Run to Win

Run. Do not dawdle, be distracted or wander off the course.

Meditation Thought: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” (Hebrews 12:1)

“Run, run to the goal – to complete communion with Me – do not dawdle, be distracted, or wander off the course. Set in mind clearly that you are running to win – not in the sense of beating others, but in the sense of reaching your goal as quickly as you can. You know the ways of running faster: Time spent with Me; in My Word, in your mind searching for my plans for you and how to accomplish them in expressing my love to others by service to them.”

Perceive the Valley from the Mountain

Our role is to share our experiences, to share our knowledge, and to share our love which has been quickened.

Meditation Thought: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

To be baptized is an act of being set apart for special service – the observing of the commandments is the nature of the service – the presence of Jesus is the moving power of the service. The baptizing, or setting apart, is the reason that those who believe cannot behave as the crowd behaves.

It is as if Christ takes us to the top of the mountain, where we can come to new perspective and knowledge of the valley, and then we can go back to the valley to share our new knowledge and wisdom to help others, and to urge them to go for themselves to find the new view of the valley.

Living in the valley after the trip up to the mountain is not the same as before the trip – it is more intense in every way, for awareness is sharpened, and new knowledge changes perception. Some will resent the ‘differences’, others will see it as being desirable and wish to take the trip too; our role is to share our experiences, to share our knowledge, and to share our love which has been quickened. Thus we provide the opportunity for our neighbors to respond to our sharing, and through their response, Jesus moves. And so the process becomes a ‘making disciples of all nations’.

(When we look at the world with our human eyes only, it is as if we look at a map in a book. When we look at it with spiritual eyes, we see it as a globe with topographical markings added – we can perceive so much more of the true qualities when we have a more complete perspective.)

Wholeness

It is imperative, therefore, that any change in us be a change toward God’s will.

Meditation Thought: “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” (1 Corinthians 12:26)

If one part is missing, the “whole” has disappeared – it is now something different. It may even be considered a whole, but the original “whole” has disappeared, it no longer exists. When a part is altered, no matter how slightly, the whole is altered too. It may take a while for parts of the whole to be affected by other parts – but it will happen, for all are interconnected.

Therefore, we must take care that we, as a part of the Body of Christ, are a healthy part, a part that is in good working order, bringing joy not only to ourselves, but to all the many other parts, and to the whole. We must remember that no matter ow slight an event might appear, that creation all is structured so that one tiny cell changing in the slightest manner, can have an effect that becomes magnified – a chain reaction in fact, a geometric multiplication.

It is imperative, therefore, that any change in us be a change toward God’s will, toward the furthering of the health and purpose of the Body, for our own good, and for the good of the whole.

Turning From, Turning Towards

Your task is to learn of My methods, of My attitudes, of My will in general and My will in particular – and then in prayer, in yielding to the Spirit, speak and act. 

Meditation Thought: “For it is God’s will that by doing right, you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” (1 Peter 2:15)

“Take your cue from Me – I only invite, suggest, touch lightly, lovingly. The response is left to the one touched. But it is when you are behaving in imitation of My ways that the response is likely to be positive – a response which will turn one from selfishness, from foolishness, from sin – toward love, consideration, wisdom, respect, righteousness.

Your task is to learn of My methods, of My attitudes, of My will in general and My will in particular – and then in prayer, in yielding to the Spirit, speak and act.

When you are in this state, you are doing My work, and when you are doing My works, it will not be in vain.”

Presence = Fullness of Joy

When I am concentrating on being where You are, then no matter what scene You are in, and I am in with you, I am content – fulfilled.

Meditation Thought: “Thou dost show me the path of life;
    in thy presence there is fullness of joy,
    in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

“In thy presence there is fullness of joy” – in thy presence  – when I am concentrating on being where You are, then no matter what scene You are in, and I am in with you, I am content – fulfilled. For it is not the place, the action, that is important to my life – it is the Presence – the Presences that:
assures me of total confidence,
shields me from harm,
brings me joy,
raises my hope,
delights me,
excites me,
relieves boredom,
surrounds me with love so powerful that all else pales beside it,
being as nothing as I bask in the closeness of My Lord’s Presence and all that Presence brings to me. It satisfies every need, every desire – even those I was unaware that I had until after they have been fulfilled.

Power and Vitality

We must look to Him for His power to be available to us.

Meditation Thought: “And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:19)

His power – our belief – one is connected with the other. We must look to Him for His power to be available to us. We can be spending much energy, working so hard, hoeing in our garden – and all along, the power rototiller was right beside us, waiting to make our work light and easy – but we didn’t look for it, so we couldn’t use it.

God touches us lightly, so as not to violate our free will – but He does try to make us aware that His power is waiting, unlike an inanimate rototiller. We however, must not be so engrossed – perhaps in resentment at our task – that we cannot be aware of His touch. If we miss it, we miss out on a totally new, totally improved way of living our life, of doing our tasks. When we see that power, when we trust that it will work for us enough to make the effort to take hold of it and try it, then our belief and our acting on it is justified, and proved, by a new way of life – most visible to us, but visible to others also. They may want to find this more effective way of cultivating their garden of life, too and we can bring new lives and new vitality into the Body of Christ.

Alive and Thriving

the way to have more riches of the kind that will bring peace and joy is to recognize that there are spiritual laws in operation also.

Meditation Thoughts: “ I am the vine; you are the branches.” (John 15:5) “ It is possible to give away and become richer.” (Proverbs 11:24)

It is possible to give away and become richer because of the interconnection of vine and branches – nourishment taken from one flows into the other – so that, although the nourishment of one kind flows out, it is replaced by nourishment of another kind flowing in. The beauty of the flowing, rather than each being self-contained, is that what flows out is an enrichment by the entity of what flowed in, and then if flows out as an enrichment to the receiver. In the meantime, the “outflow” is constantly being replenished by an “inflow” from the connecting part.

As long as there is an interchange, each is nourished and thrives. But when one part starts to receive only, and stops the outflow, the other part dies – and when it dies, its outflow stops, and this kills the part that originally stopped the outflow. One cannot live without the other. We need to have that inter-dependency to keep the vine and branches alive and thriving. We cannot just take and not give; God’s creation was not structured in that manner. The more we understand that as we give, what we give is transformed into something even richer, and then as another gives, we receive the enriched gift back in the form which we need at that time, the more in harmony with our intended nature we will become.

We send out the gift of our raw material, and it is just what someone else, who is serving as a manufacturer at the moment, needs – he produces a finished product, which he then returns to us. Sometimes – maybe most times – there is a complicated exchange of raw materials and manufactured products – but the principle remains the same. Only by being willing to give away our raw material can it be changed, and added to by others, to be returned to us as a more desired form than when we let it go. The more we are willing to let go of our “better” raw materials, the more we will receive “better” finished products.

All through the Bible it is made clear that hoarding is a short-sighted self-defeating attribute. Though it might appear by physical laws that to hoard is the way to have riches, and this is true as far as it goes – the way to have more riches of the kind that will bring peace and joy is to recognize that there are spiritual laws in operation also. As these are perceived and acted upon, the riches that satisfy will then start to be piled up in the storehouse. There is no fear that they will be stolen, as there is with hoarded riches, for the riches flowing in from the observance of the spiritual laws cannot be stolen. Would-be thieves are not even aware that some of these riches exist, and even when they know of their existence, they find that if they try to steal them they disintegrate – for they cannot handle them properly, being unaware of the spiritual laws which are needed to handle these riches. As they try to grasp them with the crushing grasp of greed, the riches crumble.