-ups, or when I am running where the pain increases and I just want to STOP! But I know what I am capable of, I know this is a temporary feeling so I push through the pain; and within a few moments I am into a rhythm again and able to keep going. And I do this by breathing through the pain, sort of like my breathing pushes the pain away, but also I push through the wall by focusing on getting a smooth rhythm.
It is the same with my faith, when I am struggling I know not to stop but to keep going, to breath through the struggle is to seek after God’s powerful support. The Hebrew and Greek words for the Holy Spirit is ruah and pneuma and can mean breath. The Holy Spirit works through me like breath, breathing life into me. So when I struggle I need to breath, I need to rely not on my strength but on the power of the Holy Spirit to breath healing into my pain, to guide me on the best path to overcome my struggle.
I also need to find a rhythm, to focus on daily coming before God to seek His will, to pray, to keep confessing sin, to explore His Word, to worship and praise His name. Like when I exercise, this rhythm is absolutely essential, providing structure to the struggle, pushing away the chaos.
So I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize.
I keep running!!
PS check out the song below.. absolutely awesome!
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Yahweh’s Yarn in a Year : 1 year Bible reading plan
The portions for the next few days are: Exodus 21-24; 2 Samual 10-14; Psalm 54 (I don’t post over the weekend!)
To access the complete plan for the year click here