Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Press In To Press Onward

Excuses, intimidation, and fear are holding my feet firmly planted on the ground.  As the mountain stands in front of me, I can’t help but stare at it.  Regardless of where I turn, my mind can’t escape its presence.   How do I overcome this mountain? When I received this vision from God, I was very careful who I shared it with.  Nevertheless, we sometimes need godly counsel to direct us, so I spoke with my pastor.  What he shared with me wasn’t a profound mystery but it’s keep me on the path.   “Tina, it sounds like God gave you an elephant.”  At first, I was very startled by his comment.  Yet, he said, “Do you know how you defeat an elephant?”  I replied, “No, sir.”  “An elephant can only be defeated, one bite at a time.” 

Well, I admit this elephant wasn’t very tasty; he is causing me to stretch myself with each bite.  God’s call is a wonderful gift upon our lives’, so it should be cherished.  Nevertheless, the call will bring lessons from God.  All of the lessons are for our benefit to develop our character, our relationship with God, and to develop our leadership. When it seems as if the “elephant’s biting back” it’s time to listen to what the Spirit is saying.   If we don’t have a listening ear to God’s voice, we can’t be guided.  If we refuse to listen, God will use whatever is necessary to get our attention.   God desires for our lives to be fruitful, so He has to prune the dead ends for the vine to have a chance to grow.

Upon entering a conference for church planters, I was so excited to begin.  Excited to brainstorm, met new people, and develop plans to fulfill God’s call.  What an opportunity to grow and develop!  Oh, I recognized an area of personal development-my insecurity.  So, as the ugly monster stares me in the eyes I have a choice to either surrender or fight.  We can’t overcome a weakness; if we don’t recognize it.  Recognize what is your weakness but don’t allow it be your complete focus.  If you only focus on your weakness, you will never exercise your strengths.  Although my weakness may not match yours; it doesn’t mean we don’t face them.  Giants will come into your life to speak defeat, fear, and taunt your faith. The only way to defeat the giant is RESTING in who God is, meditate on God's past victories in your life, and attack the giant. Once the giant is hit with God's power, he will fall. Yet, we have to cut off his voice; it's time to remember to WHOM we belong.

What is your weakness?  What are your strengths?  Realize Satan wants to minimize your worth, God wants to maximize it.  As the conference continued I realized how intimated I was to share my ideas, overwhelmed with the responsibilities, and wondering if I could complete this vision.  During those difficult moments the Holy Spirit keep saying, “Press Into Me”.  Also, this passage of scripture keep coming into my mind, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

If we are to finish the race, we have to persevere to inherit the promise.  “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.” Hebrews 10:38 All of this pain doesn't come without a price; it will stretch us.  God will reward us for our faithfulness, He sees our hard work and dedication.  A harvest is promised if we don't give up.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9 

We will never know the power of victory if we never face adversity, weakness, or trials.  Adversity builds our faith, weakness builds our trust, and trials build our character, so they are completing the work of Christ.  Whatever we face, we don’t face it alone.  Run to the Rock!  “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2

If we are to complete God’s call upon our lives, we have to press in to Christ to press onward.  Weakness is no excuse, inadequacies have no place, and fear can’t prevent a heart fixed on Christ.  Fix your eyes on Christ, so the weakness can’t trip you.  Even if it does trip us, Christ will carry us.  Yet, whatever is causing us to trip, we need to leave it behind.  We can't reach forward if we are tangled up with sin or anything causing us to lose focus.  “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1