“Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8
I wrote a blog on Tuesday correlating physical training with spiritual training. As I exposed in that blog, I tend to lapse into inactivity and apathy when I don’t have a physical goal I’m working toward. So….that begs a question. THE QUESTION. What is the goal you’re striving toward in your walk with Jesus? That you’ll have a comfortable life? That things will go well for you and all your circumstances will be “blessed?” This seems to be the mindset we often fall into, making God out like He’s some kind of Celestial Santa Claus who exists to fulfill our desires. Not so. In fact, DESIRE ITSELF is a ongoing foe that we must bring into conformity under the Lordship of Jesus in our lives if we want to experience TRUE BLESSINGS.
A lot of people believe lies about God’s intentions for us…His desires / aka His “will” for us. Indeed, he wants us to be happy, but He defines happiness differently than we do. His definition doesn’t include dependence upon circumstances going “our way.” In fact, it often is experienced most powerfully and transformationally when things are NOT going our way! We have a fine way of wanting God to meet our needs in ways that don’t require us to posture ourselves so that we can. One classic & common example is the phrase “God wants me to be happy”….which is used all the time to justify decisions and alliances He would never want us to make….and will not bless. We all do stuff from time to time that mutes God’s voice in our spiritual ears. How do we position ourselves to hear Him better, find His path for us more readily, and give us courage to DO IT?
We need daily reminders to avoid putting our faith/hope in things, circumstances, and people that will never “make us happy”, so that our souls can firmly rest on the Solid Rock of Christ. THAT is the goal….connection to Him. And the starting point is SURRENDER/SUBMISSION. When we are walking in His love, acquiesced to His leading; we will see through His eyes, be filled with His heart, and speak with His words. I want to surround myself with people who want to be sold-out to Him, and will help me as well. Training partners.
Here are some scriptures that are inspiring me this morning:
Colossians 3:1 – “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is youra life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.b 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
1 Peter 2:11 – “Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”