I can remember one of the earliest lessons i learned as a brand new born again Christian it was an illustration about testing…
imagine if God has His hands on you, this would be the times you’re totally in love with the Lord and everything is easy sailing because God is touching you. now imagine God takes his hands off you just a little bit. think of when you teach a child to walk, better yet you probably remember learning to ride a bike, and your parents are holding you up as you start to ride (no training wheels!) and they are telling you “I’m going to let go now” and you’re scared. but they are right there, they never left you just stopped feeling them.
And i can remember thinking What! no way how could i ever not feel high as a kite and have God not touching my life so easily and regularly?!
2-4Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-4 message
The Bible is very clear, black and white even (some red too: ) and Jesus said temptations would come, He said tough times were ahead (LK 17:1, 21-25). So check out that verse up there in James…. how often do we really consider it a gift when we encounter challenges?! more often we find ourselves grumbling and complaining! God does give us these amazing times when everything is easy, like you just coast on down the hill nice and fast. But God also gives us these awesome opportunities for us to find out what we are made of, where we pedal our butts off going uphill.
And it’s the times when we have to pedal our butts off that WE learn what we’ve got, God already knows what you got, to Him you lie naked (Heb 4:13) Jesus said we needed to pick up our cross and follow Him daily, sorry it’s not a one altar call deal this Christianity. Real Christianity lives and breathes in the daily dying to self, selflessness. You can not as a Christian be led by feelings and emotions. You need to do what God’s word says to do, whether you feel lead to or not.
In Philipians 3:12-14 Paul is talking about striving and pressing on toward the goal, the high calling of God, five times he refers to the prize and three times he speaks of pressing on. you just got to go, you have to keep pressing on. Even if you feel like you’re dragging your feet keep pressing on, never stop moving. you can’t quit because you’re not your own you were bought with a price and you don’t have a right to quit (1Cor 7:23) We only get one shot at this, life is just a dressing room for eternity.
“I wanted to stop, but I can’t. My chest burns, my throat is dry I feel like I am going to faint. My body begs me to stop but I make myself run another mile, two more miles up those hills. Pain all the time, I am in pain I hurt all over, I hate it but I am taking it. I am making myself suffer I have to suffer this is my last fight I know this is my last fight and this is the last time I will have to do it. Just a few more weeks of pain and suffering to live good all the rest of my life, to always be champion, to always wear the crown”
-Muhammad Ali at the age of 35
- Brian Fetzner