December 23, 2009
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?
Come to me.
Get away with me and you'll recover your life.
I'll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
Precious ones, God cannot afford for you to be worn out and frazzled as you RUN your Race. It is true that He is molding you, but He does not want you to be overwhelmed. He is stretching you however, He does not want you to break. God’s clarion call of Divine Revelation is becoming clearer as He opens up your Spiritual ears, eyes and hearts toward His Sound. The call is clear, “WALK WITH ME AND WORK WITH ME~ WATCH HOW I DO IT. LEARN THE UNFORCED RHYTHMS OF GRACE.” Matthew 11:29 (Message) WOW! Take a moment to read that profound verse over and over. Let it seem way down deep into your spirit, soak awhile in the words of the Master. “Walk with me and work with me~watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”
What better way to live your life than to live it in the shadow and presence of Jesus. Throughout the pages of the Gospels of Jesus, his disciples wrote the account of the intertwined life of Jesus and the world. From these pages, we draw from the wells of salvation, greatly encouraged to work and walk with Jesus as the disciples journeyed with Him.
It is true, we are all given one race to run. The question posed today is, “How are you running the race.” “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill~fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." Matthew 11:28-30 (MESSAGE)
This year, the Lord continues to speak a message that He began long ago with, “JUST BE”, “IN HIM WE LIVE AND MOVE AND HAVE OUR BEING”, progressing to RUN, REST and RELEASE and many other instructions and revelation. This message coincides with His Word on living in the “SLIPSTREAM”. He continues to open our spirit to living in His fullness as the verse Holy Spirit gave to ASPIRE MINISTRIES. Here is how the Message states it as we have prayed for your life and ours:
“My response is to get down on my knees before the Father,
this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth.
I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit
~not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength~
that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in.
And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love,
you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus
the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love.
Reach out and experience the breadth!
Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights!
Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
God can do anything, you know~
far more than you could ever imagine
or guess or request in your wildest dreams!
He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us,
his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!”
Ephesians 3:14-21 (The Message)
Ladies, it is no secret that we are running a race. Jesus ran His race here on earth, running well, finishing strong. As He ascended into heaven, He promised that He would send the Comforter, which He did. It was the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon the people with the wind of the Spirit with tongues of fire. This same Holy Spirit lives within all who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. His Seven Fold Spirit of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Might, Awe Of God, and Knowledge are with you to guide you in all of your ways.
The Lord has placed great blessing and favor upon you It is His desire that you live a life IN HIS PRESENCE. He has destined you to live your life with Purpose. Jeremiah 29:11 states it well, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” It is the will of the Father that you walk and run in the divine design and destiny for your life. There you will find fullness and fulfillment. It is what you were born for. Your gifts and talents all point toward your divine design. It is in that place you fit perfectly and will find the greatest joy. The place where you will reflect the Glory of God giving honor to His Holy Name.
How do I get there you might ask? Jesus says, “Come”. “Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life.” vs 28 Your focus must first of all be upon Jesus. He is the breath we breathe, our light and our salvation. Your relationship with Him is the avenue in which you can live a life of Running in Rest. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He is your Divine Trainer for the Race. It is He Who will turn your race from running aimlessly to running with purpose. He will help you prioritize your life so that your sowing is purposeful and that your ministry fulfils your destiny.
Have you ever found yourself getting side tracked? I’m not talking about the Pauses of life. Those Pauses where I find myself running the race, then suddenly God seems to stop time, opening doors for me to minister to someone along the way. These are Pauses. Jesus Paused in His ministry too. Remember the story of Zacchaeus, or how about Mary Magdalene?
When Mary broke open her precious and valuable alabaster box, she paused. The disciples did not understand it, however, Jesus did. He stopped everything to receive the preparation of anointing before His death on the Cross. This pause was a vital part of His life and ministry.
What about the pause when the soldiers had come to take Jesus to the Cross? Peter in his haste, lack of understanding and allegiance to Jesus, cut the ear off of the soldier that had come for His Lord. Jesus paused momentarily, placing his bleeding ear back into place. He did not stop to argue, explain what Peter had done, or even explain Himself. His moment did not take away from His Purpose, it was part of His Purpose.
Oh my, remember the ultimate pause when Jesus was on the Cross? JESUS CAME TO SAVE THE WORLD, and paused for the one on the cross. These pauses were part of Jesus’ ministry. They were His Ministry. He paused to heal the sick, set the captive free, and enjoy dinner with a Publican. Jesus chose moments to Pause. You and I not only need to pause but also open our hearts to the revelation that God designs those “SUDDENLIES”. We need to be alert keeping our eyes and ears open for the pauses.
