Struggles Give Birth

StruggleDon’t confuse your path with your destination.  Just because it’s stormy now doesn’t mean you aren’t headed for sunshine. 

Struggles of doubt and trust.  Wrestlings with dashed dreams (or at least the perceptions of the moment).  Knock down drag out wars with self doubts.  Perplexities.  Disappointments.  Struggling to understand.  These and everything in between.

Every one of us struggle!  And often “the storm” seems much more like a destructive hurricane than a passing thunderstorm.

Some believe that struggles are sent by God.  Other’s believe it’s the opposition of the devil.  Still others would combine the causes.  Some God sent.  Some Devil produced.

I really don’t spend a lot of time trying to analyze and categorize the reasons.  To me, that takes me to a process of “reasonings” that isn’t all that helpful.

The scriptures give us this counsel:

  • “Fight the good fight of faith” (I Timothy 6:12)
  • “Strive to enter rest” (Hebrews 4:11)

The fight of faith is a good fight.  Rest can be entered by you & I.

Strugglings, wrestlings, strivings, and everything that comes with it is not a sign of immaturity or shame in God’s eyes.  In fact, each new, fresh dream pursued very often brings a boat load of contradictions to that dream or desire.  

Actually, it seems that almost everyone I know, including myself, is “pressing” the good press.  I, personally, am not saying, “Oh, yea…more!  Pour it on!”  If you’re a masochist, then go for it.  (Although, I think you may need to be committed.)   But, I don’t like personal pain or discomfort.  Never have.  But….

I also know what it is to be contented and happy.  And, although the sweat of struggle isn’t joyful for the moment, I’ve tasted the “Praise God” outcome over and over and over.  I wouldn’t trade my personal history with the Lord for anything!  I win…even when (at the time) it may seem like I’m loosing or have lost. 

Typically, when I actually have lost…I’ve found a much better path I probably wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.

Struggle on, brothuh!  Stuggle on, sistuh!  Choose trust in Him.  In reality, struggle is not your enemy!

Gary

 

 

Chillaxing With Jesus

I can’t think of a much, if any, higher goal on earth today than Chillaxing with Jesus.

If you aren’t sure what I mean…although I think most are…To Chillax is what one does when he or she combines the expression chill out with the word, relax.

Chillaxing with Jesus is highly Scriptural.  In fact it’s a command. 

You’ll find it in the book of Hebrews 4:11 where the writer clearly states, “Strive to enter the state of chillaxedness.” [Ellis translation]   (More conventional translations use the word, “rest.”)

Just so you know, that doesn’t mean, “stress out to enter rest.”  Some translations use the words, be diligent rather than strive.  That’s a better definition.  It also has the idea of being quickly diligent in it’s original language. 

It is such an important issue to God that He is setting forth a command, “Be quickly diligent to actually ENTER the rest that Jesus has purchased for us.”

The Apostle Paul told the Ephesian believers that they were seated with Christ in the heavens.  He was borrowing from an imagery with which they were familiar.  That of the priests who were not allowed to sit down until their work was finished.  As a matter of fact, a chair was an illegal piece of furniture in the Tabernacle. 


[A lot of Christians think that it’s still an illegal piece of furniture in the ministry.  At least you would think so since they are slipping and sliding around on their own sweat trying to prove to God how faithful and responsible they are]

Yep, the Holy Spirit via Paul said, “…we [that’s you and me] are seated with Christ.”  No more sweat equity needed.

How can that be?

We aren’t supposed to be flitting about making sandwiches Jesus didn’t order.  Jesus didn’t make sandwiches the Father didn’t order.  And…we can’t improve upon the whole process.

Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing and said what He heard the Father saying.  The think about that is that we have to do something else He did.  Spend quite a bit of time with the Father.  He seemed to be always pulling away by Himself to pray.

Then, when He acted in obedience to what He saw and heard, the Holy Spirit gave the grace [energy, power] to make it happen.

As we learn to focus specific time in quiet focus and worship, we will discover what Jesus discovered…”Abba Stuff”  As we become accustomed to those regular disciplined times, we find great spontaneous sensitivity to His voice in the flow of “normal life.”

Learn to chillax with Jesus, and your life will take on new, fresh dimensions you never dreamed of before.

Gary