Perhaps a pause for you may be a Divine encounter where you will minister to someone that crosses your path who needs the touch of the Master’s hand. It may be that someone will divinely pour from their alabaster box, encouraging and anointing you for your journey. The Lord would say to you, enjoy the Pauses but also encourage you to stay away from distractions that would pull you away from your purpose and most certainly His Presence.
This one thing I know, where we spend our energy needs to change. Perhaps it needs only to be tweaked. God is helping us make those changes in various ways as our economy and world as we know it is constantly changing. As the end time generation, we have been given specific purposes. This season calls for More. There is no time for wasting time and energy on frivolous things that take us away from our purpose. Our focus must remain. THE FOCUS IS JESUS. Holy Spirit has been training us for such a time as this. He has been teaching us to walk in abandonment to Him, with total trust coupled with direct obedience so we can RUN. We are in the Season of RUNNING. In this Season we must Walk with HIM and work with HIM~watch how HE does it. Learn God's unforced rhythms of grace so that our journey's will have more effect with less effort accomplishing more in little time.
God has gifted both of my sons and daughter with the natural ability to RUN. We discovered this in a new way when Zach, my oldest son, decided one day to go to a Cross Country meet. He was only in the third grade running with competitors on every level from the Third Grade through the Eight Grade. I knew that Zach was fast, but did not have a plumb line or standard to go by.
In our walk with God, He is our plumb line. The angel of the Lord spoke these words to Zechariah explaining to him that The Seven~fold Spirit of God is our Divine Plumb line. The Seven Fold Spirit of God includes His Almighty Hand upon us, in, through, and surrounding us lives the Spirit of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Might, Awe of God and Revelation Knowledge.
“ The hands of Zerubbabel
Have laid the foundation of this temple;
His hands shall also finish it.
Then you will know
That the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.
For who has despised the day of small things?
For these seven rejoice to see
The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.
They are the eyes of the LORD,
Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”
The Lord is the standard by which we live and move and have our being. As you walk, work and watch Jesus, He will show you His Plumb line in your everyday circumstances. He will guide you from Glory to Glory.
Our family lives in the countryside of Tennessee. We live in a place where there is wide open space and parks to run. Zach started out running around the yard playing. Then when he was old enough, He would run like a flash out our long driveway to bring me the mail. He enjoyed running. It was a humble beginning. However, this day there were hundreds of runners out there on the field.
Zach looked so small in comparison to most of the guys. Probably a lot like David among the soldiers and his brothers. David did not pay any attention to the size of the giant, or his brothers trying to tear down his confidence. David turned to focus on his purpose and on the Presence of the Lord he had known and experienced. He turned to Focus on God who was bigger than any circumstance. It was he who said, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.” I Samuel 17:44-46
Standing in the crowd looking around much like Zacchaeus I searched for my son among the others. When I finally set my eyes upon him, I saw that Zach's face was set like flint. He intended to win. Zach had been taught and trained in the WORD OF THE LORD and knew that he would take what was in his hand and use it with all of his might. I am sure these words were running through his head, “…So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says theLORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6.
My prayer for Zach was that he would run the race well, that he would do his very best and when he crossed the finish line that he would feel like a winner. That he would win his race.
In cross~country, the guys begin with a very rigorous two mile race. They wind and turn through the woods, over rough terrain, mud, water, snake holes and many other unpredictable variables such as deer crossing and dogs. They also face the weather. Rain or shine, snow or sleet, the boys RUN! That day Zach knew in his heart of hearts that he was there to WIN.
I encouraged him of course to RUN WITH ALL OF HIS MIGHT. STAY STEADY AND STRONG. RUN WITH AN UNFORCED RHYTHM OF GRACE. I BREATHED ON HIS DREAM, just as Holy Spirit breathes on our dreams encouraging us. The shotgun shook throughout my being (like the awakening blast of the shofar) as my dear little boy took off in a mass of so many people. Zach remained calm. He was in the middle of the crowd running with precise steps, stride and steady speed. He was running in the Rhythm of Grace to win. He knew that the race would be long, and that he should run with balance, steady to the task, strategically using his energy for the last sprint of the race. It was not long until they turned the corner and into the distance my son disappeared into the woods. The other parents and I ran across the field to the area where we would see the boys take their last turn and onto the finish line. We couldn’t see them in the middle of the race…it was a time of prayer and anticipation.
During the long wait, I prayed for my little boy, running such a big race with so many people of various skill, strength and endurance. This was a prestigious race with runners from highly acclaimed schools. My hopes were that precious Zach would run his race well, that he would not get run over by the BIG BOYS, and that he would be encouraged to continue on with endurance to finish the race. Not a race against them, but with them. His race.
As the boys turned the corner, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was my son running right behind the “RABBIT” (the Trainer that decides how fast the race is to be run. The Lead) along with his friend! Zach was winning the RACE!!!! I began screaming, jumping, encouraging him on! Reminds me of the great cloud of witnesses cheering us on!! Zach never turned to look at me…his focus and strategies were set. He was saving his strength for the sprint. Like Jesus, he saved the best wine for last. Zach had saved the best of his energy for the end of the race. He would finish well.
The Lord amazed me as Zach ran, thoughts ran through my mind…thoughts of RUNNING THE RACE for Him! Winning and running the race for Him even though I seemed small and insignificant. Remember earlier when the Angel of the Lord spoke to Zechariah. He said not to despise the small beginnings. We all begin our journey somewhere with the view of eternal wide open space to grow, learn, experience and run.
Zach’s heart was set on the goal, his focus was sure. He did not push anyone aside, he did not fight the people or circumstances, he did not spend his energy talking to me on the sidelines, or looking at me. He did not even know I existed. His face was set like flint. Did he pay attention to the holes, the trees, and the deer on the path? Yes. However he did not look at anything or anyone that was not on the path he was to take for the race. His face was set on the PRIZE. Precious women of the Most High God. This is were we are. Set strategically upon the path of Life with our Focus on Our Saviour who went before us showing us the Pattern of Life that will bring fullness into our lives and Glory to His Name.
In Zach’s first Cross Country race, he proudly came in second. His eyes beaming from ear to ear as he crossed the finish line with pure joy! What an accomplishment! At the time he was running the race with the newfound gift God had given him. As he ran the race, the Lord opened his eyes to the real view and scope of his gifting. Zach experienced a moment of Epiphany as he finished the race in second place. It was also a time to PAUSE and celebrate the Victory he had achieved giving God the Glory for his gifting.
This win lit the fire for Zach to take his running to another level. Before the race, he knew that he loved running, that he was pretty good at it. After the race he realized the gift within him was bigger than he thought. He was a RUNNER! This day was pivotal for Zach. From that time forward he began to train, exercise his gift, stretch, push with the help of a trainer. He set aside the Nintendo, the television, and anything that would distract him from RUNNING. He began to TRAIN! He had kept his eyes on the “RABBIT” for direction, drawing strength from him, knowing He knew the way. And then, Zach began training WITH the TRAINER! He took his running to a new level. He began running WITH the MASTER!
Zach met with his trainer every day. He learned to run the race with the unforced rhythms of grace on a new level. He learned to take his gift, align and submit himself to the Trainer. There he would Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. He put his trust in the Wisdom of his trainer. His trainer taught him to run the race unencumbered, and light. He learned to keep his love for Running as he honed his skills to RUN AND WIN!
“Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
Paul explains it this way, “You've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally.
I don't know about you, but I'm running with Purpose in His Presence for the finish line. I'm giving it everything I've got. No sloppy living for me! I'm staying alert and in top condition. I'm not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself. Summary of
I Corinthians 9:24 (The Message)
Today the Lord would encourage you to COME TO THE HOLY SPIRIT. GET IN THE RACE. CONTINUE TO OR BEGIN TO TRAIN TO RUN YOUR RACE WITH THE UNFORCED RHYTHMS OF GRACE. STAY ON THE PATH LED BY THE POWER AND PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. RUN YOUR RACE LIGHTLY YET WITH BOLDNESS AND PURPOSE. STAY ALERT AND IN TOP CONDITION. DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO BECOME SLEEPY OR SLOPPY. RUN HARD IN THE REST OF THE LORD. MOST OF ALL RUN IN LOVE. LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART AND ALL OF YOUR MIGHT FOR IT IS THERE THAT YOU WILL FIND JOY. THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH FOR THIS GLORIOUS RACE! RUN PRECIOUS ONES! RUN! ENJOY YOURSELF AND RUN! YOU ARE A RUNNER! YOU ARE A WINNER!